Catholic Medical Association Speaks Out Against Fellow Medical Organization’s Decision to Take a “Neutral Stance” on Physician-Assisted Suicide

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 17, 2018 – The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) today expressed deep disappointment and concern over the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) decision to officially take a “neutral stance” on physician-assisted suicide. The move marks a shift in the American medical communities overall long and deeply held opposition to PAS.

“It is quite startling that the AAFP would be so diametrically opposed to the medical communities historical and long-standing opposition against physician-assisted suicide. It is in direct violation of the “do no harm” Hippocratic Oath. We at the CMA are dedicated to preserving life from birth to natural death and will continue to remain staunchly opposed to any form of assisted suicide. It goes against natural law,” said CMA President Peter T. Morrow, MD.

Last week, the AAFP announced it was formally adopting a position of “engaged neutrality” on physician-assisted suicide — or what it is now calling “medical aid in dying.”

Leading medical associations continue to regard any form of euthanasia at odds with the physician’s role as healer. Many warn that allowing such practices will lead to abuse of the most vulnerable including the sick and the elderly.

The AAFP also stated that it would back laws “that protect physicians from criminal prosecution for assisting terminally ill patients in ‘ending their suffering’ in states where such actions are permitted,” according to MedPage Today.

Dr. Michael Munger, who is president of AAFP, told the outlet that the reason his group took the new position was so they could advocate on the matter at future American Medical Association House of Delegates meetings.

Several CMA members testified at the AMA’s last House of Delegates meeting in June, speaking out against physician-assisted suicide. The American Medical Association, American College of Physicians and the World Medical Association have all recently reaffirmed their position against physician-assisted suicide.

The CMA along with the Patients’ Rights Action Fund, a national advocacy group that defends those targeted by pro-doctor assisted suicide legislation, is condemning the action and calling on the AAFP to reverse its decision.


The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of over 2,200 healthcare professionals consisting 104 local guilds. CMA’s mission is to inform, organize, and inspire its members, in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.

Susanne LaFrankie, MA,
Director of Communications
Catholic Medical Association
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
C: 609-868-2005
W: 484-270-8002 x. 16