Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ontario physicians who oppose assisted suicide are legally challenging CPSO referral requirement.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Coalition for HealthCare and Conscience is seeking a judicial review of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) policy requiring physicians who oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, to refer patients to a physician who will kill.

According to the Coalition:
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CSPO) demands that doctors who conscientiously object to assisted suicide refer patients seeking to end their lives to other physicians who will provide the procedure. 
No other foreign jurisdiction that has legalized assisted suicide requires doctors to perform or refer for this procedure. Other provinces have already implemented guidelines to protect doctors who object to providing or referring for assisted suicide.
Larry Worthen, the executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, and one of the coalition group members stated:
“The current approach of the CPSO demands that doctors set aside their morals and go against their conscience to directly refer for assisted suicide,” 
“In our view, effective referral and participating in assisted suicide are morally and ethically the same thing.”
Three physicians groups are working together to legally challenge the CPSO policy. The Coalition is demanding that the CPSO amend their policy to enable physicians who oppose assisted suicide to continue to practise medicine in Ontario. According to the Coalition:
Protecting conscience rights of health practitioners would require only minor accommodations, such as allowing patients direct access to an assessment or allowing complete transfer of care to another physician. 
A strong majority of Canadians are on side with the coalition’s beliefs on conscience protection. A recent Nanos Research poll found that 75% of Canadians agreed that doctors “should be able to opt out of offering assisted dying,” compared with 21% who disagreed.
Larry Worthen emphasizes that Conscience rights can and must be protected:
“There are ways to respect patients’ wishes while protecting conscience rights,” 
“Not to do so is discrimination against people for their morals and convictions, which are protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
The Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience represents a group of like-minded organizations, including representing more than 110 healthcare facilities (with almost 18,000 care beds and 60,000 staff) and more than 5,000 physicians across Canada, that are committed to protecting conscience rights for faith-based health practitioners and facilities. We were brought together by a common mission to respect the sanctity of human life, to protect the vulnerable and to promote the ability of individuals and institutions to provide health care without having to compromise their moral convictions.


gadfly said...

The philosophy teacher Udo Shuklenk said publicly on his blog about a month ago that doctors or other health care representatives who disagreed should leave the profession. I have seen the same sentiment from the general wisdom of the public. There is a movement afoot to create a silent culture of consent, with social control of dissenters. So our democratic right to object - for what might be good reasons: abuse, misdiagnosis...will be subordinate to the officially sanctioned act of killing. Ah, democracy!

Jule Koch said...

We live in a dictatorship

pragmaticbboomer56 said...

This is unfortunately the way our democracy in the US is headed. Udo Shuklenk has not taken the Hippocratic Oath. Why should the rights of doctors and healthcare workers be disregarded? How many assisted suicides are being performed in Canada?

Lise said...

Where is our world going to when Our Doctors are asked to kill, or, send people to the slaugterhouse, because They have Morality issues and for them Euthanasia or referrals go against their beliefs. should be ashamed..One day , your turn will come

Voice of Gone Ballistic said...

I do not understand. Does refer mean that the primary physician is still the doctor for the patient who wants MAID.

Voice of Gone Ballistic said...

The CPSO is using the argument that it is the patient's decision for MAID and the health professional must do what the applicant wants. The question should also say and what if the health professional did not follow the mandate of the CPSO. I would ascribe to "nothing." Bill C-14 says physicians have conscientious objection so I do not know how the CPSO can override Bill C-14. This whole thing about killing someone a few days before they are going to die anyways is ridiculous.

Voice of Gone Ballistic said...

Doctors do not take the Hippocratic Oath. That went out with the dinosaurs.

I have no idea of how many assisted suicides/lethal injections are being performed in Canada as such information is not for the public to access easily.

Cheryl said...

I have worked in the fields of oncology and palliative care for over 25 years. I think MAID is bring driven by people who have not worked in these fields. If we can provide good palliative care, assisted dying should not be needed.
Is this a financial decision, then? Is it cheaper to have assisted dying, however you phrase it,, than to put more money toward palliative care?