CMA members discuss physician role in assisted dying

HALIFAX, Aug. 25, 2015 /CNW/ - Members of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) attending the 148th annual meeting of General Council today closely examined the critical topic of the responsibility of physicians concerning assisted dying in Canada.

Special sessions generated comments and input from a large number of meeting participants. The General Council discussion served notice that the CMA will continue to provide input and an important physician perspective to government and others on this complex issue.

"For physicians, this is an issue that lies at the very heart of our commitment to provide high-quality care for our patients," said Dr. Chris Simpson, CMA President.

The CMA has conducted consultations with members and the public on end-of-life issues since 2014. In May, the CMA went to members and many other interested organizations and individuals with a set of Draft Principles-based Recommendations for a Canadian Approach to Medical Aid in Dying.

The input provided during the discussion will allow the CMA to go forward and work with regulators, governments and others to try and find a solution that will not force physicians to participate in assisted dying against their moral or religious beliefs, while at the same time making sure access is available for patients who qualify.

The CMA also contends that a critical aspect of this discussion that must not be overlooked is that Canada continues to lag in terms of availability and access to palliative care services. First and foremost we must correct that fact in the service of all Canadians.

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 80,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.


SOURCE Canadian Medical Association

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