LifeSiteNews 16 Sept 2013
An on-line poll of readers of the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the majority of American doctors are against physician-assisted suicide (PAS).
Based on 5,205 respondents from 72 countries, the poll showed that 67% of US readers opposed legalising PAS and a majority supported the practice in only 18 US states. Interestingly, this did not include Washington or Oregon, where PAS is already legal. Overall, 1,712 readers cast votes in the US.
The main reasons provided for opposing the practice were that it violates a doctors’ oath to do no harm and that it would likely lead to the legalisation of euthanasia, a far less palatable practice.
The survey follows the World Medical Association (WMA) reiterating its strong opposition to euthanasia. The WMA similarly opposes assisted suicide.
A 2011 study showed that doctors in the UK have opposed both euthanasia and assisted consistently over the past two decades. Researchers from Limerick, Ireland, used 16 key studies into doctors’ attitudes between 1990 and 2010. The findings appeared in the journal Palliative Medicine and further confirmed the fact that those doctors who favour a change in the law, constitute a small vocal minority.