Dear Colleagues in the CMA-USA,

It is a great pleasure to address all of you. This will be the first edition of “Grand Rounds,” a new internal communication to directly inform you on the critical work being performed by the CMA.

This week we have a very important issue that needs your immediate attention. As you may be aware the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) has made the recommendation to maintain AMA opposition to Physician Assisted Suicide and to reject amending the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics. While this is very encouraging it is not a complete victory. The CEJA recommendation will have to be approved by the House of Delegates at the general meeting June 9-13.

Below are the steps we all must take:

1. It is most important to comment at the AMA’s online forum in favor of retaining the AMA’s current position opposed to Physician Assisted Suicide. This link will give you access to the online forum to make a comment. You will need to make an account with your email and create a user name and password. Click Here.

Suggested format for responding to the AMA online forum

Congratulate the AMA’s CEJA for its recommendation not to amend the Code of Medical Ethics and to maintain its long-standing position against Physician Assisted Suicide.

Add a Talking Point:

“The sacred tradition or Hippocratic tradition of the medical profession is to help the sick with never a view to injury or wrong doing, nor administer a poison to anyone even if asked.”

“Public trust in the medical profession is based on the good will of the physician to benefit the patient and not to harm them, premium non nocere.”

“Physicians are asked to heal even when cure is not possible. The mission should be to focus on improving access to excellent hospice and palliative care.”

Close with a statement about your desire to encourage delegates to support this decision at the AMA meeting in June.

2. Urge all AMA delegates and alternates to speak out and vote in favor of the CEJA’s recommendation and encourage participation in every step of this process: state and regional discussions, comments to the reference committee, and debate and vote at the House of Delegates

3. Contact your state AMA delegates. A friendly discussion with your AMA delegate could be very important. A list of delegates for each state is attached.

It is imperative that we respond quickly and complete this critical task as soon as possible. We need to work and pray that the AMA holds firm on its opposition to Physician Assisted Suicide. So many lives are in the balance.

Sincerely in Christ,

Peter T. Morrow, MD
2018 President