Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Will physicians be left out of the debate?

-Jennifer Derwey

An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal warns that physicians "could soon be left in the legal vacuum" with regard to the practice of euthanasia. CMDS is dedicate to giving doctors and dentists a voice in this debate. 

Find out more on how you can be a leading voice on this topic by visiting our educational project website for the CMDS film, The Gift: Living Fully, Dying Naturally, here. 

More from the Ottawa Citizen,

...physicians could soon be left in a legal vacuum if the Supreme Court of Canada rules later this year that laws banning doctor-assisted suicide violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, experts argue in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
Polls show that support for assisted death is high and growing, said Dr. James Downar, an assistant professor in the division of critical care and palliative care medicine at the University of Toronto.
“The ‘yes-no’ debate is about to become obsolete,” Downar said.
“Physician-assisted death (which covers both physician-assisted suicide involving giving patients a lethal prescription they take themselves, and euthanasia involving administering a lethal injection to the patient) is going to become legal in Canada in the very near future by one means or another” and crucial questions need to be answered, he said, including when does suffering become “intolerable” and how long must it last before doctor-assisted death could be granted? Would psychological or “existential” angst be grounds for seeking a lethal injection?

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