Wisconsin Medical Society Rejects Assisted Suicide Again

State   |   Andrew Bair   |   Apr 25, 2012   |   8:12PM   |   Madison, WI

The Wisconsin Medical Society has rejected a resolution that would have changed the organization’s longstanding opposition to physician-assisted suicide.

It has long been the strategy of euthanasia advocates to win over medical associations in hopes of ultimately winning over state legislatures and the general public. This resolution is not the first attempt by euthanasia advocates to change the Wisconsin Medical Society’s position. Similar resolutions have been rejected several times since 2009.

The Massachusetts Medical Association made a similar decision in December 2011. Euthanasia advocates targeted Massachusetts in preparation for a referendum this year on the legalization of assisted suicide, which will appear on the November ballot. The American Medical Association also rejects physician-assisted suicide.

Wisconsin Right to Life, the state’s largest pro-life organization, applauded the decision by the Wisconsin Medical Society.

Executive Director Barbara Lyons said,  “Doctor-prescribed suicide is most detrimental to older people and those with disabilities. Given the way it is carried out in the few states where it is legal, it is a recipe for elder abuse, giving a few selected medical professionals and family members too much power in determining when a person should die.”

In Oregon, it has been used as a cost-saving measure, where patients were told that the state would not pay for expensive treatment, but would pay for suicide pills even though the patients did not request them. We are extremely pleased that the Wisconsin Medical Society recognizes these dangers for patients and medical professionals and continues to maintain its position in opposition to legalization of doctor-prescribed suicide.”

Physician-assisted suicide also went down in defeat in Vermont earlier this month when euthanasia advocates tried to attach pro-assisted suicide language to a bill regulating tanning beds. The attempt marks the second failure in Vermont this year for the euthanasia movement, which had viewed liberal Vermont as the ideal front for their legislative efforts.