Dr. Frank Ewert wants protection from having to help a patient die — but Dying with Dignity Canada doesn’t want that to happen at the cost of patients receiving full access to end-of-life options.
“When I started back a number of years ago and vowed to follow the Hippocratic oath, I meant it. It was very profound to me, it resonated with my core beliefs, that I would always respect life, that I would do nothing to harm a patient,” Ewert told a legislative committee on Monday evening. . . [Full text]
CBC: The Current
Interviewer/host: Piya Chattopadhyay
VOICE 1: Bill 34 is being introduced by the Manitoba government to protect conscience rights for health care professionals, so that health care providers would not be required to participate in assisted suicide.
VOICE 2: While I cannot participate in assisted suicide for a couple of reasons. The first is I made a vow as a medical student 40 years ago that I wouldn’t kill patients, okay? And I’m not willing to cross that line.
PC: It has been less than 18 months now since medically assisted dying became legal in Canada. And health care workers are still adapting to that paradigm change. We just heard part of a video produced by the Coalition for Health Care and Conscience. It’s a national umbrella organization of religious groups, and as you heard it is lobbying for Bill 34 a proposed piece of legislation in Manitoba that was drafted to help health care workers with conscientious objections to helping end patients’ lives. Here’s Manitoba’s health minister Kelvin Goertzen. . . [Full episode transcript]
Dying with Dignity Canada says Bill 34 doesn’t protect patients’ rights to access assisted dying
A bill that would protect Manitoba health professionals’ rights to refuse assisted dying services and protect them from reprisals is being called redundant and one-sided.
Bill 34, which was introduced in May and hasn’t yet reached a second reading in the House, would ensure health professionals cannot be compelled to go against their own religious or ethical beliefs when it comes to providing medical assistance in dying (MAID) services.
It would also ban any professional regulatory body from requiring members to participate in medically assisted deaths, which were made legal by the Supreme Court in 2015. . . [Full text]
Lawyer Allison Fenske explains how Canadian law works, and how the courts strive to balance competing rights
A Winnipeg man’s struggle to be assessed for a medically assisted death while he lives at a faith-based hospital has some questioning how we balance personal and religious rights in Canada.
“I want to die and nobody should come in the way of my deciding how to go about it,” Cheppudira Gopalkrishna, 88, said on Saturday.
However, because Gopalkrishna lives at a faith-based hospital that objects to medical assistance in dying, he has struggled to be assessed by Manitoba’s MAID team under provincial guidelines regulating such deaths. . . [Full text]
‘I want to die and nobody should come in the way of my deciding how to go about it.’
An 88-year-old Winnipeg man has received his required assessment for medically assisted death after he says it was delayed by the faith-based hospital where he now lives.
On Friday, Cheppudira Gopalkrishna was able to do an assessment with the province’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) services.
“I want to die and nobody should come in the way of my deciding how to go about it,” Gopalkrishna said on Saturday evening.
The former teacher has been at the Misericordia Health Centre for several months after his health declined significantly. He has a form of Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, and has lost almost all of his mobility.
Gopalkrishna started looking into the possibility of a medically assisted death in May but the hospital and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s timelines differ about what happened next. . . [Full text]
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — A significant health care-related federal legislation was enacted by the Canadian Parliament on June 17, 2016: The Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide law creates a regulatory framework for medical assistance in dying in Canada.
With the legislation, Canada has joined The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Luxembourg. which have enacted rules on doctor-assisted suicide. . .
In response to the passage of the (MAiD) Act, the Coalition for HealthCare and Conscience, a Canadian Christian-based organization, was organized to support the “Call for Conscience” Campaign. The campaign supports Bill 34—the Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals & Others) Act, currently being considered by the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. . . [Full text]
Cheppudira Gopalkrishna, 88, says Misericordia hasn’t helped him seek out medically-assisted death
Manitoba’s Health Minister says he doesn’t know all the details of a terminally ill Winnipeg man’s search for medical assistance in dying, but he’s troubled by his first impression of the case.
Cheppudira Gopalkrishna, 88, told CBC News he has no chance of recovering from the illness that has confined him to bed for months, and the Misericordia Health Centre hasn’t helped him access the province’s medical assistance in dying (MAID) services.
However, the faith-based hospital — which is part of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority — and the health authority’s MAID team offer differing accounts of what transpired and the timeline of Gopalkrishna’s request. . . . [Full text]
‘It would have been hypocritical for me to continue sitting’ on St. Boniface subcommitte, says Dr. Ken Hahlweg
Two more resignation letters have been submitted after a controversial revote banned medically assisted dying at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital.
On May 29, the St. Boniface Hospital board of directors, which provides governance for the hospital, narrowly approved a new policy that would allow medical assistance in dying, or MAID, at the faith-based hospital under “rare circumstances.”
The Catholic Health Corp. of Manitoba, which owns St. Boniface Hospital’s facilities and appoints its board, held a special board meeting the next day and added 10 new members, all of whom were part of the corporation, to the hospital’s board of directors, and then asked for a revote on June 12.
That vote banned medically assisted death at the hospital. . . [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]
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]