Thursday, April 20, 2017

Health Professionals opposing euthanasia require conscience protection

Helen McGee (left)
Dr Novosedlik (right)
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Medical professionals in Ontario are urging the provincial government to recognize their right to conscientiously object to participating in euthanasia and assisted suicide (MAID). Physicians and other medical professionals in Canada formed the Coalition for Healthcare and Conscience to protect their conscience rights.

Dominik Kurek interviewed a palliative care doctor and a mental health nurse for the Scarborough Mirror concerning their work protecting conscience rights in Ontario.

Natalia Novosedlik is a palliative care doctor who believes that euthanasia and assisted suicide are contrary to her role as a physician. The Mirror reports:

“I really feel we’re here to heal and to support people. To me that can’t include ending life,” she said. 
“I feel that if I were to make a referral and directly be responsible for engaging a patient in a process which has the potential to lead to their life being ended, that to me is a form of active participation in the act of ending a life.”

Helen McGee is a registered nurse who works with people who are living with mental illness. The Mirror stated:
Helen McGee who has provided care to people suffering from mental illness is concerned what MAID laws could mean for her patients. Mental illness alone is not enough to qualify a person for MAID, but mental illness and another disease, such as cancer, is. She worries that future amendments to the law could allow for mental illness to be the sole reason for MAID.
Novosedlik and McGee both presented to the Ontario government committee urging the government to include conscience rights in Bill 84, the bill to regulate euthanasia in Ontario.

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