Consultation on CPSO Interim Guidance on Physician-Assisted Death
The following submission sets out the position of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) on referral, within the context of the provision of euthanasia and assisted suicide. The submission concerns a proposed policy by the state regulator of medicine in the province of Ontario, the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSO). The College proposed that its policy of “effective referral” for morally contested services be applied to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Among the excellent points made by the Association:
It is in fact in a patient’s best interests and in the public interest for physicians to act as moral agents, and not as technicians or service providers devoid of moral judgement. . . . medical regulators ought to be articulating obligations that encourage moral agency, instead of imposing a duty that is essentially punitive to those for whom it is intended and renders an impoverished understanding of conscience.