Hawaii Medical Association Opposes Physician-Assisted Suicide
by Alex Schadenberg | Honolulu, HI | LifeNews.com | 12/12/12 7:50 PM
Assisted Suicide is being pushed in Hawaii by Compassion & Choices (C & C), the lobby group that promotes assisted suicide. C & C has falsely claimed that assisted suicide is legal in Hawaii. We expect C & C to, once again, attempt to legalize assisted suicide in the Hawaii legislature this year.
The following article was written by Christopher Flanders and published on December 5, 2012 in the Honolulu Civil Beat under the title: Hawaii Medical Association Opposes Physician-Assisted Suicide.
Hawaii Medical Association Opposes Physician Assisted Suicide
By Christopher Flanders, Honolulu Civil Beat – December 5, 2012.
On October 5, Civil Beat ran a piece favorable to euthanasia activism by Chad Blair entitled “ New Aid-in-Dying Service Gets Inquiries.” At the end of the article, Civil Beat asks readers to respond to the question, “Is the aid-in-dying movement a humane approach to a difficult subject, or is it a violation of ethical standards?” I wish to respond on behalf of the Hawaii Medical Association.
Serving Hawaii since 1856, the Hawaii Medical Association (HMA) is a voluntary, professional membership organization for physicians, resident physicians, and medical students in the state of Hawaii. HMA is dedicated to serving physicians, their patients, and the community through representation, advocacy, and public service. HMA is part of the American Medical Association (AMA) and is the parent organization for Hawaii’s five component medical societies that operate independently, but in a network with the HMA in all four counties in the State of Hawaii.
Physicians, by nature of their calling, have compassion for those who suffer pain and indignity at the end of life. Instead of assisting those patients in committing suicide, this compassion and respect for patient dignity instills a demand on the profession to focus on the quality of care at the end of life….the cost to society of physician-assisted suicide is simply too high. The physician’s primary obligation is to advocate for the individual patient. At the end of life, this means that the physician must strive to understand and assist patients with various and unique existential, psychological and physiological factors that play out over the course of end-of-life care. Permitting physician involvement in assisted suicide would impose a significant and irreversible course change in the patient/physician relationship.
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About the author: Christopher Flanders is the executive director of the Hawaii Medical Association. He is a neuropathologist, trained at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.