OTTAWA, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Today's ruling by the Supreme Court of
Canada in the Rasouli case reinforcing the role of the Ontario Consent
and Capacity Board as the dispute resolution authority on the issue of
consent for incapable patients, underscores the importance of advance
care directives, the Canadian Medical Association says.
"There are no winners and losers in a tragic situation like this, but
this does show clearly that all Canadians must make their care wishes
clear with advance care directives," said CMA President-elect Dr. Chris
As medicine is able to do more and more it becomes increasingly
important that patients have crucial conversations and detailed
discussions with family members and their physicians. Health care
professionals must also encourage discussion of advance care directives
and help patients and their families develop them.
``It is important to note that it is rare for there to be a disagreement
of this type and physicians strive to work and communicate with
patients and their families when faced with these heart-wrenching
decisions,'' Dr. Simpson said. ``Never in my 21 years of medicine have
I seen a case like this one.''
Canada's doctors are committed to treating and caring for their patients
in all stages of their lives, from birth to death and it is upon the
strong patient-physician relationship that high-quality care flourishes
throughout the continuum of care.
"As we have seen recently, the issue of end-of-life care is one that has
captured public and media attention — as it should," said Dr. Simpson.
"Physicians are also grappling with end-of-life issues but and because
we believe broader societal discussion is required, the CMA will be
engaging Canadians in a public dialogue on end-of-life issues beginning
in early 2014."
Regardless of what society ultimately decides, the CMA maintains that
Canada must intensify efforts to broaden availability of palliative
care in Canada. Adequate palliative care services must be made
available to all Canadians where and when they need them.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian
physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional
organization representing more than 78,000 of Canada's physicians and
comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51
national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the
physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with
the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association
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