Canada’s Catholic hospitals in a tough spot on assisted death

Globe and Mail

Sean Fine

It started with a Supreme Court ruling that government could not criminalize doctor-assisted death. Now, a parliamentary committee is recommending that all publicly funded health-care institutions provide the service, and major Catholic hospitals such as St. Paul’s in Vancouver and St. Joseph’s in Hamilton are drawing a line in the sand against it.

Canada is being thrust into its biggest religious-freedom debate since Quebec’s proposed charter of values three years ago would have banned the wearing of turbans, kippahs and hijabs by government employees.

Is the committee recommending one kind of unconstitutional act replace another? Or are religious institutions failing to live up to their obligations in the public sphere?

At the heart of the committee’s recommendations was a kind of contradiction: Doctors should have the freedom of conscience not to have to provide assisted death, the committee said. But institutions should not have the same freedom of conscience. . . [Full Text]


One thought on “Canada’s Catholic hospitals in a tough spot on assisted death”

  1. The author is mistaken in his assertion that the Special Joint Committee recommended that physicians’ freedom of conscience should be respected. The Committee would require physicians unwilling to kill patients themselves or help them commit suicide help find a physician willing to do so. Consistent with law, public policy and common sense, many objecting physicians find that equally unacceptable.

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