Thursday, April 26, 2012

Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians Oppose Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Great News:
The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) have recently published a position paper opposing the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide, promoting improvements to palliative care in Canada and making clear distinctions between euthanasia, assisted suicide and Palliative Care.

The CSPCP also published the results of a survey of their members that confirms that an overwhelming majority of their members do not support euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Information from the CSPCP explains the survey results in this way:


CSPCA Euthanasia Survey Results

The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) represents nearly 300 member physicians who provide care to the dying. Our mission is to advance the quality of life of our patients and their families.

The CSPCP acknowledges that euthanasia and assisted suicide are important issues that face Canadians, and currently its legalization is being debated in British Columbia and Quebec.

To enable the CSPCP Board to make a position statement, a survey of our members was conducted in November 2010 to determine whether they favoured legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide, and also if they would be willing to participate in either activity.

The survey used the definitions and glossary of the Quebec National Assembly for clarification and standardization. Definitions are as follows:
Euthanasia - "An act that consists of deliberately causing the death of another person to put an end to that person's suffering."
Assisted Suicide - "The act of helping someone commit suicide by providing the means or the information on how to proceed, or both."
Almost half (46%) of CSPCP members responded to the survey, and the overwhelming majority were OPPOSED to the legalization of euthanasia (88%) or assisted suicide (80%).
* 90% of responding members would not be willing to participate in the act of euthanasia.
* 83% of responding members would not be willing to aid in assisted suicide.
Based upon the survey results, the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians strongly oppose the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide at this time, and most of its members are unwilling to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Any questions about the survey or the CSPCP should be directed to Kathy Robberstad: (780) 735-7727 kathy.robberstad@albertahealthservices.ca

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