The Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Medical Association was held this week in Ottawa. A review of current policies regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide was up for discussion.
At 90%, Canadian physicians voted largely in favour of an advisory resolution supporting “the right of all doctors, within existing legal limitations, to follow their conscience when deciding whether or not to medically assist someone to die”.
Request for palliative care
“The disappointing lack of palliative care is at the fore-front of discussions” explained John Haggie, doctor in Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, many doctors have mentioned the fact that the Canadians would not demand so much euthanasia and assisted suicide if access to the quality of palliative care were improved. Dr. Suzanne Strasberg (Toronto) was applauded in particular when she concluded the following during her presentation: “palliative care has become a specialist service in many parts of the country and, as general practitioners, we must include end-of-life care in our daily practices”.