A Swedish midwife vows to continue her battle for the right to refuse to participate in abortion.
Elinor Grimmark, a midwife, has stated that she chose the profession to help bring life into the world.
Sweden slammed the door on her career when Grimmark, a Christian, refused to participate in abortion on moral and ethical grounds. . . [Full text]
Lawyer Noel Wardle explains the impact and context of the controversial standards for pharmacists
All pharmacists will be aware of standard 3.4 in the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) previous standards of conduct, ethics and performance – often referred to as the “conscience clause”. This clause gave pharmacists an opt-out for providing services and medicines that are contrary to their “religious and moral beliefs”.
However, the regulator adopted new standards in May – called the ‘standards for pharmacy professionals’ – and pharmacists and employers alike need to think about the implications. . . [Full text]
From June 12 to 15, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice heard legal arguments relating to conscience rights for doctors in Ontario. Five doctors and three physicians’ organizations want the court to declare portions of policies created by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) a violation of doctors’ rights enshrined in the Charter. A decision is expected later this year.
CPSO, the respondent in the case, has stated they may suspend or sanction a doctor that refuses to participate in an assisted suicide, which they — duplicitously in my opinion — call “medical aid in dying” (MAID). Euthanasiasts prefer the euphemism because “aid in dying” sounds softer and gentler than “kill.” But the true definition of MAID is palliative care, whose future as a medical discipline has been thrown into uncertainty by the CPSO’s bullish stance on assisted suicide.
The CPSO’s conscience-hostile position is both unnecessary and unjust. . . [Full text]
Manitoba’s health minister stepped up to defend a Winnipeg hospital Tuesday, over its hotly criticized reversal on providing medically assisted deaths.
Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the province won’t oppose St. Boniface Hospital’s faith-based decision not to allow medical assistance in dying (MAID), even after saying it would in some cases.
“We think that we’ve struck the right balance by ensuring that there is access to MAID but also ensuring that those individual rights and those hospitals that are uncomfortable with the procedure can also have their rights respected as well,” said Goertzen.
On May 29, St. Boniface Hospital voted to allow medically assisted deaths under undefined “special circumstances.” But the hospital’s owner, the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba (CHCM), then appointed 10 new board members to cast a June 12 vote that completely banned assisted deaths once again, meaning patients who want them will still have to be transferred. . . [Full text]
Re: Balancing one right with another for access to assisted dying, June 14
Mr. Warren misrepresents what is meant in medicine by a referral. In referring a patient to another physician, I make a pledge of responsibility to that patient that I am acting in their best interest. Whether that other physician proceeds or not with a given intervention is immaterial to my duty to only refer for the good of the patient. . . [Full text]
Board of Winnipeg Catholic hospital overturned policy granting assisted death in rare circumstances
The outgoing president of the St. Boniface Hospital medical staff believes the Winnipeg hospital’s policy to deny medically assisted death violates the charter rights of some of the most vulnerable patients.
Medical assistance in dying, or MAID, will not be provided at St. Boniface Hospital after the board, which manages the hospital, voted against it on June 12.
Dr. Marcus Blouw, a former member of the St. Boniface board, disagrees that the current board — largely compiled of those without clinical expertise, he said — should be able to overrule the decisions of patients and clinicians. . . [Full text]
Advocates hail judge’s decision in woman’s assisted death appeal
A 77-year-old woman seeking medical assistance in dying has a “reasonably foreseeable” natural death, a judge declared Monday in an attempt to clear up uncertainty that left her doctor unwilling to perform the end-of-life procedure for fear of a murder charge.
The decision has been hailed by advocates for clarifying a confusing part of the assisted-dying legislation.
Two doctors found that the woman, known under a publication ban as AB, qualified for medical assistance in dying.
But the first doctor later said he was “uncomfortable” performing the procedure because another doctor had disagreed that the woman met the requirement of a reasonably foreseeable natural death, and because of the vagueness of the term “reasonably foreseeable.” . . . [Full text]
‘They’re not taking into account people’s end-of-life comfort,’ says ethics professor Arthur Schafer
St. Boniface General Hospital’s decision to forbid medical-assisted deaths is drawing condemnation from end-of-life care advocates and an expert on medical ethics.
Arthur Schafer, a founder of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, described the recent board decision to ban medical-assisted deaths as “fundamentally wrong.” . . . [Full text]
‘This dying, elderly man was stuck in the back of an ambulance so he could access his dying wishes’
“Martha” was stunned when her 78-year-old father told her he wanted a medically assisted death, after battling lung cancer for almost two years.
“It’s something you’ve never contemplated before in your family,” she said. “How do you prepare for this? This date that somebody’s going to pass away. It’s really hard.”
Martha has asked CBC News to use only her middle name, because children in her family don’t know that their grandfather’s death was medically assisted. A year after Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying law passed on June 17, 2016, the issue remains highly controversial. . . [Full text]
Hospital board voted to allow assisted dying in ‘rare circumstances,’ overturned decision 2 weeks later
Aidan Geary, Tessa Vandherhart
While confirming that it won’t allow medical assistance in dying on site, St. Boniface Hospital has lifted its policy requiring patients to leave the facility to be assessed for the service.
Under its old rules, patients at St. Boniface Hospital hoping to access medical assistance in dying had to be transferred off site for the assessments, which are required by Manitoba law and conducted by a medical team from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
One patient died as a result of one such transfer, according to a St. Boniface Hospital internal memo dated March 1 that was provided to CBC News. . . [Full text]