Canadian medical schools readying doctors to talk to patients about assisted suicide

SHARON KIRKEY, NATIONAL POST  

Assisted suicide
As the nation moves toward legalized physician-assisted death, Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine have begun to consider how they will introduce assisted dying into the curriculum for the next generations of doctors.Alain Jocard / AFP/Getty Images
Assisted suicide
As the nation moves toward legalized physician-assisted death, Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine have begun to consider how they will introduce assisted dying into the curriculum for the next generations of doctors.Alain Jocard / AFP/Getty Images

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Canada’s medical schools are preparing for what was once unimaginable – teaching medical students and residents how to help patients take their own lives.

As the nation moves toward legalized physician-assisted death, Canada’s 17 faculties of medicine have begun to consider how they will introduce assisted dying into the curriculum for the next generations of doctors. It is a profound change for medical educators, who have long taught future doctors that it is immoral to end a life intentionally.

“If legislation passes, and if it becomes a standard of practice in Canada for a small subset of patients who desire assisted death, and where all the conditions are met, would we want a cadre of doctors that are trained in the emotional, communicative and technical aspects of making those decisions, and assisting patients?” said Dr. Richard Reznick, dean of the faculty of health sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. “We would.”

In its landmark, unanimous ruling in February that swept away Criminal Code prohibitions against doctorassisted death, the Supreme Court of Canada gave Parliament one year to craft a new law – should it choose to do so – that recognizes the right of consenting adults with a “grievous and irremediable” medical condition to seek a doctor’s help to end their lives.

Medical schools have begun to consider how they will adapt to a change in law, once it comes into force. When should classes on assisted-suicide and voluntary euthanasia be introduced? Would there be sufficient numbers of faculty members willing to teach the next generation of their trainees in the art and science of assisted death? Would young doctors wishing to incorporate it into their practices for consenting patients first have to demonstrate they are appropriately skilled?

“There will be many complexities to this – it’s not going to be a simple process – and whatever we teach our medical students will have to be congruent with the legal parameters, the professional guidelines that are developed and the way that this may be carried out in the future,” Dr. Reznick said in an interview.

He stressed that it would be unacceptable to force any medical student or resident to participate in a medical procedure that is nevertheless legal. “We have to be respectful of the first principle here, that this is a choice,” Dr. Reznick said. . . . .

[Read the whole Montreal Gazette article online.]

2 thoughts on “Canadian medical schools readying doctors to talk to patients about assisted suicide

  1. Our Physicians,and Surgeons ought to be healers instead of killers! The fact of what is legal is moral in a democracy ought to produce political vigilance in the voting public instead of them politically legalizing evil. Our Western Political State Worldview changed from Christianity, to the evil so-called “neutral” worldview of Secularism with it’s Politically Correct ideology in Government,Law and Education starting in 1962. Before this Western children started school with The Lord’s Prayer led by their school teachers.

    The Netherlands experiment ought to be enough to demonstrate the peril of granting physicians the legalized so-called human right to kill their patients. Legalizing then considering this now legalized killing a normal human right, changes the nature of The Medical Professions, and Western Civilization itself.The consequences of this may very well be classification and what has been legally called natural selection by former evil governments,but this time the term “neutral”Secularism is used.

    The Hippocratic Oath was written and enforced to place Governments, Law and Education Establishments on the foundation of healing people not classifying and then killing them. For 2400 years patients had the assurance that Doctors would follow an oath to heal them not kill them. After WWII at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials we indicted Nazi Leaders for these same crimes against humanity. They said, “our Government and Supreme Court passed Laws legalizing our activity, therefore we did nothing wrong.” Does their excuse sound familiar my fellow Canadians?

    Legalizing Euthanasia would effect Medical care itself. Professionals begin to grade and select people for lethal injections. Legalized Euthanasia makes this a so-called human right as Supreme Court precedents broaden applications of the so-called “Right To Die”,for the disabled and clinically depressed etc. My father visited the Netherlands and told me about the horrors his friends faced, because of legalized Euthanasia, as a right.

    In our Democratic Western Civilization the majority get what their politicians and popular media moguls talk them into legalizing. Even what calls itself Church has largely accepted the political worldview of so-called “neutral” Secularism and it’s business as usual even during Easter Celebrations.The choice is still the same Christ or the worldview of Barabbas. By choosing so-called”neutral”Secularism you have chosen the worldview of Barabbas. Happy Easter.

  2. Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide is not healthcare. Just as abortion is not healthcare. We need better palliative care not euthanasia and assisted suicide. It goes totally against the Hippocratic Oath of do no harm. We want to heal the patient not kill them. We are going down a very slippery road and one day when we will look back and see what a mistake we made when we legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide.

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