July 31, 2019 | From the Christian Post
Starting Thursday, New Jersey will become the eighth state in America to allow terminally ill residents to end their lives with a prescription from their doctor . . .
While . . . advocates of the law are elated, many in the medical community are still uncomfortable with the idea of ending lives they committed to preserve. There is currently no consensus on physician-assisted suicide according to the American Medical Association which provided opposing perspectives on the practice in May.
“It is understandable, though tragic, that some patients in extreme duress—such as those suffering from a terminal, painful, debilitating illness—may come to decide that death is preferable to life. However, permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good,” the AMA wrote in a May opinion expressing the perspective of members who oppose the practice.
“Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks. Instead of engaging in assisted suicide, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life,” it continued.
In the opinion supporting the moral basis for assisted-suicide, the group encouraged physicians who opposed the practice to, among other things, be clear with patients about what services they cannot provide in good conscience.
“In general, physicians should refer a patient to another physician or institution to provide treatment the physician declines to offer. When a deeply held, well-considered personal belief leads a physician also to decline to refer, the physician should offer impartial guidance to patients about how to inform themselves regarding access to desired services,” the AMA noted. (Excerpt from Christian Post.)