There is no such thing as neutrality with assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The assisted suicide lobby is once again pressuring medical association's to become neutral on assisted suicide.

Last Monday, the American Medical Association (AMA) reacted to pressure from the Oregon Medical Association, to change the AMA stance on assisted suicide to neutral (Resolution 015) by establishing a Study on aid in dying.

Tomorrow, the British Medical Association (BMA) will vote on two motions.

The first motion (79 on the agenda): affirms that: 'it is not appropriate at this time to debate whether or not to change existing BMA policy'.

If the first motion is not passed they will debate a second motion (80) which states: 'that this meeting believes that the BMA should adopt a neutral stance on assisted dying'.

Physicians need to recognize that neutrality on euthanasia or assisted suicide does not exist. Either you support physicians lethally injecting patients (euthanasia) or writing prescriptions for lethal drugs (assisted suicide) or you don't.

Further to that, if euthanasia or assisted suicide become legal, physicians are pressured to participate.

In Belgium, physicians do not have to inject or refer their patients to a physician who will inject their patient, but physicians who are unwilling to refer patients are pressured to do so. A recent bill in the Belgian legislature would require physicians to refer for euthanasia.

For instance, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons have rejected conscience rights and decided that physicians don't have to lethally inject their patients, but they are required to "effec

tively refer" their patients to someone who will kill their patient.

Neutrality is only a stepping stone to legalization.

The assisted suicide lobby knows that the two most influential bodies of opposition to assisted suicide are the disability community and the medical community. If one or both of those communities become neutral, the odds of legalizing these acts substantially increase.

Whether a physician opposes or supports assisted suicide, it is never an issue of neutrality, and if it becomes legal, there is always pressure to participate in acts that cause death.