A Second Country Practicing Medical Euthanasia Drops a Bomb


A follow-up to a previous article about the ethics of euthanasia and assisted suicide.


In October I wrote about the resignation of the Canadian Medical Association from the World Medical Association (WMA). As noted in that article, the resignation was ostensibly over Canada's concern regarding the inaugural speech of the new WMA President, which they claimed contained some plagiarism. The President subsequently apologized to the satisfaction of most of the membership. In fact however, Canada’s resignation followed right after the WMA did not move ahead with Canada’s request that the WMA soften its strong ethical stance against euthanasia and assisted suicide, as is being practiced in Canada. 

The Royal Dutch Medical Association also resigned from the WMA two months later, citing the Presidential incident as their reason for withdrawal. As one of the countries in the world most active in medical euthanasia (including psychiatric euthanasia), they too have been in opposition to the WMA’s strong stance against euthanasia, and wish it changed. Many understand that their reasons for resigning are similarly a transparent cover for their opposition to the WMA’s position. 

Perhaps the resignation of Canada and the Netherlands will lessen the pressure on the WMA to change its powerful and laudable position. It remains to see what Belgium is going to do. Perhaps these countries will establish a new organization-The World Medical Euthanizing Association?

Further reading: An Open Letter to Representatives of the World Medical Association

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