Tuesday, December 13, 2011
It's no surprise that the Massachusetts Medical Society has affirmed it's stance on opposition to aid in dying. The Dignity 2012 campaign which has put aid in dying on the ballot next year is receiving a lot of attention and I expect the MMS was under pressure to reassert their position. The Boston Globe article is interesting for one point, however: the announcement was made without MMS polling it's members. In other words, the decision was made by leadership. I suspect that, like most medical societies in the US, leaders feel that coming out in support of aid in dying is still too nuanced a position and one that continues to undermine faith in doctors if publicly stated. Yet, the double effect, a practice that allows a doctor to give a patient a lethal dose of medicine so long as the intent is to keep the patient comfortable, even if it kills them, is still upheld across the country. Between aid in dying and the double effect, one has to ask, where is the bright line? At public perception, apparently.
The National Catholic Register also weighs in this week on Dignity 2012, outlining for readers what the Catholic Church is doing in that state to combat legalization (and neglecting to count Montana as one of the states where it is legal). Most of the article's quotes from Catholic leadership echo last June's announcement by the Catholic Church of a new campaign to fight aid in dying. A clip from the article: