The Massachusetts Medical Society is no longer opposing doctor-assisted suicide

The changes comes as state lawmakers consider a bill to allow it.

Waltham, MA -- 12/02/2017 - Members of the Massachusetts Medical Society line up to debate a resolve that would allow them to become neutral on the subject of medical aid in dying. (Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff)

Topic: 03assistedsuicide
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Members of the Massachusetts Medical Society lined up Saturday in Waltham to debate a resolve that would allow them to become neutral on the subject of medical aid in dying. –Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) — The Massachusetts Medical Society is no longer opposed to medical aid in dying as an end-of-life option for the terminally ill.

The society said Saturday its governing body voted to adopt a neutral position, which allows the organization to serve as a medical and scientific resource as part of legislative efforts that will support “shared decision making” between terminally ill patients and their physicians.

The statewide organization says physicians shouldn’t be required to practice medical aid in dying if it violates their ethical principles.

State lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow people with incurable conditions who are likely to die within six months to request medication from their doctors that can be self-administered to bring about a peaceful death. The bill includes provisions ensuring the patient is of sound mind.