In a historic decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today to overturn the ban preventing doctor-assisted suicide.
Though the repercussions of this decision will be seen in the weeks and months to come, immediate reaction on Twitter from those in the healthcare industry both enthusiastically supported the decision, and decried the court's choice from a professional standpoint:
.@doctorfullerton I didn't become a doctor to kill people— Raymond McConville (@DrRaymondMc) February 6, 2015
An epic day in the Canadian Healthcare System as patients reclaim the right to #diewithdignity— George Kim (@GeorgeKimMD) February 6, 2015
Making death an action rather than a process for the patient and sanitized for onlookers has repercussions for the value of life. #eol— Merrilee Fullerton (@doctorfullerton) February 6, 2015
Others hailed it as a positive option for their own eventual demise:
Looks like I won't need to travel to Oregon when my time comes to die with dignity as Canada's Supreme Court strikes down ban on same!— Yoni Freedhoff, MD (@YoniFreedhoff) February 6, 2015
In an official statement from the Canadian Medical Association received by the Huffington Post Canada, president Chris Simpson stated:
"The CMA supports physicians being able to follow their conscience in choosing whether to participate in medical aid in dying and we note that the Court quoted directed from our policy. The CMA policy recognizes that there are rare occasions where patients have such a degree of suffering, even with access to palliative and end of life care, that they request medical aid in dying. We believe in those cases, and within legal constraints, that medical aid in dying may be appropriate."
The Association also noted it will continue its work in promoting quality palliative care for Canadians.
Meanwhile, cautiously optimistic doctors viewed the decision as the opportunity to give patients choices and information, one way or another:
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