Thursday, January 31, 2019

Canadian Medical Association exaggerates its support for conscience rights.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a commentary How the Canadian Medical Association found a third way to support all its members on assisted dying by Jeff Blackmer, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) VP of International Health, which conflates the CMA involvement in protecting conscience rights for Canadian physicians.

Blackmer says that changing their position on euthanasia and assisted suicide (MAiD) enabled the CMA to become involved in the public consultations and implementation of the law and ensure legal and conscience protections for physicians who support and oppose MAiD. Blackmer states:

The CMA recognised that its policy needed to evolve: if the law were to change, the organisation would support all its members, regardless of their views, in deciding whether to participate in MAID. This was a watershed moment, enabling the association to lead national discussions and to give evidence before Canada’s Supreme Court. 
The association also spent many hours advocating for members who did not want to be forced to participate in MAID in any way, including by referring a patient to another physician for this intervention. The Supreme Court in its ruling quoted from the CMA’s submission and clarified that no healthcare practitioner should be forced to participate against his or her wishes.
The claim that the CMA have supported members who object to participating in MAiD, conflates the truth. 

The CMA has not effectively protected conscience rights for Ontario physicians. In Ontario physicians who will not refer for MAiD have been forced to defend themselves in court to protect their conscience rights. Link to Ontario campaign.

Consider the recent attempt by Blackmer and the CMA to lobby the World Medical Association to become neutral on euthanasia and assisted suicide. It appears that Blackmer, the CMA International lobbyist, had this article published in the BMA to hoodwink UK doctors to support neutrality on assisted suicide. Blackmer presents a false story about the freedom Canadian physicians have concerning MAiD. 

Once MAiD is legal, the pressure is put on physicians to provide.


margaret somerville said...

Alex, there is no neutral position on PAS-E (MAiD)as Jeff Blackmer claims is true of the Canadian Medical Association position. If one is not against it, one is for it in some form.
Margo Somerville

Unknown said...

The CMA and their local chapter of the Quebec Medical Association did not and has not intervened or supported my ongoing legal battle in Quebec against euthanasia including my refusal to refer. Dr.Paul Saba MDCM

Anonymous said...

Nursing is also not protected in Ontario.