Canada’s summer of discontent: euthanasia practitioners warn of nationwide “crisis”

Shortage of euthanasia practitioners “a real problem”

Sean Murphy*

There were 803 euthanasia/assisted suicide (EAS) deaths in Canada during the first six months after the procedures were legalized. In the second half of the first year (ending in June, 2017) there were 1,179 — a 46.8% increase, and about 0.9% of all deaths. Health Canada correctly states that the latter figure falls within the range found in other jurisdictions where euthanasia/assisted suicide are legal, but the Canadian EAS death rate in the first year was not reached by Belgium for seven to eight years. The dramatic increase of EAS deaths in the last half of the first year would have had a direct impact on EAS practitioners, and this may be why they ended the first year by sounding the alarm about access to the service. . . .[Full text]

Why you can’t get a doctor-assisted death at St. Joseph’s in London

As a faith-based institution, St. Joe’s won’t help its patients die

CBC News

Andrew Lupton

Despite being allowed by law in Canada, patients at any St. Joseph’s Health Care London facility must go elsewhere if they want a medically assisted death.

In June of 2016, Parliament passed Bill C-14, which lays out the rules that allow doctors and nurse practioners to legally end the lives of patients who are suffering and whose deaths are “reasonably foreseeable.”

Faith-based exemptions

Doctors and faith-based intuitions in Ontario that object to doctor-assisted death for religious reasons can’t be forced to perform any procedure that helps a patient die.

As a Catholic intuition, St. Joseph’s won’t allow medically assisted deaths to happen at its facilities, which include the main hospital, the Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care (394 beds) and the Parkwood Institute’s Main Building (14 palliative care beds and 156 long-term care beds). . . [Full Text]

 

 

Meet 1 of only 2 London doctors willing to help their patients die

Dr. Scott Anderson says too many barriers stand between patients and access to a doctor-assisted death

CBC News

Although medically assisted dying has been law for more than a year in Canada, Dr. Scott Anderson is one of only two physicians in the London area willing to help his patients die.

Anderson, an emergency intensive care specialist at London Health Sciences Centre, is one of only 74 doctors in Ontario and 11 in the South West Local Health Integration Network registered with the province’s 1-800 number to help connect patients seeking the procedure with doctors willing to perform it. . . [Full text]