The Australian Medical Students’ Association declares support for voluntary assisted dying
The Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) announced its in-principle support for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) in a policy document released today. A total of 19 out of 21 AMSA representatives from every Australian medical school voted in favour of the policy.
AMSA President Rob Thomas said AMSA had a strong mandate from its membership, with just under 80 per cent of its 17,000 members supporting VAD with appropriate safeguards.
The medical students’ position is in opposition to that of their seniors at the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the personal views of the current AMA president Dr Michael Gannon.
The AMA Position Statement includes the following: “The AMA believes that doctors should not be involved in interventions that have as their primary intention the ending of a person’s life.”and “The AMA acknowledges that laws in relation to euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are ultimately a matter for society and government.” but that ” If governments decide that laws should be changed to allow for the practice of euthanasia and/or physician assisted suicide, the medical profession must be involved in the development of relevant legislation, regulations and guidelines….” – see AMA Position Statement on Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide 2016
However, the AMSA’s position is consistent with the AMA in their support for doctor’s rights to conscientiously object to providing voluntary assisted dying “as long as access is not unjustly compromised”.
Click for article in SMH and WA Today 25 October 2017 ‘Medical students declare support for euthanasia, opposing AMA stance‘Click to support the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.