Ontario creating service to help people access medically assisted dying

Health Minister Eric Hoskins says service will be up and running as early as May

CBC News

Ontario is setting up a new service for people seeking medically assisted death that will allow them to reach out for help directly, bypassing health-care providers who object to assisted suicide on conscience grounds.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins says a “care co-ordination service” for medically assisted death will be up and running as early as May.

The service will allow patients to contact central staff who will connect them with health-care providers prepared to handle requests for a medically assisted death. . . [Full text]


Hotel-Dieu, Hospice hope to avoid providing doctor-assisted death

Windsor Star

Brian Cross

Those seeking to escape the agony of incurable illnesses will have the legal right to choose doctor-assisted suicide as of June 6, but two publicly funded institutions that care for the region’s dying hope they won’t be forced to allow it within their walls.

Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare runs the area’s only in-hospital palliative care unit, where five, six or seven deaths a week is not unusual. As a faith-based Catholic hospital, it does not believe it should participate in physician-assisted suicide, said CEO Janice Kaffer.

The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County has a policy opposing physician-assisted suicide, citing a “respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life,” and asserting that it’s not part of palliative care. It provides palliative care to hundreds of area patients in their homes, as well as in its hospice residences in Windsor and Leamington. Its philosophy is if someone’s pain and symptoms can be well managed, they don’t need to resort to a physician-assisted death. CEO Carol Derbyshire said Canada’s hospices are trying to convince the government to let them to opt out. . . [Full text]