We are greatly encouraged by the CMA's recent poll of physicians that found should euthanasia be legalized, 26 per cent would be willing to actively participate. A further 20% were undecided. This is a stunning number. Once assisted dying is legalized, medical professionals and the public see for themselves the positive changes that result. Palliative care improves. Doctors become better at caring for individuals at end of life. Conversations between doctors and patients about desired end-of-life care take place.
The art of euphemism -- of sugar coating your verbal meaning -- has been raised to a syrupy peak by the proponents of euthanasia. When killing and suicide can be rebranded in the hearts and minds of average Canadians, the death lobby wins. What is truly being promised is the medical equivalent of a silent bullet in the head. The irony is that we don't need it. Symptom control at the end of life has never been better, and the right thing to do is to deliver it when needed. Common sense should tell us that we and our loved ones will not be safer or more empowered when the right to kill is given to doctors and nurses.
Will Quebec legalize medically assisted end-of-life procedures? Wanda Morris, Executive Director of Dying With Dignity, thinks it should -- she's sees it as a question of individual rights. But others -- including bioethicist Margaret Somerville -- say legally sanctioning euthanasia would endanger weak and vulnerable Canadians. and have a harmful impact on society. What's your position? Before you pick a side, have a look at what Morris and Somerville have to say in our online debate. Then decide whose case is more persuasive, and cast your vote...
Carter v. Canada , the judge-decreed legalization of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada, tries to take a chainsaw to that old-growth forest that my colleague Dr. Margaret Cottle describes as a "delicate social ecology of mutual support and protection" which forbids the killing of a patient.
British Columbia Supreme Court Judge, Madam Justice Lynn Smith has released her reasons for judgment in the ground-breaking physician-assisted suicide case. In her view, a complete ban on physician-assisted suicide was a disproportionate response and a more appropriate response would be to maintain an almost-absolute prohibition but with a stringently limited and carefully monitored system of exceptions.