The establishment of a national doctors’ group supporting voluntary euthanasia (VE) emerged from discussions between the national group Doctors for AMA Neutrality and the recently established state group South Australian Doctors Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia. Doctors for Voluntary Euthanasia Choice is the outcome of this merger.
In the context of patients with no realistic chance of cure or relief from intolerable distress and who would like to gently end their lives, the primary aim of Doctors for Voluntary Euthanasia Choice is to legalise VE. Part of this objective is to ensure that professional medical bodies adopt or maintain a neutral attitude towards the legalisation of VE in order to reflect the range of views of their membership.
To achieve our broad aim, we seek to strengthen societal and political recognition of the need for VE. We do so by providing evidence that the practice of VE can be ethical, that it is actively sought for by patients in Australia, and that it is acceptable to Australians.
We convey the evidence through courteous communications to professional medical bodies, politicians and to the general public through the media, usually through writing letters. Occasionally, members of Drs4VEchoice who are willing may be asked to participate in radio or television discussion of these issues.
Letters from Doctors for Voluntary Euthanasia Choice
Letters are written by representatives and presented on Doctors for Voluntary Euthanasia Choice letterhead, with an appended list of names and qualifications of group members who have agreed to ‘sign’ the correspondence.
The letters also appear on a private web page for inspection by members at which point additional non-automatic signatory members may decide whether to add their signature.
After a prescribed period, letters with the signatories are posted.