For Immediate Release
September 19, 2017
Contact: Benjamin Clapper
504.228.4273
bclapper@prolifelouisiana.org
American College of Physicians Reaffirms
Opposition to Assisted Suicide
Louisiana Physician Applauds Development
NEW ORLEANS - This week, the American College of Physicians (ACP) reaffirmed its opposition to physician-assisted suicide after a lengthy review of its position on the issue.  ACP, according to its website, is a "national organization of internists, the largest medical-specialty organization, and second largest physician group in the United States." The ACP's reaffirmation was given in a position paper updating its 2001 statement on assisted suicide.
 
In the conclusion of its abstract, the ACP states, "Society's goal should be to make dying less, not more, medical. Physician-assisted suicide is neither a therapy nor a solution to difficult questions raised at the end of life. On the basis of substantive ethics, clinical practice, policy, and other concerns, the ACP does not support legalization of physician-assisted suicide. This practice is problematic given the nature of the patient-physician relationship, affects trust in that relationship as well as in the profession, and fundamentally alters the medical profession's role in society."  
 
Frederick J. White III, MD, chair of the institutional ethics committee at Willis-Knighton Health System in Shreveport, has been closely involved in national discussions surrounding the American Medical Association's review of its position on assisted suicide. He applauds the ACP's decision.
 
"The American College of Physicians kept the best interest of patients in mind this week as it reaffirmed its opposition to physician-assisted suicide, even in the face of emotion-based support of the dangerous practice.  In its report, the ACP highlighted the often overlooked pitfalls of assisted suicide, including forever changing the role of a physician as healer .  As the American Medical Association continues its review of its position on assisted suicide, physicians and others opposed call on the AMA to carefully consider these influential statements of the American College of Physicians."

The American Medical Association, which continues to review its own policy in opposition to assisted suicide, could release a decision later this year. 
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Louisiana Right to Life
ProLifeLouisiana.org     1.866.463.5433    @LARightToLife

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