By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released their document from the CMA National Dialogue on end-of-life care on June 10. One of the decisions made by the CMA from their National Dialogue was that they would continue to oppose the euthanasia and assisted suicide.
CMA President Dr Louis Francescutti told a press conference where the CMA released its report, End-of-Life Care, a National Dialogue, on nation-wide consultations conducted into end-of-life issues that:
“It’s crystal clear in our minds that the last time we looked at this issue, our policy was not to support physician-assisted suicide,”
“I don’t think there’s a sense of urgency that we have to change our position or run scared. When physicians don’t know what to do, they consult.
. . . And they make decisions at that time. This is not a, I hate to use the term, life-or-death situation that we have to make a decision today.”
In response to a question about the response of physicians, Francescutti stated:
“As it currently stands, it’s illegal in Canada and until that changes, physicians are of the viewpoint it’s illegal and we’re going to follow the laws of the land.”
In response to the consensus that the CMA experienced related to supporting palliative care Francescutti stated:
“[W]e need to do better as a profession to train our medical students and residents and doctors what palliative care is and the importance of referring patients early to palliative care teams. … It’s a bit of a national embarrassment when our veterinary schools teach more about palliative care than the physicians who’ll be taking care of you.”
“We need a culture change and the first culture change is in our medical schools.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at alexschadenberg.blogspot.com.