Doctors being ‘bullied’ over assisted suicide, legislators told at Bill 84 hearings

The Catholic Register

Michael Swan

Doctors are being bullied, silenced and coerced in a pro-euthanasia environment which is forcing those who object to medically assisted suicide to provide an effective referral for patients who wish to die, provincial legislators were told during hearings into Bill 84.

Oncologist Dr. Ellen Warner told an all-party committee that physicians . . . are “being bullied” and are experiencing a “horrendous stress level.” She described colleagues who object to assisted suicide speaking in code and using alternative email addresses to discuss doctor-assisted death. . . Hamilton Dr. Jane Dobson held back tears as she described the pressure she’s faced since the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario ruled that doctors who have a moral, ethical or religious objection to assisted dying must nevertheless provide an “effective referral” for the procedure. . . [Full text]

Orthodox doctors wrestle with ethics of ‘assisted suicide’

The Canadian Jewish News

Barbara Silverstein

Dr. Albert Kirshen said it’s just a matter of time before one of his patients asks him for assistance to die. Kirshen, an observant Jew who is a physician at the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital, said he is bracing himself for the inevitable.

Kirshen is “personally conflicted” and struggling with the new Supreme Court-mandated policy that will permit physician-assisted death (PAD), he said, explaining that while the medical college will require him to accommodate a patient’s request to die, Jewish law does not permit him to make a referral for the termination of a life.

Kirshen spoke to the issue at a town hall meeting on “the implications of the proposed federal assisted suicide legislation on the practice of medicine,” held March 7 at Shaarei Shomayim Congregation in Toronto. About 300 people, many of them physicians, packed the shul’s social hall to learn more about the issue from an Orthodox perspective that reflected the views of rabbis, physicians and a legal expert. . . [Full text]