AMA Victoria President speaks out against claims from the World Medical Association

Friday 27 October 2017

Today the World Medical Association put out a media release, which incorrectly suggests that its opposition to voluntary assisted dying is consistent with the views of the AMA.

The release stated that the WMO along with the AMA “have strongly reiterated their long-standing opposition to physician assisted suicide and euthanasia on the basis that they constitute the unethical practice of medicine.”

AMA Victoria objects to the language used in this statement.

AMA membership has no input into the policies of the WMO.

While the AMA believes that doctors should not be involved in interventions that have as their primary intention the ending of a person’s life, the AMA recognises there are diverse views on euthanasia within the medical profession, and that ultimately laws in relation to euthanasia are a matter for society and government.

The AMA’s position on euthanasia in no way suggests that, if laws were to change, doctors involved in voluntary assisted dying would be acting unethically. AMA Victoria supports all doctors acting within the law.

Furthermore, the implication that doctors who support the voluntary assisted dying are unethical is unacceptable to AMA Victoria. The medical community must be involved in the development of legislation, and AMA Victoria refuses to condemn supporters of voluntary assisted dying.

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