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URGENT Emails and Phone Calls Needed To the American Medical Association

Background:

There is an effort currently underway within the American Medical Association (AMA) to abandon its decades-long position opposing assisted suicide and take a neutral stance. At its July 2017 annual meeting, the AMA will consider taking a “neutral” position which essentially sends a green light to the states that legalizing is acceptable. However, we have recently been made aware that the AMA will hold an interim meeting on November 13 and 14 in Orlando where a special breakout session will be held on assisted suicide.

Both the national and state medical societies’ opposition to doctor-prescribed suicide have been instrumental in stopping the spread of these dangerous laws. In fact, when the Vermont and California medical societies took neutral positions, it was devastating to the efforts in the legislature to block legalization. Assisting suicide is now legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California, and the practice may have some legal protection in the state of Montana.

Action Needed

We are asking the following things:
1.      Please contact one or both contacts below via phone or email.
2.      Please restrict arguments to the suggested bullet points, in your own words.
3.      Speak with any physicians you know and urge them contact the AMA.
4.      Ask for a written response/ report any information received back to NRLC.

1.      Who to contact:

Dr. Andrew W. Gurman, MD, AMA President, andrew.gurman@ama-assn.org
330 N Wabash, Ste 43482
Chicago IL 60611-5885
312.464.5618 ph
312.464.4094 fx

Bette Crigger, PhD, CEJA’s Secretary, bette.crigger@ama-assn.org
Secretary, Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs
American Medical Association
330 N Wabash, Ste 43482
Chicago  IL 60611-5885
312.464.5223 ph
312.224.6911 fx

Based on both polling and the positive experience of many states fighting these assisted suicide laws, please try and restrict your arguments to one or two of the following:

2.      What to Say:

(Select one or more of the following statements and re-word or add your own thoughts.)

The AMA should retain its longstanding position in opposition to the legalization of assisted suicide because:

·         Medical professionals should focus on providing care and comfort to patients – NOT becoming a source of lethal drugs.  I would not want my doctor to have this power and suggest suicide to me as an “option.”

·         Will the government and insurance companies do the right thing – pay for treatment costing thousands of dollars – or the cheap thing – pay for lethal drugs costing hundreds of dollars?

·         Everyone knows someone who has been misdiagnosed or outlived a terminal diagnosis.

·         Wanting to die because of depression is treatable.  Millions of people are living proof.

·         Everyone agrees that dying in pain is unacceptable, however nearly all pain is now treatable. A patient in pain should find a new doctor.

·         Oregon is proof that general suicides rise dramatically once assisted suicide is promoted as a “good.”

·         My family member could die from taking lethal drugs and I wouldn’t know about it until he/she is dead because no family notification is required in advance.

·         Assisted suicide is a recipe for elder and disability abuse because it can put lethal drugs in the hands of abusers.

·         A relative who is an heir to the patient’s estate or an abusive caregiver can pick up the lethal drugs and administer them without the patient’s knowledge or consent.  There is no oversight and no witnesses are required once the lethal drugs leave the pharmacy

3.      Ask for a response:

Please send any replies to jpopik@nrlc.org

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