LETTER TO CONGRESS
CMA Letter to Congress on DC Assisted Suicide
Christian Medical Association letter on behalf of our members opposing "The Death with Dignity Act of 2015." Supporting document is pending publication.
January 23, 2017
The Honorable James Lankford Chairman,
Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management
United States Senate 316 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Brad Wenstrup, MD
United States House of Representatives
2419 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senator Lankford and Representative Wenstrup:
On behalf of the 18,000 members of the Christian Medical Association and the 30,000 constituents of Freedom2Care, we write to thank you for and to support your resolutions of disapproval to overturn “The Death with Dignity Act of 2015” (Act 21-577), which legalizes physician-assisted suicide in the District of Columbia.
We offer the attached rationale and evidence, including published medical research, in support of overturning this measure that poses danger to patients, to the medical profession and to society. To summarize the rationale and evidence outlined in the attached paper:
1. Patients already have the ability to decline extraordinary measures that only prolong death, and to receive aggressive pain relief and palliative care.
2. Doctors cannot accurately predict life expectancy.
3. Doctors all too frequently misdiagnose illnesses.
4. Assisted suicide encourages judgment of the disabled as "life unworthy of life."
5. Empowering doctors to kill disempowers patients.
6. Financial and personal pressures create a "duty to die."
7. Distrust inhibits minority healthcare access.
8. Undiagnosed depressed but treatable patients will choose suicide.
9. A rise in non-assisted suicides follows legalization of assisted suicide.
10. Home-stored lethal chemicals are unlocked loaded guns. For these reasons and many more, the DC assisted suicide measure is dangerous to patients, to the medical profession and to society, and we urge its disapproval by Congress.
Thank you for your efforts to protect patients and for your consideration of these views.
David Stevens, MD, MA (Ethics)
Jonathan Imbody Director,