Marian Cloutier

I am opposed to this revision for Alberta doctors to have an "effective referral plan" for people wishing to access MAID or abortion or any other treatment/procedure that is not in their best interest. I have many friends and family who work in the healthcare profession and they are intelligent, caring and compassionate people who got into healthcare because they wanted to help people or MAIL (medical assistance in living) as opposed to referring a patient for MAID. I worked in hospice care for 5 years and have always advocated that more resources be directed to hospice and palliative care. Pain at end of life is controllable! Many people are not aware of this! And if we are talking about an 'effective referral system" then that same wording needs to be extended to all treatments/procedures, not just to MAID and abortion. Right now wait times for diagnostic procedures/surgeries/pain management clinics is soo ridiculously long that referral to anything in Alberta is certainly not "effective". Let's fix the brokenness of referral to life saving procedures/treatments before enforcing an "effective referral" to death care. I'm afraid that my Mom, 94, who when she is at a low point will be offered MAID instead of being encouraged to get out, go for a walk or drink more water (all positive healthcare treatments). I am also afraid that my husband who has back pain and sciatic nerve pain will reach a point that he doesn't want to have to 'live with the pain' anymore while he waits 2 months to see a Spine/back pain specialist and another 12-18 months for surgery (if deemed an appropriate treatment). Our government is actively enforcing and promoting a 'culture of death' and not listening to the people that they say they represent. I hope and pray that the CPSA will be more responsive to all Albertans, and not change its policies that are currently working to allow mutual freedoms to both doctors and patients. Taking away a doctor's freedom of conscience and forcing them to have an effective referral plan to death care, while at the same time not having an equally vibrant referral system to life care makes no sense.

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