10 December in Canada “will mark the start of the euthanasia experiment in Quebec”(cf Gènéthique du 23 octobre 2015). As the deadline approaches, the country’s religious communities are asking “the new liberal government to introduce strict guidelines regarding medically assisted dying”. In particular, they are asking for “a guarantee that no doctor will be obliged to offer euthanasia if it affects his/her conscience or to address patients who are asking a colleague involved in this practice”.
The Archbishop of Ottawa and his Jewish, Muslim and Evangelical colleagues held a press conference in which they made the following statement: “We wish to guarantee the protection of affected members of the medical profession”. “None of us wish to impose our own religious values on the Canadians. But, by the same token, it is unfair to impose values on doctors that they do not share”.
The Group of doctors against euthanasia warned against the “euthanasia option” which“ certainly gives an illusion of control but there should be no doubt that it will erode diligence and creativity in medical care for people with a severe disability as well as for the chronically sick”. The group called for respect of professional judgement and conscience because, “from a logistics point of view, a patient does not in any way require the intervention of his/her treating physician in order to access euthanasia”.
Newswire (30/10/2015) ; le devoir (30/10/2015)