The non-partisan campaign was launched to oppose and raise awareness about regulations that force doctors to refer for assisted suicide and euthanasia against their moral convictions.
By the end of March, people who have signed up during the campaign should receive instructions about how to e-mail all the candidates in their ridings in the run-up to Ontario’s June 7 provincial election. . . [Full text]
A landmark lawsuit has been filed by an Ontario man suffering from an incurable neurological disease. He alleges that health officials will not provide him with an assisted home care team of his choosing, instead offering, among other things, medically assisted death.
“My condition is grievous and irremediable,” 42-year-old Roger Foley said from his bed at the London Health Science Centre’s Victoria Hospital in a video that was recently posted online. “But the solution is assisted life with self-directed funding.”
According to Foley, a government-selected home care provider had previously left him in ill health with injuries and food poisoning. Unwilling to continue living at home with the help of that home care provider, and eager to leave the London hospital where he’s been cloistered for two years, Foley is suing the hospital, several health agencies and the attorneys general of Ontario and Canada in the hopes of being given the opportunity to set up a health care team to help him live at home again — a request he claims he has previously been denied. . . [Full Text]
Informal referral network currently in place with local physicians
For those in Sudbury and District seeking a doctor’s help to die, it may soon get a little easier to find one who is trained.
About 40 doctors and nurse practitioners in the region are now trained to offer Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), after they had specialized training last fall in Sudbury from the Canadian Medical Association.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in June, 2016 that medical assistance in dying is a constitutional right, under Bill C-14.
Between then and now, there has only been an informal network for people seeking medically assisted death, said Dr. Paul Preston, Vice President of Clinical for the North East Local Health Integration Network, and an advocate for access for those seeking a doctor’s help with dying. . . [Full text]
Patients’ rights to access to medical assistance in dying (MAiD) trumps the religious rights of physicians under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – or so says the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. But ensuring equitable access to health care is a societal responsibility and does not rest solely on the individual physician. Surely there is a way forward that ensures access for patients requesting MAiD without trampling on physician rights enshrined in law.
Assisted suicide has been legal in Canada since June 2016. Discussions are already taking place to expand the criteria to minors, people with psychiatric illness and those with dementia. This puts people who are lonely and isolated at risk of choosing euthanasia simply because they don’t have anyone who cares and can give them hope.
Today in Ontario:
Physicians and other caregivers are forced to participate in euthanasia against their will, by referring their patients.
Pro-euthanasia groups are threatening to sue faith based hospitals unless they allow euthanasia on the premises.
Only a third of the population has access to adequate palliative care, so they are being denied real choice on end of life issues.
This places physicians, nurses and other health professionals in an impossible situation – assist in the killing of their patients or lose the ability to care for patients at all.
This is happening despite constitutional protections for freedom of conscience and religion in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (s.2).
The Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience represents more than 110 healthcare facilities (with almost 18,000 care beds and 60,000 staff) and more than 5,000 physicians across Canada. Our members are unable to participate in taking a patient’s life due to moral or ethical convictions.
The Ontario legislature has the power to protect conscience rights for individuals and facilities and to provide adequate palliative care and mental health services so that people will not see assisted suicide as their only option. Our efforts in Manitoba helped to ensure the province passed conscience protection legislation in November 2017.
In advance of the June 2018 provincial election in Ontario, we have the opportunity to ask candidates from all parties three important questions:
Will you support legislation to protect doctors, nurses and other health care providers who are being forced to participate in assisted suicide/euthanasia through making a referral?
How will you protect facilities from being forced to offer euthanasia/assisted suicide on their premises?
How does your party plan to address the lack of quality palliative care in our province?
To get involved, please participate in your Church’s Sign Up Sunday. We will be collecting contact information to help mobilize a large database of people to contact candidates for the 2018 Ontario provincial election.