Posted By manage Mar 01, 2014
The provincial government has to get moving on policies surrounding assisted suicide or be happy with what the federal government decides, says a University of Alberta legal expert.
The Supreme Court ruled last February against a law that makes it illegal to help someone suffering from “grevious and irremediable” medical conditions to end their life. Law makers now have until June 6 to make changes to the Criminal Code.
Ubaka Ogbogu, professor in the departments of law and of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Alberta, expects the federal government to simply repeal the law, making the issue fall under the auspices of the province.cheapjerseys13 But Ogbogu hopes the province can set some policy guidelines before the June deadline.
“I expect the health minister to act now and to act quickly to get people in the room and start talking about how to move forward,” said Ogbogu. “If you let it sit and you let it fester, they’re not going to come up with good policy. We need to have a framework in place by June 6 or we’re going to be forced to accept whatever the feds come up with.”
Related: Nealy 80 Alberta doctors have stepped forward to offer physician assisted death
Alberta Health Services has released some of the first details of how the process will go, including a prescription drug cocktail and, for those unable to swallow the pills, intravenous “voluntary euthanasia.”
James Silvius, Alberta Health Service’s medical director for seniors health and pharmacy services, said earlier this week that AHS isn’t ready yet, but added “at the end of the day, we will figure it out.”
What Ogbogu is more concerned about is policies regarding conscientious objection from both individuals and institutions, issues involving rural communities and the cross over with palliative care.
“All of those conversations have to start now,” said Ogbogu, who is expected to join two other speakers Wednesday evening Rev. Brian Kiely of Dying with Dignity Canada and Dr. to give their perspectives on what provincial legislation should include.
For his part, Ogbogu said there has to be policy that allows people to express their beliefs religious or otherwise and uphold them, but requires them to allow conditions for the “patient to be able to access the service without hardship.”
Related: Tait: Suicide, assisted or not, affects us all
If the law is to be repealed, Dr. Johnston expects the number of doctor assisted suicides in Alberta to effectively skyrocket.
will feed on itself. There’s no question that euthanasia begets its own market and creates it’s own market, said Johnston. www.cheapjerseys13.com going to see people who never would have considered this suddenly doubting their own interest in going on living. said he would like to see at least three things added to any doctor assisted suicide legislation including a judicial review conducted prior to every case, a waiting period to allow patients the opportunity to change their minds, and a safe space for people to not have contact with providers of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
should not have it hanging in the air, said Johnston.
A physician in Alberta with close to 50 years of experience, Arnold Voth, 76, is concerned over the possible coercion that patients face from physicians who are simply presenting the option of assisted suicide.
have cared for many, many hundreds of elderly, frail, and dying patients who already feel useless; they already feel they’re an imposition on society, and on their family and that they’re using up precious resources, said Voth. then to add to that by saying ‘well, you have this option’, it’s absolutely impossible to avoid coercion there. the end of the day, Ogbogu says the onus is on the province to bring everyone to the table and try to find a middle ground.
also important to not lose sight of the fact that, ultimately, we’re talking about people who are not in a position to help themselves achieve death and they’re going through very serious conditions.”