Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Assisted death involves a doctor along with the patient

Shanaaz Gokool, CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada, and Richard W. Ivey, chair of Dying With Dignity Canada’s Patrons Council agree with medical assisted death, or more correctly called, euthanasia.

They wrote a letter to the National Post saying this, in reply to Barbara Kay's article where Kay discusses the need for palliative care.

I responded to Gokool and Ivey's letter with my own letter published today in the National Post.

National Post 4 Apr 2018 Patricia Maloney, Ottawa
Re: Choosing how we die. Letter to the editor, March 31 
I am strongly opposed to medical assistance in dying, but that’s not the point I want to make. 
When discussing medical assistance in dying, Shanaaz Gokool and Richard W. Ivey are being disingenuous. They state: “We don’t get to decide for others; they don’t get to decide for us.” 
Technically I agree with that statement as it stands. Clearly, if someone wishes to commit suicide, they decide this for themselves and I can’t decide for them. 
What I have a problem with is that by definition, assisted suicide is much more. It involves a doctor. A doctor who is against medical assistance in dying must still refer that patient. 
So the “decide” above is actually deciding for someone else: the doctor. And this I cannot agree with.
Patricia Maloney 

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