Dr Deborah Andrew

I appreciate that you have sought our feedback regarding the important issues of the inclusion of mental health in MAID and the potential impact of changes to the Conscientious Objection Standards. I am pleased to see that the phrase “effective referral” has already been removed from the Draft “Standard of Practice on Conscientious Objection”. As clearly outlined in many of the responses already posted, it is a travesty to compel physicians or any healthcare provider to take actions that are against their ethics and morals around upholding life. It is of great concern to me that the Federal Government has taken measures through Bill C-39 which appear to side-step taking responsibility for improving resources and care for the increasing proportion of our population with mental health issues. A Bill such as C-39 which makes assisted suicide available for mental health issues has never been considered a part of ethical medical care in Canada. The size of the “mental health problem” is significant and it is time to address some of the contributors to this problem. These include addiction, isolation, hopelessness, family breakdown and difficulties in surviving day to day. This will require creativity and considerable human and financial input. Offering assisted suicide to this fragile and vulnerable population is an abdication of our duty of care. What about supporting and helping them through their difficult times? What about allocating adequate funding and “effective resources”? Those that have succeeded in coming through a time of suffering and depression often describe gaining more wisdom and personal growth from the experience and have more to offer humanity as a result of navigating that stretch of painful life experience. Are we to throw away all that human potential? The elements of society that are pushing for this change in orientation of how we are supposed to serve our patients is, in my view, promoting an agenda cloaked in slick words and a “nice narrative” that will attempt to drag us all down a steep and slippery slope of loss of respect for the value of human life. This plan is tainted with moral rot and is nothing short of a disgrace to our profession. What is next? I believe that we in Alberta need to send a clear message to the Federal Government of Canada that we strongly reject the inclusion of mental health issues as a qualifying condition for MAID as outlined in Bill C-39. We need to fund Life, not Death.

Comments for this post are now closed. If you would like to share your feedback on this topic, please email support@cpsa.ca.

« Previous EntryNext Entry »