By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A campaign by Jocelyn Downie, the academic euthanasia activist at Dalhousie University, has resulted in St Martha’s hospital in Antigonish NS being forced to provide MAiD (euthanasia) in the Catholic hospital.
An article by Ross Lord and Alexander Quon for Global News reported that the Nova Scotia Health Authority said
“Assessments and provision of MAiD [medical assistance in dying] will be available in a section of St. Martha’s Regional Hospital complex at the Antigonish Health and Wellness Centre.”
The Global News article stated that the euthanasia lobby sees the St Martha’s hospital policy as the first of many euthanasia policies that they intend to impose upon Catholic or religious healthcare institutions.
“We hope that this is the start and that Nova Scotia’s regulation, Nova Scotia’s position will be used as a model in other jurisdictions across the country. We’re certainly pushing for that,” said Jim Cowan, chair of Dying with Dignity.
Jocelyn Downie plans to pressure religiously affiliated healthcare institutions to provide euthanasia. The Global News article states:
“Governments and health authorities have failed to insist that faith-influenced, publicly funded institutions permit MAiD within their walls,” she said.
The reason that the euthanasia lobby focused on St. Martha’s hospital is that the sisters had signed an agreement in 1996 where the hospital would maintain Catholic beliefs but be administered by a secular board. St. Martha’s was considered an easier target.
There are dozens of other Catholic hospitals and nursing homes across Canada that forbid medically assisted dying, forcing some assisted dying applicants to sign request forms off-site.
In December, Downie began her campaign to force St Martha’s hospital into doing euthanasia with an article in the Chronicle Herald.
In late December, Canada’s national broadcaster, CBC news, featured a program pressuring St Martha’s hospital to euthanize their patients.
The most recent news article confirms what I stated, last December, that Downie targeted St. Martha’s hospital as a first step in a campaign to force all religiously affiliated health care institutions into participating in MAiD.
The euthanasia lobby will now challenge other religiously based healthcare institutions. They need to stand up and say NO. Sadly, Catholic hospitals in Canada already agreed to provide euthanasia assessments, on site. Euthanasia assessments are part of the requirement of the law for approving euthanasia. Therefore Catholic hospitals have already agreed to be directly complicit with MAiD in Canada.
I urge religious healthcare institutions to maintain their ethics and refuses to provide euthanasia.