Critics call bill aimed to protect health workers unwilling to offer assisted death ‘one-sided’

CBC: The Current

Interviewer/host: Piya Chattopadhyay

SOUNDCLIP

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]

 

 

2 more resignations follow St. Boniface Hospital decision on assisted death

‘It would have been hypocritical for me to continue sitting’ on St. Boniface subcommitte, says Dr. Ken Hahlweg

CBC News

Kelly Malone

Two more resignation letters have been submitted after a controversial revote banned medically assisted dying at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital.

On May 29, the St. Boniface Hospital board of directors, which provides governance for the hospital, narrowly approved a new policy that would allow medical assistance in dying, or MAID, at the faith-based hospital under “rare circumstances.”

The Catholic Health Corp. of Manitoba, which owns St. Boniface Hospital’s facilities and appoints its board, held a special board meeting the next day and added 10 new members, all of whom were part of the corporation, to the hospital’s board of directors, and then asked for a revote on June 12.

That vote banned medically assisted death at the hospital. . . [Full text]

 

Health minister defends hospital’s right not to allow medically assisted deaths

Winnipeg Sun

Joyanne Pursaga

Manitoba’s health minister stepped up to defend a Winnipeg hospital Tuesday, over its hotly criticized reversal on providing medically assisted deaths.

Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the province won’t oppose St. Boniface Hospital’s faith-based decision not to allow medical assistance in dying (MAID), even after saying it would in some cases.

“We think that we’ve struck the right balance by ensuring that there is access to MAID but also ensuring that those individual rights and those hospitals that are uncomfortable with the procedure can also have their rights respected as well,” said Goertzen.

On May 29, St. Boniface Hospital voted to allow medically assisted deaths under undefined “special circumstances.” But the hospital’s owner, the Catholic Health Corporation of Manitoba (CHCM), then appointed 10 new board members to cast a June 12 vote that completely banned assisted deaths once again, meaning patients who want them will still have to be transferred. . . [Full text]

 

St. Boniface ban on medically assisted death a breach of charter rights, doctor says

Board of Winnipeg Catholic hospital overturned policy granting assisted death in rare circumstances

CBC News

Erin Brohman

The outgoing president of the St. Boniface Hospital medical staff believes the Winnipeg hospital’s policy to deny medically assisted death violates the charter rights of some of the most vulnerable patients.

Medical assistance in dying, or MAID, will not be provided at St. Boniface Hospital after the board, which manages the hospital, voted against it on June 12.

Dr. Marcus Blouw, a former member of the St. Boniface board, disagrees that the current board — largely compiled of those without clinical expertise, he said — should be able to overrule the decisions of patients and clinicians. . . [Full text]

 

Critics decry St. Boniface Hospital for banning medical-assisted deaths

‘They’re not taking into account people’s end-of-life comfort,’ says ethics professor Arthur Schafer

CBC News
St. Boniface General Hospital’s decision to forbid medical-assisted deaths is drawing condemnation from end-of-life care advocates and an expert on medical ethics.

Arthur Schafer, a founder of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics, described the recent board decision to ban medical-assisted deaths as “fundamentally wrong.” . . . [Full text]

 

St. Boniface Hospital to allow assisted-dying assessments but not assisted dying

Hospital board voted to allow assisted dying in ‘rare circumstances,’ overturned decision 2 weeks later

CBC News

Aidan Geary, Tessa Vandherhart

While confirming that it won’t allow medical assistance in dying on site, St. Boniface Hospital has lifted its policy requiring patients to leave the facility to be assessed for the service.

Under its old rules, patients at St. Boniface Hospital hoping to access medical assistance in dying had to be transferred off site for the assessments, which are required by Manitoba law and conducted by a medical team from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

One patient died as a result of one such transfer, according to a St. Boniface Hospital internal memo dated March 1 that was provided to CBC News. . . [Full text]

 

Catholic Health Corp. stacks St. Boniface Hospital board to stop assisted dying

Board chair resigns, saying patients harmed by policy

CBC News

The organization governing Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital has appointed 10 new members to overturn a policy on medically assisted dying, leading the board chair to resign in protest.

On May 29, the St. Boniface Hospital board of directors narrowly approved a new policy that would allow medical assistance in dying (MAID) at the faith-based hospital under “rare circumstances.”

The Catholic Health Corp. of Manitoba held a special board meeting the next day and added 10 new members to the hospital’s board of directors, and then asked for a revote. . . [Full text]

 

Manitoba bill aims to protect staff unwilling to offer assisted death

Doctors or nurses who refuse to help patient die protected from repercussions under new legislation

CBC News

Medical professionals in Manitoba who refuse to help terminally ill patients die will be protected from reprisals under new legislation introduced Tuesday.

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives said Bill 34, the The Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act, will ensure staff cannot be compelled to go against their own religious or ethical beliefs.

“The legislation will protect the rights of those who do not wish to participate in medically assisted death for conscience, faith or other reasons,” Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said. . . [Full text]

 

Medically assisted dying team in Manitoba doubles in size

More than 100 people have contacted the MAID team since February 2016; 4 doctors added in response

CBC News

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has more than doubled the number of physicians involved in medically assisted deaths in Manitoba after more patients requested the help than the province initially expected.

More than 100 patients have contacted the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) team with 24 receiving medically assisted deaths as of Jan. 6, according to statistics provided to CBC Manitoba by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. . . [Full text]

 

At least six Manitoba hospitals refuse to provide euthanasia, assisted suicide

Faith-based hospitals reject euthanasia

Winnipeg Free Press

Kristin Annable

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]