World Medical Association reaffirms its strong opposition to euthanasia

By November 25, 2013 Recent News

Care Not Killing 21 August 2013
The World Medical Association has reiterated its strong opposition to euthanasia. From the WMA Resolution on Euthanasia:
Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical. This does not prevent the physician from respecting the desire of a patient to allow the natural process of death to follow its course in the terminal phase of sickness.
The WMA similarly opposes assisted suicide:
Physicians-assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession. Where the assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically. However the right to decline medical treatment is a basic right of the patient and the physician does not act unethically even if respecting such a wish results in the death of the patient.
From ancient times doctors have sought moral guidelines both to guide members of the profession and to safeguard patients. The earliest of these was the Hippocratic Oath which was written about 600BC and has become the basis for all subsequent ethical codes.
Its moral requirements are broadly consistent with the Judeo-Christian ethic and at one time graduating doctors had to swear it before they could commence practising.