Newsletter, April 2018

Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia

Newsletter, April 2018
Improve care. Make Euthanasia unimaginable.

Dear friends,

The news cycle at the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia is very, very long. We’re not journalists: we’re doctors looking after sick people, who in our spare time try to protect patients, doctors and society from euthanasia, in part through our blog and newsletter.

In November 2017 the World Medical Association held a meeting in Rome to discuss end of life questions, and Dr. Jeff Blackmer of the CMA was there, urging the WMA to change its policy on euthanasia, which states that it is unethical. In January we published a criticism of his effort, and a few days later Dr. Blackmer sent us an article in response to our post. We are only now, having seen the new draft CMA Code of Ethics, returning to the conversation. Better late than never.

A very brief paraphrase of Dr. Blackmer’s article could be as follows… Continue reading editorial >>


Catherine Ferrier


Doctors’ voices

  • Two Toronto medical students reflect on the Ontario court decision against doctors’ freedom of conscience.
  • Radio interview in Cleveland Ohio with Dr. Paul Saba (starts at 23:00 min.).
  • Dr. Gilles Voyer, doctor and philosopher: “If we consider that humanity has never stopped moving towards a ban on homicide and that death is something that must happen in its time, euthanasia is a step backwards.”
  • Dr. Claire Fourcade, palliative care physician: Euthanasia: one injection, two deaths… “So, if I were then to close these conversations – even if asked to do so – by killing the one who had spoken with me: to prepare the syringe, go into the room, say a few words (which ones by the way?), inject the products, hear the last breath, comfort the family, and sign the certificate, then I think I too would die. The doctor in me would die.”
  • Dr. Béatrix Paillot, French geriatrician: “I beg you, let them live: they have so much to give!”
  • Dr. Wes Ely : What happens when a patient says, ‘Doc, help me die’.

If you have an article, letter or interview relevant to our work published in any media, please let us know at


Call to action

Consider signing the Declaration on Conscientious Objection in Medicine drafted by Professor David Oderberg at the University of Reading, England.

Explanation of the Declaration by Professor Oderberg.


In the news

  • The Société Française d’accompagnement et de soins palliatifs reacts to political pressures for euthanasia. Manifesto « Healing and comforting, YES. Causing death, NO ».
  • Quebec euthanasia statistics: 67% increase in euthanasia deaths in second year.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Balfour Mount, named to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
  • Congratulations to Dr. John Scott, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians.
  • If you have experiences related to our work that you would like to share with your colleagues, please send it to


From the trenches

The Vulnerable Persons Standard has launched a campaign for effective monitoring of MAID.

See the backgrounder on why monitoring is essential, a summary of the VPS recommendations in response to the government’s draft regulations, a link to the full text version of the VPS submission, and the new VPS Blog.

If you have experiences related to our work that you would like to share with your colleagues, please send it to



Educational resource in palliative care skills: Pallium Canada



28th annual conference of the Association québécoise de soins palliatifs in Drummondville May 3-4 2018.


In the literature

If you come across articles that could be of interest to colleagues in the Alliance please send the reference to



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