The Massachusetts Medical Society voted Saturday to drop its opposition to physicians being able to help terminally ill patients end their lives.
The society adopted the resolution after hours of impassioned debate. The resolution defines "medical aid in dying" as "the act of providing care — palliative, hospice, compassionate — to patients at the end of life."
Moving forward, the society says it will be "neutrally engaged" in the debate over medical aid in dying -- which, if legalized in the state of Massachusetts, the society would recognize as an option for end-of-life care.
Supporters of the resolution call medical aid in a dying a way to ensure dignity for terminally ill patients. Opponents called the move the first step down a slippery ethical slope.