Canada before the World Medical Association : Representation, or Misrepresentation ?

“On 16-17 November 2017, medical professionals, legal authorities, experts in palliative care and medical ethics, theological scholars and philosophers from over 30 countries gathered in the Aula Vecchia del Sinodo in the Vatican for the World Medical Association European Region Meeting on End-of-Life Questions.”

The World Medical Association’s stance on euthanasia is unambiguous: “Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives, ...

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Theory meets reality

Prior to legalisation of “medical aid in dying” (active euthanasia), from the comfort of an abstract theoretical detachment, 48 % of doctors in the city of Laval QC said they would be willing to intentionally cause the death of a patient. Another third diplomatically gave “conditional responses”. In other words, even among the people sufficiently politicised to respond at that time, fewer than half would be willing to perform euthanasia under the present criteria.

And that was before the ...

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Conscience and Common Sense

One of the most powerful reasons why people oppose euthanasia concerns the enormous significance of taking a human life. Doctors have historically made a solemn and specific professional commitment to respect the lives of those entrusted to them. But the Hippocratic Oath is in fact somewhat redundant, because the universal code of civilized human conduct, from the beginning of history — written and oral — is founded upon a general prohibition against killing. Whether in the religious formulation, “Thou shalt ...

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Stand firm

“Give the Devil his due”, states a familiar proverb.

And in some ways, our adversaries do deserve to be held up in example. With a small core of dedicated activists, through good years and bad, they kept up their pro-euthanasia agitation. For half a century (until the mid forties), they openly promoted euthanasia, not only as a benefit for the sick or disabled, but also as a sort of social hygiene, cutting away the dead wood, the costly dependents, the useless ...

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Position Statement on medical assistance in dying requests by “mature minors”, advance requests, and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition

At the beginning of October, the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia made a submission to the CCA Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying. The panel was convened at the request of the Canadian Minister of Health at the time, Jane Philpott, and the Canadian Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to examine the possibility of expanding euthanasia access to three situations: requests by “mature minors”, advance requests, and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical ...

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A Clear Choice

Healing is a miracle of nature. Just as the germination of a seed is such a miracle. But these miracles require a supportive environment in which to accomplish themselves. The seed needs soil and water, warmth and light. Healing requires protection of the fragile flame of life. Manipulation of chemical balance. Artificial delivery of food and oxygen. Replication of the function of whole organ systems.

Sometimes healing is complete; a crisis is past and no further support is required. Frequently, however, ...

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Clear Purpose in Troubled Times

Sadly, but also predictably, the ink is barely dry upon federal Bill C-14 yet there are already petitions before the Courts, both in Quebec and in British Columbia, on behalf of people who do not meet the criteria contained in that law. Specifically, the claim is made that suicidal patients should be allowed to receive state assistance in dying even if natural death is not “reasonably foreseeable”. Remember that a similar provision is present in Quebec’s Bill 52, which states ...

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Conscience and Canadian doctors

In the year since euthanasia became legal, we have witnessed a powerful political push to normalize it as part of medicine in Canada. Yet many doctors remain opposed to the practice. Most would like to see it rigorously limited. And some, for reasons of personal and/or professional conscience, refuse categorically to be part of it.

Unfortunately, our politicians have made it perfectly clear that they intend to ignore the judgement of opposing doctors and to stifle ...

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Dr. Robert’s regrets

On May 10, 2017, Dr. Yves Robert, Secretary of the Collège des médecins du Québec, asked the following question in a thoughtful article published on the CMQ website:

 “If the goal is euthanasia on demand based on a “right”, are we still talking about Medical Aid in Dying? Or simply Aid in Dying? And what, then, would the medical profession have to do with it?”

Considering the past positions espoused by the College and by Dr. Robert personally  – Continue reading →

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