Your Voice

Guild Members:
The two links below are a summary explanation of the “Referrals, Assessments and Transfers When Assisted Death is Required”. Also attached is the letter written by Neil MacCarthy and Larry Worthen inviting us, as a Federation and independent Guilds, to endorse and which will be then distributed to MPPs.
PLEASE NOTE that Dr. Coelho has pointed out to Larry that this letter needs to be tweaked because “The letter again says the CCS is a referral only service. [But] CCS is being set up with direct access but a physician is still forced to refer if requested.” At present this is a real issue in Ontario but it is very important to us.  Please read and offer any feedback to st.lukesguildedmonton@gmail.com or directly to the Guild executive.

Canadian Physicians for Life VITAL BYLINES

Dear Friends,

Please remember that our Crisis Line service is available should you ever need to consult with a lawyer regarding your conscience or religious rights.

By calling our toll-free number at 1-855-239-0622, members have the opportunity to speak for an hour, free of charge, with a lawyer. Depending on the circumstances, members will also have access to a network of pro-life physicians and professionals who can offer advice on media strategies, dealing with institutional politics, handling difficult ethical circumstances and crisis communications.

Please note that we are able to assist our members in both English and French.

More information here.
Sincerely,

Faye Sonier
Executive Director and General Legal Counsel

MAID Policy Discussion

TWP is hosting a discussion session with Dr. Eric Wasylenko, a member of the team that implemented the policy in Alberta surrounding MAID (and staunchly pro-life), on Monday, January 23, 2017, at 7:30, by teleconference.  If you would like to listen in on the discussion, please email me at mlynnmccracken@gmail.com, and I will send you the teleconference number and code.

As a warm-up to this teleconference, consider how the Christian Medical and Dental Society is locked in a rather nasty legal battle with the CPSO regarding the conscience rights of physicians.  To wit, physicians in Ontario are expected to provide an “effective referral” to an available, non-objecting physician, when their patient asks them for a service or a prescription (read:  abortion, MAID, or birth control) that the physician can’t in good conscience provide.  This, of course, makes the physician complicit in the resulting service, which is unacceptable from a conscience rights perspective.  This article was published in the December 2016 edition of the Christian Legal Journal, a publication of the Christian Legal FellowshipRead Article HERE. This legal battle is shaping up to be a long and expensive one.  If you feel so compelled to drop a few shekels in the CMDS’s donation bucket, I’m sure they would be gratefully received.

 
Thankfully, the situation is somewhat better in Alberta, as the MAID implementation team made conscientious consideration of the conscience rights of physicians when they developed the MAID protocols in Alberta. 

 

Swaying Patient’s Minds

Be aware, the CBC has launched a propaganda series promoting euthanasia called – Road to Mercy. Road to Mercy follows the lives of people who die by euthanasia in Canada and Belgium.  Link: http://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/episodes/road-to-mercy

 The Road to Mercy article has an online poll asking: If you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, how likely are you to consider medically-assisted death?

 The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition produced the Euthanasia Deception documentary to counter the media propaganda.

 If you have not done so, order the Euthanasia Deception documentary from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and organize a screening of it in your community. Link to order the Euthanasia Deception documentary or email: info@epcc.ca and ask us to send you the Euthanasia Deception documentary DVD with an invoice.

 

OLDER NEWS BELOW>>>>>

Dear Colleagues,As per our concerns regarding the CPSA renewal questions regarding MAID, we wanted to inform you of the CPSA’s response to our inquiry.The question of concern was:
“If a patient asks you about MAID, you must provide them (or their designate) without delay contact information for the Alberta Health Services Medical Assistance in Dying Care Coordination Service.”
True or FalseFirst, we asked for clarification on the phrase “without delay” explaining that it would seem too hasty to provide someone with contact information without first discussing patient concerns or allowing the patient some time to discuss alternatives.
-Dr. Theman’s response was that we cannot delay or avoid providing a patient with information if they are persistent in their request. It is understood that an appropriate discussion would have already taken place.Second, we asked for clarification about the information that must be provided. It would seem from the AHS MAID Placemat that an alternative to giving contact information for the AHS MAID Care Coordination Service could be that patients can contact HealthLink directly for information about MAID.
-Dr. Theman acknowledged this, and explained that the College did not want to specify every mechanism for providing information. He also explained that specific scenarios would only be challenged in the case of a complaint coming to the College.Third, we asked about how the results of the answers would be used.
-Dr. Theman was very clear that there would be no tracking of answers, and that these questions were simply a mechanism to encourage members to understand their obligations and be aware of the College Standard.We are grateful for Dr. Theman’s clarifications, but admit that there remain some concerns about the ambiguity of the wording.

Hopefully these responses will better equip you to respond to the question in your College renewal process.

Sincerely,Joe Askin and Thomas BouchardCo-chairs
Alberta Committee for Conscience Protection

This year’s CPSA renewal has asked two very leading questions about euthanasia and assisted suicide (MAID).

One of these questions is problematic, and we are seeking clarification from the College in this regard.
The questions you will be asked when you renew your membership read as follows:
The following questions will help identify physicians’ awareness of their responsibilities surrounding medical assistance in dying (MAID):

If a patient asks you about MAID, you must provide them (or their designate) without delay contact information for the Alberta Health Services Medical Assistance in Dying Care Coordination Service. 

True False

- Before providing medical assistance in dying (MAID), you must ensure the patient fully understands they can, at any time and in any manner, withdraw their request. 

True False

The second question is obviously true. The first question, however, has two problems in our view. The first is the requirement to provide patients who ask about MAID with the contact information for the Care Coordination Service (CCS). Based on the MAID placemat, patients can self-refer and get more information through HealthLink, so there is no need to give the direct contact information for the CCS which would be a form of participation. The second problem is the statement that it be provided “without delay”. This minimizes the need to ensure that patients have the opportunity to think through their questions about MAID, including that their medical concerns have been properly addressed in the first place.

We are trying to clarify the College’s intention regarding this question and will be in touch with you about this, but wanted to bring this to your attention prior to your renewing your registration.

Urgent Action Needed before October 10th, 2016.

Visit Physician’s Alliance Against Euthanasia

St. Luke’s Members,

Your help is urgently needed and it will only take a few minutes of your time.

In addition to being an issue which will greatly affect patients and families facing end of life decisions living in an area served by the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), this is also of tremendous significance for all other health authorities across Canada. FHA provides hospice and palliative care, among other health services, to a wide region stretching from Burnaby/Tri-Cities to Surrey to Hope.

On October 11th, 2016, the Fraser Health Board will be considering a decision to mandate that all palliative care units and hospice facilities in FHA be required to provide MAiD (assisted suicide/euthanasia) within their units or facilities.

If approved, this decision will have a catastrophic impact on the trust that patients and families have towards palliative care – a field which seeks to improve quality of life for patients without the intention of hastening death.

If this issue concerns you please consider three actions (preferably all 3):

1)   Sign the petition linked below as a concerned citizen. We hope to submit this petition to the board within the next few days (until September 29th) so your action is needed urgently!

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/citizens-for-patient-safety

2)   Use the attached template letter to add your own personal story and send to the FHA Board of Directors and the Premier and the Health Minister with your grave concern.

Letter_template Oct 10 2016

3) Spread the word (forward this email) to like minded people

Attached is also a more detailed letter from three palliative care physicians, explaining the context and circumstances of this issue. Letter_from_three_palliative_care_physicians

We are strongly encouraging you to act so that maximum impact is felt by the Fraser Health Authority.  We need to send a message  across Canada that will positively affect other hospices and palliative care units throughout all other health authorities.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

Catherine Ferrier, MD

———————————————————

The following is quick summary from a palliative care doctor:

The most recent development in the euthanasia saga here in BC concerns the regional health authority (Fraser Health) that covers the geographic area from the eastern border of Vancouver to the town of Hope, about 100 miles to the east.

There has been a very concerted move to try to force every hospice (that is not “faith-based”) and all palliative care units to provide or allow euthanasia on their premises or on the actual palliative care ward in the hospital.

This is tragic.

Our patients are already very fearful of having their deaths hastened and this will only make those worries not only deeper, but more credible. Peer-reviewed studies in jurisdictions where euthanasia is legal have shown that about 1 in 3 euthanasia deaths is carried out without explicit consent. (references available on request, but I won’t clutter this email).

The FHA board will meet on Oct 11th to make a decision about this measure. Please pray that the public would hear about this and let the board know in no uncertain terms that they want to be able to feel safe in hospices and palliative care units.

There is a perfectly reasonable alternative which would be to provide euthanasia only in sites that are specifically designated for that alone so that there would be no confusion about what would happen if the patient went there.  However, there is a huge push by administrators and those with an agenda to make everyone complicit in some way and thus to “normalize” this practice and make it “routine”.  They have redefined killing as health care.

 

 

Update May 9, 2016

www.canadiansforconscience.ca

Currently in Second Reading in the House of Commongs, Bill C-14 is an act to decriminalize medical assistance in death (MAID), otherwise known as euthanasia.   When the bill is passed it will give protection from prosecution to those who would provide MAID.  While the preamble “respects personal conviction of health care providers”, there is no motion within the Bill protecting the rights of healthcare workers or institutions who do not want to provide or refer for MAID.  The federal government must provide this protection within the Bill for the whole country, so that individual provinces and/or Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons cannot discipline or dismiss those whose consciences would be violated by providing either MAID or a referral for the same.  This doesn’t mean that we would obstruct someone’s access to this if they want it but we should not be forced to provide that access.  In all cases, we hope to be present to our patients in the dying process.  

Please write to the Federal Minister of Justice, the Honorable Jody Wilson-Raybauld,  the Federal Minister of Health, the Honorable Jane Philpott,  and  your own MP and ask to protect all medical personnel and institutions on this deeply divisive issue, and not discriminate against those who cannot agree with this in conscience. 

If you go to the website www.canadiansforconscience.ca and press the take action tab you can  send an email to the above ministers and your own MP.  They provide a form letter but you can write your own.   You can also address mail to any MP or Minister at the House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario.