|April 8, 2019
MMA Committee Releases Updated Policy Statement on Physician-Assisted Suicide Before Legislature's Debate of Issue
The MMA has had a policy position in opposition to Physician-Assisted Suicide since a resolution adopted at the Annual Session on September 9, 2000 in anticipation of a question on the November 7, 2000 General Election ballot. Maine voters defeated the question. Since that referendum question, the Maine legislature has considered a bill on the topic every two years. In periodic polling, the MMA has observed an evolution in physician opinion on this topic which is reflective of evolving public opinion generally. The physician community appears as divided as the public at large, based on recent MMA polling.
In the wake of the legislature's debate on this topic in the last legislature, the MMA Board of Directors established an ad hoc committee of members interested in the issue to reconsider the MMA's policy on this issue. The result of several years of work by this committee is the draft Statement recently posted in the Spotlight Section of the MMA web site. The MMA Board of Directors will consider this Statement during its regular business meeting on Wednesday, April 24th.
Charles Pattavina, M.D., an emergency physician and Past President of MMA who chaired the ad hoc committee, will present the MMA's testimony at the public hearing on L.D. 1313 this Wednesday morning. The MMA encourages any interested member or non-member physician to express an opinion to the HHS Committee on Wednesday, to the MMA Board on 4/24, or to both. The public hearing before the Joint Standing Committee on Health & Human Services will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10th in Room 209 of the Cross State Office Building in Augusta.
If you have any questions about participating in the debate on this important issue, please contact Andrew MacLean, Interim CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell phone at 207-215-7462.
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