Physicians, Conscience, and Assisted Dying.
The following post is by Alex Schadenberg, the International Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition 4th May 2017.
The article was originally written by lawyers, Derek Ross and Deina Warren and published on May 4 in the publication – Policy Options.
By requiring that physicians make referrals for assisted dying, Ontario is forcing them to leave medicine or abandon their ethical framework.
Of all the jurisdictions worldwide that permit some form of assisted suicide, Ontario stands alone in mandating that physicians participate in it.
Assisted suicide, or “medical assistance in dying” (MAID), as it is now known, was decriminalized in certain specific circumstances as a result of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Carter v. Canada and has been implemented through Bill C-14, which amended relevant sections of the Criminal Code in 2016.
But does permitting what was once a criminal activity now mean that all health care professionals must participate? Not according to the Supreme Court. In Carter the Court affirmed that nothing in its ruling would compel physicians to participate in assisted dying. Bill C-14 similarly affirmed that nothing in the amendments would affect the constitutional guarantee of freedom of conscience and religion.
And yet Ontario requires its physicians to participate. [Read more…]