Doctor-hastened death would only be appropriate after all other reasonable choices have been exhausted, says the head of the country’s largest doctors’ group.
Dr. Chris Simpson, newly installed president of the Canadian Medical Association, made the comments in advance of a landmark Supreme Court of Canada hearing expected to add fuel to the emotional end-of-life debate gaining urgency across Canada.
Simpson said there are enough doctors in Canada willing to perform doctor-hastened death, if the federal ban outlawing euthanasia were lifted.
But doctors first need safeguards to protect the vulnerable and a strategy to urgently shore up palliative care “so that this is not seen as a first, or second or even third choice, but a choice that’s appropriate for people after all other reasonable options are exhausted,” he said. [Full text]