At least six faith-based health-care facilities in Manitoba — including two Winnipeg hospitals — will not be providing medically assisted deaths to their patients or long-term care residences.
Officials from St. Boniface Hospital told the Free Press Monday patients seeking medical assistance in dying will have to go to another facility to have the service offered.
Other medical care facilities under the Catholic Health Corp. of Manitoba umbrella, including St. Joseph’s residence in northwest Winnipeg, Ste. Rose General Hospital near Dauphin, and Winnipegosis and District Health Centre will also follow suit, explained the corporation’s CEO, Daniel Lussier. . . [Full text]
St. Boniface General Hospital and Concordia Hospital conscientiously object to legal practice
Two faith-based hospitals in Winnipeg say they will not be providing doctor-assisted deaths to their patients.
Both Concordia Hospital (Anabaptist-Mennonite) and St. Boniface Hospital (Catholic) say they will not offer the legal service to patients.
In June, the federal government amended the criminal code with Bill C-14 to allow doctors and nurse practitioners to help patients with “grievous and irremediable” illnesses to die. Manitoba introduced its own policy to implement medical assistance in dying, commonly called MAID, that same month. . . [Full text]
The adoption of a protection of conscience policy not dissimilar to those existing in some pharmacy associations in the United States triggered an attack by the Winnipeg Sun in an editorial titled Pharmological farce. (See Project’s response) Coverage in the National Post and Winnipeg Free Press was more balanced. CBC Radio in Winnipeg hosted an open-line programme on 8 June concerning the issue.
Pharmacists for Life Int’l/Canada (PFLI/Canada) is an educational group concerned with sanctity of human life issues affecting the profession. We appreciate and applaud the noble decision of the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association to include in their Standards of Practice a statement which allows the professionals that they regulate to follow their conscience in the practice of this health care profession.
Since the statement does not force a pharmacist to dispense or make referrals for products or services “in which they have a medical, ethical, moral or religious objection to, the Association shows its recognition of the pharmacist’s autonomy and integrity. By allowing a freedom of conscience, pharmacists are not impaired in the proper exercise of professional judgment and skills”, said Mr. Michael Izzotti, coordinator of PFLI/Canada.
For many years the profession has been encouraging all pharmacists to become more involved in the practice of “pharmaceutical care”, in which pharmacists provide cognitive services to the public, as well as, supplying products which are intended to achieve specific “health outcomes” for the patient. Mr. Izzotti stated that in the provision of pharmaceutical care, “causing death of a human being is not included in the list of “health outcomes.” He also stated, “that to many pharmacists, the practice of proper pharmaceutical care would exclude the provision of any products that are intended to cause death, including chemicals for assisted suicides, euthanasia and those which can cause abortions.”
Contact: Michael Izzotti, Coordinator PFLI/Canada Tel: (905)528-4828 Fax: (905)528-5593
The professional group Concerned Pharmacists for Conscience supports and applauds the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association’s courageous inclusion of a model statement in their Standards of Practice, which does not require pharmacists with conscientious objections to refer patients. Patient access to legally prescribed therapy would continue to be available without compromising the health professionals’ right of conscientious refusal.
Ms. Maria Bizecki, spokesperson for Concerned Pharmacists for Conscience, says “Pharmacists in Manitoba can now exercise their freedom of conscience rights without fear for their noble livelihood. Pharmacists are presently objecting to participate as agents of death, not attempting to block access or give moral pep talks at the pharmacy counter.”
Bizecki futher added that as the Canadian Medical Association does not require doctors to participate in or refer for abortions, all pharmacists must also be protected nationally by their associations. “By pushing their morality on health care workers, the public violates a pharmacist’s autonomy, integrity and basic human rights in a country that protects its minorities.”
For further information: Ms. Maria Bizecki, spokesperson Tel: (403) 228-2190 Fax:(403) 228-2249