The Current

Catholic hospitals refuse to comply to new doctor-assisted dying law

As the Supreme Court affirmed the right to die, it ruled doctors have a conscientious or religious right to refuse. In Canada, publicly-funded hospitals run by Roman Catholic orders are making it clear they won't be agreeing with requests for death.
Could Catholic health care limit access to doctor-assisted dying? (C. Kelly Roberts/Flickr cc)
Catholic health-care providers are very concerned that there's not enough emphasis at this point on the palliative aspect of this.- David Nash, chair of the Catholic Health Association of Ontario

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Ottawa has until June to draft new doctor-assisted dying law, but will Catholic hospitals comply?

There are at least 120 Catholic health-care institutions across Canada — from teaching hospitals to long-term care facilities. They serve a diverse range of Canadians, many of whom are not Catholic, and many who do not realize these medical facilities are guided by the Catholic faith.

Catholic health-care facilities in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario say their staff will have no involvement with physician-assisted death, arguing it contradicts the tenets of Catholic healthcare.

Guests in this segment: 

The Current did contact several Catholic health-care providers for this story, including the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, an umbrella group whose guidelines are followed by many institutions across the country. No one from that organization was available to speak with us.

What do you make of publicly-funded Catholic hospitals objecting to physician-assisted death? Should they be mandated to provide the service?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino, John Chipman and Shanifa Nasser.