In an Amicus brief by the NEW MEXICO PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION in Morris and Mangalik vs New Mexico State, a clear description of why this organisation chooses to change the name of (assisted) suicide in “aid in dying”:
In adopting the term “Aid in Dying,” the New Mexico Psychological Association joins its sister organization, the Washington State Psychological Association, which has stated: “A person with a terminal illness is going to die even with, or despite, the best medical treatment available. The designation of suicide is disrespectful to individuals with terminal illness who wish to have choice regarding death with dignity, and can be distressing and problematic emotionally, socially, psychologically, and financially, for family members and loved ones of dying individuals.” Judith R. Gordon, New WSPA Policy on Value-Neutral Language Regarding End-of-Life Choices, Wash. State Psychological Ass’n. (Jan. 8, 2007), http://www.wapsych.org/resource/resmgr/Docs/New_WSPA_Policy_on_Value-Ne.docx. The term has been adopted by several other organizations and most academic writers. Even those who do not choose that terminology do not use “suicide” or “assisted suicide” to describe the AID process. See, for example, the new edition of the leading Health Law casebook, Furrow et al., Health Law (7th ed. 2013), which refers to “medically assisted dying.”
While several years ago terms like “assisted suicide” had been used to describe a competent, terminally ill patient’s decision to seek a physician’s help in prescribing medication that could hasten the dying process, over the last several years responsible health care providers, lawyers, academics and others have stopped referring to this process as any form of “suicide.” The general consensus is that “aid in dying” is more accurate, sensitive, and consistent with the professional literature in the field. “Aid in dying” is the better descriptive term, and it avoids presuming any sets of values. Consistent with the propriety of “aid in dying,” the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the American College of Legal Medicine (the organization of JD-MDs), the American Student Medical Association, and the American Medical Women’s Association have all recently rejected using the term “assisted suicide,” mostly in favor of “aid in dying.” For the most part, the only individuals and organizations continuing to refer to the practice using the word “suicide” are those who, for political, religious or philosophical reasons, advocate against it. In short, “assisted suicide” now is a pejorative term used primarily by those who believe it to be morally wrong.