Monday, February 11, 2019

Dr Will Johnston: It has become too easy to end patients' lives.

Dr Will Johnston responded to the article by Dr Sandy Buchman in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) titled: Why I decided to provide assisted dying. Buchman claims that Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), better known as euthanasia, is patient centred care.

Will Johnston's response was published in the BMJ on February 8.
As an ordinary Canadian family physician, I have seen a different side of the new ‘Medical Aid in Dying’ regime Dr. Sandy Buchman glowingly describes. The scheme was sold to us and the public as a rare matter of assisting the suicide of extreme terminal illness cases. By a year into it, hundreds (now thousands) had died and over 99% of the deaths were not by self-administration, but intravenously by doctors and nurses. The Canadian euthanasia death rate has continued to escalate, while funding for palliative care services has fallen in several provinces.

The wide eligibility criteria do not require any estimate of prognosis. Yet there is already intense social pressure to widen them further to include euthanasia of children, the healthy disabled, cognitively impaired, and mentally ill.

Ending life has been re-defined as ‘part of care’. An Ontario court ruling has confirmed that doctors who want nothing to do with euthanasia have to get involved by making an “effective referral”.

Few Canada doctors foresaw that “going neutral” would guarantee the arrival of euthanasia, or that promises of a shot in the arm for palliative care would be forgotten. Even fewer realised they would have no option but cooperate with providing death on demand.

It has become all too easy to end patients’ lives. Learn from our mistakes. 
Williard P Johnston
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Department of Family Practice. Vancouver BC
Links to a few stories of the failed experiment with euthanasia in Canada.


Voice of Gone Ballistic said...

When should a doctor put on a DNR.
When should a patient put on a DNR.

Nancy said...

Thank you so much for showing your LOVE beyond Valentine's Day, dear Dr. Johnston ! You deserve much love too! Thou Shall Not Kill People!