Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Message to palliative care leaders - Hold fast to opposing MAiD.

The letter below is in support of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Leaders - Joint Call to Action.

Send your letters supporting the Call to Action to:
Leonie Herx MD PhD FCFP (PC)
President - Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP)
1A – 12830 – 96th Avenue., Suite 584
Surrey, British Columbia V3V 0C2

Sharon Baxter, MSW
Executive Director
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA)
Annex D, Saint-Vincent Hospital
60 Cambridge Street, North
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7A5
Dear Dr. Herx and Ms. Baxter

I am writing to celebrate and support the joint statement of the CHPCA and the CSPCP that distinguishes the difference between palliative care and MAID.

Palliative care is one of the most important bastions of Hippocratic medicine, in which patients can be reassured that they will receive care and comfort, but not be killed. Killing does not belong anywhere in the House of medicine, especially in palliative care.

I am a psychiatrist and medical ethicist who has been very involved in the U.S. and internationally— lecturing, publishing and publically debating the issue of MAID. I argue that it is neither good medical ethics nor good public policy. Along with this, I have been promoting palliative care as an approach that needs more access, funding and training programs. Physicians and our teams certainly can get out of the way of death, without administering death to patients.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) stands with the American Medical Association (AMA) against all forms of MAID. I helped to craft and establish the APA’s special position statement that focuses particularly on MAID for people with non-terminal conditions, such as psychiatric patients – stating that those practices are unethical: (Link)

If you would like to read more about my own efforts and on these issues there is a summary here: (Link).

Please continue to hold fast to your venerable ethical stance as pressure comes from organizations that are trying to push MAID down the slippery slope, through Palliative Care and beyond.

Mark S. Komrad M.D., DFAPA Faculty of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins, Tulane, and University of Maryland Author of, "You Need Help: A Step-by-Step Plan to Convince a Loved One to Get Counseling." 

No comments: