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AMA Resists Embracing “Neutrality” on Physician-Assisted Suicide

June 11, 2019 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

Yesterday, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates voted to retain the current position of the AMA RE physician-assisted suicide. That was the recommendation of the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA), and the CEJA report was accepted by a 65:35 majority, according to the National Right to Life News.

CEJA is responsible for maintaining and updating the AMA’s Medical Code of Ethics, and promoting “adherence to the Code’s professional ethical standards.” Last year, CEJA recommended maintaining the long-held AMA stance against physician-assisted suicide, but the House of Delegates rejected that recommendation. Further ...read more

Medicine’s Schizophrenic Approach to Suicide

June 14, 2018 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

On 10 May 2018, Medscape Medical News published an article about the recent suicides — five days apart — of an NYU psychiatry resident and a medical student. Marcia Frellick, reporting for Medscape, wrote

The university confirmed the deaths to Medscape Medical News in a statement: “We were saddened to learn of the recent deaths of one of our medical students and one of our psychiatry residents, both by suicide. Counseling and support services are being offered to students, faculty, and staff. On behalf of the institution, we extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, ...read more

Helping Patients Live vs. Helping Them Die

June 6, 2017 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

Cultural Suicide On Sunday, 28 May 2017, The Tennessean published a full page set of articles on the problem of suicide amongst the armed forces in our nation. The year 2012 saw a peak of 22 U.S. veterans killing themselves per day (Jake Lowary, “‘I can’t do barbecues:’ Veteran says“). The Department of Veterans Affairs plans a 7.5 percent budget increase to $186.1 million in 2018 — all to address suicide prevention, the department’s “highest clinical priority” (Jake Lowary, “Suicide rising in the military, but some programs give veterans hope“).

In light of these sobering statistics, it ...read more

Jumping to Dying

September 30, 2012 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.

Executive Director

“Jump off!”

“Stop wasting our time, we’ve been here for ages, do us a favor!” the crowd gathered outside the McDonald’s restaurant shouted to the man 50 feet above them.

The 38-year-old, after eleven hours of police negotiation, relented and did not commit suicide. At least one witness was horrified at the crowd’s reaction. The March 2011 Daily Mail titled the story, “Sick Britain: The jeering crowds who urged suicidal man on McDonald’s roof to ‘jump off’.”

That was Britain in 2011. In the United States in 2012, we have our own ...read more