While not explicit in the language of the legislation, new physician-assisted dying laws would include the creation of a centralized referral mechanism for doctors and nurse practitioners who refuse to help a patient end their own life.
Dr. Jeff Blackmer, vice-president of medical professionalism with Canadian Medical Association, said the government has assured the medical professional community the database – which could be as simple as a toll-free number – will connect patients with willing providers. . . [Full text]
Let the soul searching begin.
True, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous and historic decision last Friday, striking down the country’s ban on doctor-assisted suicide for consenting and severely ill adult patients. It gave Ottawa a year to enact new legislation.
And true, an opinion poll last fall indicated 84 per cent of Canadians believe “a doctor should be able to help someone end his or her life if the person is a competent adult who is terminally ill, suffering unbearably and repeatedly asks for assistance to die.”
But the issue is striking closer to home for health care providers, who, some day in the very near future, could be asked to help patients end their lives, according to Dr. Cindy So and Jonathan Breslin. . . [Full Text]