Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Canadian Medical Association urges respect for conscience rights for medical professionals.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in their response to the report of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying (the report) were concerned that the report required physicians, who object to killing their patients, to effectively refer their patients to a physician who will kill. The report also requires all publicly funded healthcare facilities to permit euthanasia and assisted suicide on their premises, including hospices and religiously affiliated healthcare institutions. The Coalition for HealthCare and Conscience have organized to protect the Conscience rights for medical professionals.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition published a summary of the report.

Dr Jeff Blackmer
The Canadian Press reported in an article written by Sheryl Ubelacker reported that Dr Jeff Blackmer, the CMA Vice-President of Medical Professionalism said:

The CMA, which represents about 80,000 physicians across the country, had argued during hearings to the committee that doctors who oppose assisted dying on grounds of conscience should not be required to refer patients to a colleague willing to provide or administer drugs that would end their lives.
"We were very disappointed to see it not incorporated into the recommendations,"
The CMA is proposing that physicians not be required to refer their patients to a physician who will kill, but rather that a central referral system be created. Blackmer stated:
the CMA had proposed an alternative -- the creation of a central mechanism to facilitate access to medically aided dying, which conscientious objectors could advise patients about.
According to the article, Blackmer also stated that physicians who are refusing to kill their patients have also said that they will leave Canada, if forced to refer.
"I in no way mean to sound alarmist, but I have heard from some colleagues that are near retirement age that if this does become enshrined in legislation, they will retire," 
"I know some colleagues who have said they'll move to a U.S. state. 
"I don't think those numbers are going to be huge, but certainly there is a subset of physicians who feel strongly enough about this that they would absolutely make changes in their practice, based on what the legislation might look like."
At the same time, post media reported that Jocelyn Downie, Canada's leading euthanasia lobbyist said that healthcare institutions should be financially penalized for not participating in euthanasia. According to the article:
Jocelyn Downie, a Dalhousie University law professor and expert on end-of-life law and policy, said provinces and territories should withhold funding from public institutions that refuse to offer legal health services on their premises, or a reasonable option for transfer.
Forced referrals and forcing healthcare institutions to participate in lethal injection proves that euthanasia is not about a "freedom of choice," but rather imposing death upon the culture.


gadfly said...

"Oh if you've got pinkeye/or got mono from your guy...*wink*"

Ontario doesn't need to create a central database. If you've seen the commercials Kathy put out with that annoying song, then you know there is a central number to call. Any doctor willing to kill can anonymously submit their name; anyone not willing to kill can point out the number. This isn't a perfect idea, but it is there.

If the gubmint can promote a number to call, then they can include killing professionals with that number...

Of course, that doesn't mean I agree with medical killing in the first place...but it would support conscience rights.

J Maitland said...

In any other context, most people would agree that the act of referral to someone who is willing to commit the crime would constitute being an "accessory" - giving generalized and/or limited help and/or encouragement.
So, we tell our doctors that they do not have to be the principals if it goes against their conscience but we insist they must be accessories?
What has happened to this world where there are so many people who think that this scenario makes sense?