Doctors call for better end-of-life care, not euthanasia

Categories: Care.

The group issued results Tuesday from a national consultation on end-of-life care.

“If you were to stop and ask Canadians the one thing they are afraid of is dying alone, dying in pain and being a burden,” CMA President Louis Francescutti said. “Palliative care goes an enormous long way to address all of those three issues.”

Francescutti says 70% of Canadians don’t have access to palliative care.

“We’ve got to focus on delivering better access to care, and especially better access to palliative care at the end of the day,” he said, calling for a national palliative care strategy.

The CMA report concludes Canadians want to have some control over the end of their lives, but remain very divided on euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide.

Francescutti says until the criminal ban against euthanasia changes, the CMA remains opposed to it.

Justice Minister Peter MacKay reconfirmed Tuesday the feds don’t intend “to reopen the debate.”

Conservative MP Steven Fletcher, who has introduced two private member’s bills to legalized assisted suicide, says the debate has already begun.

“The question is are we going to seize it and frame it as elected representatives of the people of Canada, are we going to allow judges who are unelected and unaccountable to make the law of the land, or are we just going to let it be a free-for-all with no consequences at all?” he said.

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