Canadian doctors are asking to have their name removed from “assisted death” list

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by columnist Sharon Kirkey published in the National Post indicates that as of February 17, there were 137 Ontario doctors who were willing to be on a list of doctors who will participate in “assisted death.”

However there were also 24 doctors who asked to be removed from the list and another 30 doctors who have asked to be temporarily off the list. There is no specific explanation about how many of those 54 had already participated in an “assisted death.”

Euthanasia and assisted suicide were officially legalized in Canada on June 17, 2016. This means that within 8 months, 24 Ontario doctors who agreed to lethally inject patients have changed their mind while another 30 doctors are now unsure about participating.

According to Kirkey, Ontario is “one of the few provinces to track the information.”

Jeff Blackmer, the Canadian Medical Association’s VP of medical professionalism, said, “I can’t tell you how many, but I can tell you that it’s enough that it’s been noted at a systemic level.”

For some doctors, the act is simply too distressing, he said. …

“And then we’re seeing doctors who go through one experience and it’s just overwhelming, it’s too difficult, and those are the ones who say, ‘take my name off the list. I can’t do any more.’ ”

Meanwhile, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons have ordered physicians who not willing to do assisted suicide or euthanasia that they are required to do an “effective referral” to a doctor who will kill their patient.

Doctors who are unwilling to kill their patients are also unwilling to refer their patient to the executioner.

The Coalition for HealthCare and Conscience [] is challenging the College of Physicians and Surgeons to protect conscience rights for all medical professionals.

I believe that it is natural that doctors are uncomfortable with killing their patients. Killing another human being is counter-intuitive to our human nature.

It is incumbent upon our culture to reject killing and commit ourselves to caring for people.

Death with dignity is not attained by a lethal injection, death with dignity is attained by dying comfortably within a community of caring and supportive people.

(See also, “Canadian doctors are struggling with euthanasia.”)

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.