Governments shouldn’t force faith-based hospitals to perform medical assistance in dying

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  • Stephanie says:

    A corporation has no faith or belief system, only that which the people running it decide upon. If we were to extrapolate to other situations, such as would it be acceptable for a Jewish Hospital to deny surgeries in which pork products are needed, such as valves? Would it be acceptable for a Jehovah’s Witness Hospital to deny blood transfusions? In both of those cases the answer would be no, it would be unethical. Institutions receiving tax dollars are required by the Health Act to perform all medically necessary procedures or they risk losing funding.

    It is unethical to place the burden on the patient over a corporation. Corporations do not have faiths or beliefs. Unlike the US, Canada needs to place the individual over the corporation.

  • Dr D H Smithn says:

    This is public money. It should be about what patients want, not the values of hospitals. Assisted dying is a charter right. Its time to get rid of publically funded, faith based hospitals.

  • Nam W says:

    Canada in general is not ready to embrace death. As evident by the increasing government funds for hospital acute care as compared limited funds for chronic care and/or hospice care. As a society, we welcome birth, life and youth with open arms. Death is still a taboo in Canada and we have people having difficulty even saying the word “death”. In addition to that, here we are struggling to understand the movement of palliative care, end-of-life care and death, and our kind government drops the MAID bomb on us. What should we expect? People are bound to freak out and protect themselves from this idea of death and killing. So, that being said, of course the faith-based hospital has every right to refused MAID. Canada thinks, legalizing MAID is somehow embracing the inevitable truth about death. Is not. The faith-based hospitals themselves are victims of our society, so afraid to embrace death and dying. However, now that MAID bomb is in town, there is an universal responsibility to protect the hospitals, healthcare professionals from not becoming a victim again, of crimes and sins. What I mean by crimes and sins, the need to have rigorous assessment of clients who wants MAID. Looking at their health history if detected depression and possible suicide ideations in the past than dig further into it. We have to be very rigorous, possibly more than what we are doing now. I think if the faith-based hospital are uncomfortable with MAID and wants to protect themselves, than who will protect the hospices or the community care providers? Every institutions in Canada, or every profession or even each person has their values and believes; who will protect them from MAID? What about the Hindu, the Jew and the Buddhist, the non-believer healthcare providers? Who will protect them? Though faith-based hospitals has been a huge part of our Canadian history, than so is, multiculturalism and diversity. MAID is here, and we are not ready, now we have to work together to make this safe and protect all who are uncomfortable or comfortable with this. Our society was not and probably will never be ready to even talk about death and dying so we have to continue to advocate for natural death and that death is part of our life as much as birth. However, if patient just cannot accept or embrace death as it comes naturally, so fearful of uncertainties and suffering they choose MAID. Going forward, we have to think about how faith-based hospitals can possibly create a floor where people have access to MAID and can have care providers who are completely pro MAID and can provide MAID with clear conscience. They can do something along that line, because, I know hospices who will not accept clients who are merely there to get MAID.

  • Alexandra says:

    From my understanding transfers occur because a hospital does not have expertise, or facilities to perform a service, for example something as specialized as a liver transplant or complex paediatric surgeries, not because they are unwilling. I think there is a fundamental difference between transferring someone because the staff do not possess the requisite skill to provide a service, and an institution not allowing it. Faith-based hospitals have gotten around said distinction with abortion by not having the staff or infrastructure to provide them, an argument that is much more difficult to make with medical assistance in dying.

  • Alex D says:

    Transfers typically happen because resources are limited and not all hospitals can provide every service. However, MAID is fully within the capabilities of all Ontario hospitals.

    The religious affiliation of an institution should not prevent practitioners at that institution from acting in the best interest of the patient. At least, not on the public dollar.

  • Tom Closson says:

    Patients who want medically assisted death should not have to be transferred to another institution. Doing so puts the rights of an organization above the rights of the patient. I believe that this is morally and ethically wrong.


Michel Bilodeau


Michel Bilodeau is the former CEO of Bruyere Continuing Care and CHEO

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