Dr. Frank Ewert wants protection from having to help a patient die — but Dying with Dignity Canada doesn’t want that to happen at the cost of patients receiving full access to end-of-life options.
“When I started back a number of years ago and vowed to follow the Hippocratic oath, I meant it. It was very profound to me, it resonated with my core beliefs, that I would always respect life, that I would do nothing to harm a patient,” Ewert told a legislative committee on Monday evening. . . [Full text]
Minuscule blobs of human brain tissue have come a long way in the four years since scientists in Vienna discovered1how to create them from stem cells.
The most advanced of these human brain organoids — no bigger than a lentil and, until now, existing only in test tubes — pulse with the kind of electrical activity that animates actual brains. They give birth to new neurons2, much like full-blown brains. And they develop the six layers3 of the human cortex, the region responsible for thought, speech, judgment, and other advanced cognitive functions.
These micro quasi-brains are revolutionizing research on human brain development and diseases from Alzheimer’s to Zika4, but the headlong rush to grow the most realistic, most highly developed brain organoids has thrown researchers into uncharted ethical waters. Like virtually all experts in the field, neuroscientist Hongjun Song of the University of Pennsylvania doesn’t “believe an organoid in a dish can think,” he said, “but it’s an issue we need to discuss.” . . [Full text]
VOICE 1: Bill 34 is being introduced by the Manitoba government to protect conscience rights for health care professionals, so that health care providers would not be required to participate in assisted suicide.
VOICE 2: While I cannot participate in assisted suicide for a couple of reasons. The first is I made a vow as a medical student 40 years ago that I wouldn’t kill patients, okay? And I’m not willing to cross that line.
PC: It has been less than 18 months now since medically assisted dying became legal in Canada. And health care workers are still adapting to that paradigm change. We just heard part of a video produced by the Coalition for Health Care and Conscience. It’s a national umbrella organization of religious groups, and as you heard it is lobbying for Bill 34 a proposed piece of legislation in Manitoba that was drafted to help health care workers with conscientious objections to helping end patients’ lives. Here’s Manitoba’s health minister Kelvin Goertzen. . . [Full episode transcript]
A policy on handling requests for medically assisted dying is being prepared for the John Noble Home.
The home’s committee of management this week got a staff report on the drafting of a formal policy on managing medical assistance in dying, or MAID, requests, which is now required in long-term care homes by federal law.
The draft could be presented to the committee for review as early as next month and will be referred to the city’s legal department for comment.
Jennifer Miller, administrator for the home for the aged on Mount Pleasant Street, said that, so far, there have been no MAID requests from residents. . . [Full text]
DURHAM, North Carolina, November 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic nurse is suing Duke University Hospital, claiming that the university discriminated against her religious and pro-life beliefs by requiring her to assist in abortions.
Sara T. Pedro was told during her employee orientation that Duke University Hospital provides no exceptions to employees in its Emergency Department who don’t want to participate in abortions. The lawsuit, filed by The Thomas More Law Center on Pedro’s behalf, says that Duke’s Emergency Department performs “a large number of abortions.”
The lawsuit claims that Pedro faced retaliation and discrimination after she made a written request to be exempt from the pro-abortion policy. . . [Full text]
” . . .conscientious objection in Canada, unfortunately, hangs by a thread . . .”
The Catholic Register
Catholic News Agency
Ottawa – Only one year after assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia became legal for adults in Canada, a new study is showing that some of the country’s pediatricians are being faced with questions about the practices for minors.
The study, which surveyed 1,050 doctors and was published by the Canadian Paediatric Society, found that more than ten percent of Canadian pediatricians have had conversations with parents or minors about the option of assisted suicide or euthanasia for terminal patients under the age of 18. . . [Full text]
Professor Shimon Glick, MD, of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, has joined the Protection of Conscience Project Advisory Board.
Professor Glick was born in Brooklyn in 1932 and received his medical training in the United States, specializing in internal medicine and endocrinology. He immigrated to Israel in 1974 to become a founding member of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS) at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and head of the Internal Medicine Department at Soroka Medical Center. He and his colleagues instituted the practice of “early clinical exposure,” insisting that students meet patients in their first week at medical school, even before beginning traditional academic studies. “The students don’t just treat patients. They talk to them and learn what it’s like to be sick,” he explains. Students also take their medical or Hippocratic oath when they begin their studies, rather than taking the oath when they finish.
Professor Glick became chair of Israel’s first Internal Medicine Division and served as Dean of the FOHS between 1986 and 1990. During his tenure, he played a key role in formulating the admissions process for medical students – a process based not only on achievements but also the candidates’ character. Professor Glick headed the Prywes Center for Medical Education and the Jakobovits Center for Jewish Medical Ethics, two domains that were assigned a central role in the professional education of students in the Faculty. He was also instrumental in the instruction on doctor-patient communications for first year medical students. In addition, Professor Glick has served as ombudsman for Israel’s Ministry of Health. He is widely recognized as an expert in medical ethics, with a particular focus on Jewish medical ethics, and is at the forefront of the efforts to bring a Jewish perspective to bear on the most important issues of modern bioethics.
In 2014, in recognition of his contributions to medical education and practice, Professor Glick received a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Awards. The award recognizes outstanding Anglo Olim – veteran and recent – who encapsulate the spirit of modern-day Zionism by contributing in a significant way towards the State of Israel.
Professor Glick is blessed with 46 grandchildren and (at last count) 77 great grandchildren. He continues to teach at the Joyce and Irving Goldman Medical School and the Medical School for International Health (MSIH). [Faculty Profile]
Dying with Dignity Canada says Bill 34 doesn’t protect patients’ rights to access assisted dying
A bill that would protect Manitoba health professionals’ rights to refuse assisted dying services and protect them from reprisals is being called redundant and one-sided.
Bill 34, which was introduced in May and hasn’t yet reached a second reading in the House, would ensure health professionals cannot be compelled to go against their own religious or ethical beliefs when it comes to providing medical assistance in dying (MAID) services.
It would also ban any professional regulatory body from requiring members to participate in medically assisted deaths, which were made legal by the Supreme Court in 2015. . . [Full text]
Lawyer Allison Fenske explains how Canadian law works, and how the courts strive to balance competing rights
A Winnipeg man’s struggle to be assessed for a medically assisted death while he lives at a faith-based hospital has some questioning how we balance personal and religious rights in Canada.
“I want to die and nobody should come in the way of my deciding how to go about it,” Cheppudira Gopalkrishna, 88, said on Saturday.
However, because Gopalkrishna lives at a faith-based hospital that objects to medical assistance in dying, he has struggled to be assessed by Manitoba’s MAID team under provincial guidelines regulating such deaths. . . [Full text]
‘I want to die and nobody should come in the way of my deciding how to go about it.’
An 88-year-old Winnipeg man has received his required assessment for medically assisted death after he says it was delayed by the faith-based hospital where he now lives.
On Friday, Cheppudira Gopalkrishna was able to do an assessment with the province’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) services.
“I want to die and nobody should come in the way of my deciding how to go about it,” Gopalkrishna said on Saturday evening.
The former teacher has been at the Misericordia Health Centre for several months after his health declined significantly. He has a form of Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, and has lost almost all of his mobility.
Gopalkrishna started looking into the possibility of a medically assisted death in May but the hospital and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s timelines differ about what happened next. . . [Full text]