Canadian Association of Physician Assistants wants objecting physicians forced to refer for euthanasia, assisted suicide

Sean Murphy*

A policy statement by the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants asserts that physician assistants “should play a supportive role” in euthanasia and assisted suicide and states that physician assistants should be allowed to personally provide the procedures under the direction of a physician.

PAs as well as other health professions can play an active role in helping to facilitate PAD and supporting physicians throughout the process.


The statement purports to respect objecting physician assistance “freedom of choice” (the term used is not “freedom of conscience”) , stating that those “who have a conscientious objection based on moral and/or religious beliefs should not be required to assist in this process.”  However, it adds that the Association “supports the requirement for an effective referral process” – which would require physicians unwilling to kill patients or help them commit suicide to find someone willing to do so.

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