Euthanasia

Working Symposium on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia July 19-20

We would like to thank everyone who made this event a success. We would like to thank the speakers, Alex Schadenberg, Dr. Paul Zeni, Dr. Deb Zeni, Dr. Ian Gentles and our interns (Julia Giancola, Christina Holmquist, Conor Sweetman, and Martha McNeely) for their insightful speeches at the symposium. Thank you also to Kathy Matusiak and Lorraine McCallum who contributed so much to the planning and publicity involved in the event and Professors Keith and Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy for graciously hosting us. To everyone who attended the event: your presence was so important to us and your contributions to the discussion were much appreciated!

Response to physician-assisted suicide in Canada by Jean Echlin

 
Jean Echlin, Palliative Care Nursing Specialist

Check ethics at the door

Check ethics at the door Re: Doctors’ Beliefs Must Not Impede Care: Ontario College, March 7. Published in National Post.

Something precious was lost when Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons voted to strip doctors of their universally recognized right not to participate in an action that violates a properly formed conscience.

Its arrogance was nicely captured in the quote from past president Dr. Marc Gabel, who told the college counsel, “You cannot kick someone out of your office without care” — a slanderous mischaracterization of physicians who wish to bow out of the referral process for abortion and doctor-assisted killing. The vote took place the same day the Canadian Medical Association reportedly defended a physician’s right not to be forced to refer against his/her moral beliefs.

Unacceptable to force doctors to participate in assisted dying against their conscience

Legalized physician-assisted death will usher in such a fundamental change in practice “we simply cannot accept a system that compels physicians to go against their conscience as individuals on something so profound as this,” CMA president Chris Simpson said in an exclusive interview.

Today’s letters: On assisted suicide, ‘the SCC has done its job, now it’s Parliament’s turn’

Yes, the Supreme Court decision mirrors public opinion on assisted suicide. Unfortunately public opinion is ill-informed. Three years ago, our elected MPs showed that they had thought more deeply about the subject than our judges. Showing considerable courage, they defied public opinion and overwhelmingly rejected a bill to legalize assisted suicide. I have been personally touched by this issue. Twenty years ago my terminally ill father asked me to help him kill himself. He didn’t want to be a burden. I pointed out that those he loved would be greatly saddened if he did this. Fortunately a skilled physician managed his pain and he was able to die a dignified, peaceful death.

Ian Gentles, Toronto.

Published in the National Post
Letters | February 17, 2015 | Last Updated: Feb 17 6:00 AM ET