The American Medical Association Has Mixed Opinions On Death

Julia Cohen | Reporter

The American Medical Association (AMA) backed sweeping gun control measures, but rejected a stance against physician-assisted suicide at its annual meeting on Tuesday.

The gun control positions the AMA adopted included:

  • Allowing “family members, intimate partners, household members and law enforcement personnel” to petition a court to take away an individual’s firearm if there is “high or imminent risk for violence”
  • Preventing those under domestic violence restraining orders or convicted of domestic violence crimes from possessing a firearm
  • Advocating for gun-free zones in schools
  • Raising the minimum age of firearm purchase to 21
  • Opposing concealed carry reciprocity

“People are dying of gun violence in our homes, churches, schools, on street corners and at public gatherings, and it’s important that lawmakers, policy leaders and advocates on all sides seek common ground to address this public health crisis,” AMA Immediate Past President David Barbe said in a Tuesday press release. (RELATED: White House School Safety Commission Won’t Look At Firearms Despite Administration Claims)

The AMA, however, rejected a report that recommended the organization remain opposed to assisted suicide on Monday. The report was meant to re-examine the AMA’s official stance that “permitting physicians to engage in assisted suicide would ultimately cause more harm than good,” but came to the same conclusion.

Assisted suicide is currently legal in Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, Washington and the District of Columbia.

“There’s a conflict that is very worrisome,” Dr. Theodore Mazer, president of the California Medical Association, told the Chicago Tribune on Monday. “It puts physicians at risk of being in conflict with the (AMA’s) code of medical ethics.”

The vote does not officially change the position of the AMA. However, it does mean that further investigation into the issue of assisted suicide will be required.

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