Physician-Assisted Suicide

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No Legal Voids With Physician Assisted Dying Post June 6th

My friend Chuck wants to kill himself. He is hoping if Bill C-14 does not pass in the Senate by June 6th, he will be able to legally commit suicide with the help of a doctor, thereby ending his constant, debilitating and painful battle with mental illness. Chuck is part of a group of patients who, despite being included in the Supreme Court of Canada's ground-breaking decision in Carter vs. Canada, have been cut out of the Liberal's Bill C-14. Here's why.
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The Moving Pieces Behind The Case For Doctor-Assisted Death

If physician-hastened death is part of the continuum of medicine, then we must treat it as such. Like any other new treatment or clinical innovation, it demands careful evaluation and methodological rigor, including fixed eligibility criteria, detailed data collection, objective monitoring of outcomes and tracking of adverse effects; the ability to analyze cumulative data, with incremental ramping up entirely based on preceding trial outcomes. We would insist on no less stringency for anything else.
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Canada's Health Facilities Cannot Handle Physician-Assisted Death

With the advent of physician-hastened death, there has never been a more pressing moment in history demanding we get our approach to human suffering and palliative care right. Fewer than two per cent of patients will likely choose to have their lives ended; most will want to live out the length of their days in care and comfort. That should not be asking too much. One thing is for certain: the dying are too ill to speak, and the dead will never complain.
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The Risky Concept Of Mental Illness Assisted Suicide

The Parliament's Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Death, nevertheless, urged the federal government not to exclude individuals with psychiatric conditions from being considered eligible. Their reasoning comes down to this: Mental suffering is no less profound than physical suffering, so denying individuals with mental illness access to physician hastened death would be discriminatory and a violation of their Charter rights. It's an excellent point, and one worth seriously discussing.
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Physician-Assisted Dying Isn't Always A Choice For The Vulnerable

One of the consistent worries voiced throughout Canada's long national discussion of physician assisted dying is the desire to protect vulnerable people. One fear is that people with disabilities may be directly pressured or coerced into consenting to medical aid in dying. More insidiously though, vulnerable people may come to desire death due to a lack of any reasonable alternative to their suffering. For this reason, many have called for us to redouble our attention to providing access to high quality palliative care so that people are not driven toward medically assisted death by uncontrolled pain.