April 3, 2019

Catholic Medical Association Opposes Recommendations of American Nurses Association to Support Physician-Assisted Suicide

PHILADELPHIA, PA– April 3, 2019 –The Catholic Medical Association is urging Catholics to voice their opposition to proposed recommendations made by the American Nurses Association which support Aid in Dying (AID)—or physician-assisted suicide.

According the recommendations, the ANA wants nurses to “remain non-judgmental when discussing end of life options with patients, who are exploring AID.”

“These guidelines compromise not only the patient’s life, but also the conscience rights of nurses everywhere,” said Dr. John Schirger, President of the CMA.

Though the recommendations give nurses the right to “conscientiously object” to participating in the AID process, the guidelines also state a “nurse must never “abandon or refuse to provide comfort and safety measures to the patient” who has chosen AID.”

Additionally, per the ANA proposal, nurses must “ensure the ongoing care of the patient considering AID by identifying nurse colleagues willing to provide care.”

“A nurse or any health care provider should never abandon a patient or refuse comfort and care to a patient. But AID is not care and is the ultimate abandonment of a patient. Forcing the nurse to facilitate AID makes the nurse complicit in such abandonment,” said Dr. Marie Hilliard, Co-Chair of the CMA’s Ethics Committee.

The CMA stands in support of the National Association of Catholic Nurses which is calling on Catholics to submit comments in opposition to these recommendations to the ANA Center for Ethics and Human Rights Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board is accepting comments through April 8, 2019.

To submit a comment online visit: https://fs30.formsite.com/ANA_NursingWorld/rgmyrzph6s/index.html


The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of over 2,300 healthcare professionals consisting of 102 local guilds. CMA 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.

Jill Blumenfeld
Communications Manager
Catholic Medical Association
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
C: 412-398-3011
W: 484-270-8002 x 16