By Alex Schadenberg, executive director
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A Canadian Medical Association survey found that 16% of 2125 doctors who completed a survey would be willing to euthanize a patient, if legal, while 44% said that they would refuse requests for euthanasia. 26% of the doctors were unsure how they would respond to requests for euthanasia and 15% of the physicians did not respond.
The Ottawa Citizen published an article written by Sharon Kirkey from Postmedia News that was titled “Only 20 per cent doctors would perform euthanasia, if legal, poll of MDs finds.” I guess 16% was 4% too low for the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News.
The poll also found that only 16% of the doctors have been asked for euthanasia in the past 5 years, even though the euthanasia lobby claims that euthanasia is needed to provide Canadians a “death with dignity.”
It is important to note that the group that most strongly opposes euthanasia are doctors. Palliative care doctors and medical professionals who care for dying people are more opposed to euthanasia than doctors in general.
A recent survey of the 300 members of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians found that the overwhelming majority were OPPOSED to the legalization of euthanasia (88%) or assisted suicide (80%).
* 90% of responding members would not be willing to participate in the act of euthanasia.
* 83% of responding members would not be willing to aid in assisted suicide.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are wrong because they require one person, usually a physician, to be directly and intentionally involved with killing another person.
The Quebec Medical Association (QMA) has taken a position against the legalization of euthanasia. QMA President, Dr. Ruth Vander Stelt, stated:
“The QMA feels that the proposal to put doctors at the centre of the decision would seriously risk eroding the trust between patients, society as a whole and the medical community. ‘How can a doctor, who is supposed to heal, relieve and comfort, become the person who ends life? Although doctors may refuse, it is unacceptable to put them in a situation that conflicts with the ethical and professional oath they have taken.’”
We must urge that doctors remain healers and carers and not become killers.
For more information go to: Physicians Alliance for the Total Refusal of Euthanasia.