Simon Hatcher is Vice-Chair Research Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa. They are both Members of the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.
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.
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