Doctors divided on physician-assisted suicide
Published Tuesday, August 25, 2015 8:34PM ADT
Members of the Canadian Medical Association met in Halifax Tuesday to discuss the issue of physician-assisted suicide.
CMA president Dr. Chris Simpson says the association met to advocate for those uncomfortable with the new practice.
“I want to know at the end of my career that I did everything I could to advocate for doctorswho don’t want to participate in assisted death,” he said.
The Supreme Court ruled in February that a ban on assisted suicide was unconstitutional, stating it will be legal in February, 2016.
Only 29 per cent of doctors at the Annual General Council Meeting voted to support physician assisted suicide, citing concerns over mental health, young patients and the lack of palliative care.
“The results of today’s discussions will allow the CMA to go forward and to work with regulators, governments and others that will not force physicians to participate in assisted dying against their moral or religious beliefs,” said Simpson.
Eric MacDonald lost his wife, Elizabeth, to suicide eight years ago. Elizabeth suffered from multiple sclerosis, and travelled to Switzerland to end her life.
Eric says he understands why some doctors oppose physician-assisted suicide, but says they may not even need to be a part of it.
"She felt that she was deeply wronged, and the Supreme Court backs her up on that," he said.
The new law is still a work in progress. But Eric says the right to die at home is what Elizabeth would have wanted.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelly Linehan.