Massachusetts Citizens for Life Board Member Mark J. Rollo, MD, wrote a fantastic op-ed in the Worcester Telegram opposing physician-assisted suicide, which we strongly encourage you to read.
With its decision to withdraw opposition toward physician assisted suicide, the Massachusetts Medical Society has turned back the clock to a time when physicians were not trusted.
Hippocrates practiced medicine when physicians could choose to heal their patients or to kill them. He realized that caused physicians to be mistrusted and so he penned the Hippocratic Oath, a version of which many doctors doctors still take today. That oath states in part, “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asks for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.” The Massachusetts Medical Society decided that this patient-protecting oath was obsolete when delegates voted to abandon their long-held opposition to physician assisted suicide. It was only six years ago that the Massachusetts Medical Society voted overwhelmingly to maintain its opposition to prescribing lethal drugs.
The Massachusetts Medical Society House of Delegates adopted a position of “neutral engagement,” moving from opposing assisted suicide to not opposing “medical-aid-in-dying,” which is the current euphemism for physician assisted suicide. But true assistance for people who are dying already exists. The Commonwealth’s wonderful hospice and palliative care programs could help alleviate pain and suffering and enable patients to die a natural painless death in nearly every single case. Those who don’t are not availing themselves of these resources, don’t have access to them, or need a new doctor.
If you are a doctor, please consider joining Dr. Rollo for a press conference from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 31st on the Grand Staircase at the Massachusetts State House. A gathering of physicians will express their opposition to assisted suicide and meet with legislators immediately after the event. Contact MFI’s Director of Community Alliances Michael King (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in attending.
Massachusetts is dangerously close to legalizing physician assisted suicide, and we need as many medical professionals as possible to speak out!