From Richard V. Aghababian, M.D., President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, on the apparent defeat of Question 2, “Prescribing Medication to End Life.”
“We are pleased that the majority of voters agree that a physician’s role is to heal and comfort, not to aid in death. We reaffirm our commitment to provide physicians treating terminally ill patients all the resources necessary to enable them to contribute to the comfort and dignity of the patient and the patient’s family.”
Background: The Massachusetts Medical Society was opposed to Question 2, reflecting its current policy, adopted by the MMS House of Delegates at its 2011 Interim Meeting last December, when more than 75 percent of its delegates voted to reaffirm a policy opposing physician-assisted suicide first adopted in 1996.
MMS current policy also states that the Society “supports patient dignity and the alleviation of pain and suffering at the end of life” and that the Society “will provide physicians treating terminally ill patients with the ethical, medical, social, and legal education, training, and resources to enable them to contribute to the comfort and dignity of the patient and the patient’s family.”