Last updated on: 8/22/2007 | Author: ProCon.org

American Geriatrics Society Biography

Position:
Con to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“1) Historically, the fundamental goal of the doctor/patient relationship has been to comfort and to cure. To change the physician’s role to one in which comfort includes the intentional termination of life is to alter this alliance and could undermine the trust between physician and patient. 2) Allowing voluntary active euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide opens the door to abuse of the frail, disabled, and economically disadvantaged of society, by encouraging them to accept death prematurely rather than to burden society and family. 3) It is the general consensus of the American Geriatrics Society that most individuals who consider physician-assisted suicide or voluntary active euthanasia do so out of fear of the dying process. The vast majority of patients can be comfortable (which might require sedation) and potentially could find meaning in the last phase of life and choose to forgo a life-sustaining treatment and accelerate dying… Most would choose to live if they had full confidence that the care system would serve them well.. 4) Legalization of physician-assisted suicide might thwart society’s resolve to expand services and resources aimed at caring for the seriously ill, eventually dying patient.”

American Geriatrics Society Position Paper on Physician-Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Active Euthanasia, November 2002

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“The AGS promotes high quality, comprehensive and accessible care for America’s older population, including those who are chronically ill and disabled. The organization provides leadership to health care professionals, policy makers and the public by developing, implementing and advocating programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy.”

American Geriatrics Society web site (accessed on Apr. 6, 2006)

Mission:

“The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit association of geriatrics health care professionals, research scientists, and other concerned individuals dedicated to improving the health, independence and quality of life of all older people.”

American Geriatrics Society web site (accessed on Apr. 6, 2006)

Other:
None Found
Quoted in:
  1. Would Improving Palliative Care Decrease Patient Requests for Physician-Assisted Suicide?
  2. What Is Physician-Assisted Suicide?