Concerned Ontario Doctors oppose Sick Kids hospital proposed policy for euthanasia of children

Hospital willing to euthanize children without parental consent or knowledge

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On Sunday the Toronto Sun published an interview conducted by Jane Stevenson with Dr. Kulvinder Gill, the President of Concerned Ontario Doctors. The topic was Sick Children’s Hospital of Toronto’s proposed policy for child euthanasia.

Stevenson writes that the Council of Canadian Academies will be releasing three reports on the expansion of euthanasia in Canada, no later than December 13. One of the reports will concern the expansion of euthanasia to children.

In September 2018, the Hospital for Sick Children stated in a report that it is not only willing to do child euthanasia but that its proposed policy states that a child could die by euthanasia without the consent or knowledge of the parents.

Dr. Gill, who is a pediatrician, states in the interview that rejecting the difference between killing or letting a patient die undermines a fundamental principle in medicine.

Of particular concern is hospitals (Sick Kids) contention that there isn’t ‘a meaningful, practical or ethical difference for the patient between being consensually assisted in dying (in the case of MAID–Medical Aid in Dying) and being consensually allowed to die (in the case of refusing life-sustaining interventions).’

Gill explains

“So that in itself is fundamentally attacking the very premise of medicine,”

“It is now claiming to state that there is literally no difference between allowing a patient a natural death versus taking an action to cause a death.”

Gill challenges the lack of involvement of physicians in the proposed policy change:

“Frontline doctors have been kept very much in the dark about this. Most of what we’ve been hearing has been through the media, mostly international media. And many of these new federal laws which are being proposed, both extending euthanasia to children and to those that have mental illness will be putting the most vulnerable patients at risk.”

Gill comments on the extreme nature of the Sick Kids report:

“The Netherlands and Belgium have parents involved in the process. But this (Sick Kids) policy paper even imagined a scenario where it would happen without the involvement of family which, again, doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.”

Gill then comments on the “slippery slope” of euthanasia:

“I think it’s a very scary, slippery slope that we’re going down. Less than a year ago, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in the entire world to have physicians lose their freedom of conscience forcing doctors to either be involved in actually administering MAID or be involved in the effective referral process. In Ontario, five per cent of vulnerable patients account for two-thirds of our public healthcare costs. Our healthcare is in crisis. Rather than seeing needed investments in frontline healthcare for our most vulnerable patients, our governments have plans to expand access to euthanasia.”

Gill then comments on how this will affect Canadian healthcare:

“We are fundamentally devaluing human life and not giving patients equal access to life-sustaining healthcare or palliative care. We are the only country in the entire world where euthanasia is legal under a single-payer socialized healthcare system and more than 85% of patients in Canada do not have access to palliative care. There is the empty promise of a choice.”

Concerned Ontario Doctors is a secular organization trying to correct the problems with healthcare in Ontario.

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