Position Statement on Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide
 Position of The Academy
       1.  The request for Euthanasia and Physician-assisted suicide by patients and their families facing 
            terminal or life-limiting illness should be respected. The pain and suffering in physical,
            psychological, social, and spiritual aspects should be empathized and taken good care of.
       2.  Death is the natural course of life, and all terminally ill patients should be treated with high-
            quality medical care, including timely and equitable access to hospice palliative care, to relieve
            the physical-psychological-spiritual suffering of patients and families and ensure their quality
            of life and dignity.

      3.  The Academy does not support euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. Intentionally ending
           the lives of the patients is not an ideal solution to their suffering, but it may hinder them from
           the opportunity to proper control of their suffering.
      4.  Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide comply with neither medical professionalism nor
           medical ethics.
           Even if they become legalized in the future, physicians have the right to deny participating.
           Hospice palliative medical teams should not be responsible for overseeing or administrating
           these practices.
      5.  The public concern of euthanasia should first ensure that patients with terminal or life-limiting
           illness have access to quality hospice palliative care. If those patients can be properly cared for,
           then the issues around euthanasia could be discussed in a rational and comprehensive way in
           the society.

      6.  Hospice palliative care dose not prolong or hasten the process of dying of patients, and is
           different from euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide. In hospice palliative care approach,
           the care physicians provide dose not constitute euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

      7.  The following medical care approaches are not “Euthanasia” or “Physician-assisted suicide,”
           and they all comply with medical ethics:

           (1)  Under the status of terminal illness listed in “the Hospice Palliative Care Act” and hospice
                  palliative care, “Withholding, terminating, or withdrawing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
                  or life-sustaining treatment.”
           (2)  Under the specific clinical conditions listed in “the Patient Self-Determination Act,” and in
                  accordance with the “Advance Directives” of the patient, “Terminating, withdrawing, or
                  withholding life-sustaining treatments or artificial nutrition and hydration.”
           (3)  Under the related medical regulations, the preferred decisions made by those who can
                  make their own decision after thoroughly understanding the required information and
                  the rights of patients; physicians should respect the decision made by patients, even if
                  such a decision would likely lead to death.
           (4)  Align with hospice palliative care, medical professional opinions, and relevant medical
                  regulations, and the intervention-like medication prescribed (including Opioid, i.e.
                 morphine) to relieve end-stage and critical symptom is not intending to cause
                 patients’ death.
          (5)  Hospice palliative care will provide palliative sedation for some difficult to treat symptoms
                 in order to relieve the pain of end-stage and critical patients, but not to lead to their death.
Appeal of The Academy
      The general public, educational units, academic research institutes, government organizations, and
      policy makers should discuss and develop the following tasks:
       1.  Educate people that death is part of the natural course of life and should be faced with a
            positive and open attitude.
       2.  Secure the right to be “Free from physical, psychological, and spiritual pain due to the
            dying process” of patients and families.
       3.  Respect and understand the reasons of those who ask for “Euthanasia” or “Physician-
            assisted suicide,” and respond to their concerns, and provide the required care.
       4.  Provide end-stage patients with feasible and high-quality medical care, including
            hospice palliative care.
       5.  Work to expand and develop the hospice palliative care network to make it more accessible.
       6.  Provide consultation on the advanced directives for medical care and encourage patients to
            make advanced directive medical decisions.

     1.  Hospice palliative care
          To provide palliative and supportive medical care to relieve the pain of physical, psychological,
           spiritual of end-stage and critical patients to improve their quality of life.
     2.  Euthanasia
          Follow the willingness of patients who decide to use medication or any other intervention to
          terminate their life and intentionally end those patients’ lives.
     3.  Physician-assisted suicide
          Physicians assist patients who have made the decision to die intentionally by giving them
          advice on how to end their life or providing them with either medication or any other
          intervention to end their life.