Lorna Junker Andersen

Thank you for requesting feedback on the proposed policy changes. I am concerned and disappointed in the proposed change in this policy to require an 'effective referral' from conscientious objectors. Alberta already has a system in place which does not present a barrier to anyone seeking to access MAiD, where both the rights of the patient and the rights of the physician are respected. By adding 'effective referral' to the policy the rights of the physicians are taken away, forcing them to make a referral against what they believe, are the best interests of their patients (there is no other area in medicine where physicians are required to make an effective referral for a patient for something that is not felt to be in their best interest). Therefore I request that this be removed. As a retired palliative care physician I have walked and worked with many patients and their families in their end-of-life journey. It has been a privilege to do so. Unfortunately, especially in these latter years, the resources required to support patients and families at this time of their lives has been severely under-resourced and this may result in their seeking MAiD. There is a greater need for high quality hospice and palliative care because most people want to live well until the time of their death and do not want to hasten their death. As a physician who seeks to assist patients in living well until their death, the pressure of 'an effective referral' does not leave space to assist them and help them navigate their lament of loss and their lament of suffering that is a normal process in living well in the dying process.

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