Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Doctors oppose euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr Will Johnston
Politics within the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has created a situation whereby members of the CMA oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, but the leadership appear to be supporting euthanasia and assisted suicide without the support of the membership.

Dr Will Johnston, the Chair of EPC - BC, is a member of the CMA. Johnston has suggested that the CMA has "pulled a fast one" and wants the CMA to hold a referendum on the issue. Johnston said that the CMA is:
“run by people who want assisted suicide and euthanasia and they are purporting a big change in the views of doctors on this. If they were sincere they would hold a referendum.”
The following letters were published in the National Post on December 24, 2014. 

Dr. Ewan C. Goligher, Toronto.
As a young physician, I find the CMA’s recent change of heart on the ethics of euthanasia disconcerting and disappointing. It remains unclear why, after sustained opposition to euthanasia on ethical grounds, the organization’s stance has so rapidly changed. Were the prior ethical principles misconstrued? Do ethical principles really blow with the winds of prevailing public opinion? 
The CMA must decide whether to advocate for or against euthanasia. In failing to firmly uphold its previously clear ethical position, it is tacitly admitting that euthanasia is potentially ethical and undermining those physicians who will remain firm in their commitment to the incalculable worth of our patients’ lives, even in the face of awful suffering and loss.
Dr. Roy Eappen, Montreal.
I am a physician. My job is to heal when I can and relieve suffering as best I can. My job is not to kill my patients. If it were, how could my patients ever trust me? I am troubled by the latest attempts to legislate doctor-assisted suicide. This could easily be used to rid society of the vulnerable and the handicapped. 
I am a member of the CMA and believe we should be fighting this. The judges won’t have to kill patients if they rule that assisted suicide is legal. Doctors will. Parliament clearly voted against this recently. 
I hope the judges of the Supreme Court rule against this immoral course of action.
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