Ontario doctors will leave the province if forced to participate in “assisted dying”

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr. Kulvinder Gill

Dr. Kulvinder Gill

On May 18, the Ontario legislature rejected Bill 129, the Regulated Health Professions Amendment Act, a bill that was sponsored by Jeff Yurek (Member of the Legislative Assembly) to provide conscience protection for health care workers in Ontario.

The Toronto Sun reported on a press conference organized by the Concerned Ontario Doctors and the Coalition for Healthcare and Conscience that

Many Ontario doctors and nurses working in palliative care say their objection to playing a role in assisted suicides may force them to leave the medical profession.

Many physicians “don’t want to make a referral that would result in the death of a patient,” Dr. Kulvinder Gill [a co-founder of Concerned Ontario Doctors] said, adding forcing medical workers to participate strips them of their conscience rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Access (to assist dying) must not depend on a physician having a role.”

Dozens of medical professionals attended the press conference. The Toronto Sun quoted some of the medical professionals:

Dr. Jane Dobson said she is at a crossroads because she won’t make referrals for assisted dying.

“There are palliative-care providers who will be forced to leave (the profession) because of the conscience,” Dobson said.

Pharmacist James Brown says he believes drugs should be used to treat diseases — not kill someone.

“They’re never intended to take a patient’s life. Knowing a medication is meant to take a life goes against my core values,” Brown said.

Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals must never be forced to be complicit in acts of killing their patients.

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