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Thread: Medically assisted dying vs. Catholic Hospitals

  1. #1

    Default Medically assisted dying vs. Catholic Hospitals

    After a ruling from the Supreme Court, the Canadian government has passed laws to allow people with terminal illnesses to seek medically assisted suicide. The law is restricted to mentally competent adults who have serious and incurable illness. It outlines safeguards to protect vulnerable Canadians, but does not include some*of the more controversial recommendations from a parliamentary committee, including extending the right to die to "mature minors" and the mentally ill, and allowing advance consent for patients with degenerative disorders.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/assi...oval-1.3640195

    Since the law was passed, Catholic hospitals, which are publicly funded institutions, have taken the position that they have religious rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and have instructed their doctors not to perform the service.

    http://tvo.org/article/current-affai...uicide-anymore

    Publicly funded Catholic hospitals are not given tax dollars primarily for religious purposes. All Ontario hospitals, Catholic and others, exist to deliver medically required services, and they are funded by the province for that purpose. All hospitals recognize that for some patients, religious counsel, empathy and end-of-life support are vital to holistic care. We do not pay for publicly funded hospitals for the purpose of providing 'religious care.' Therefore, Catholic hospitals do not operate in a way that "accords” with a religious purpose and allows the institution to opt out of providing the constitutional right of a medical service to a dying person.

    The new Canadian law that permits medical assistance in dying requires that the person have a 'grievous, irremediable condition that is causing physical and psychological suffering. Death must be reasonably foreseeable. The people asking for assistance are suffering, in pain, and near death. They have the constitutional right to assistance in dying without pain, and with dignity. While an individual physician may have a Charter-protected religious right to ask another doctor to take over the role of ending a life, a hospital has no constitutional right to prohibit all its physicians from doing so.

    Catholic hospitals receive enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars to provide public services. They serve not only Catholics but people of all faiths and the non-religious. The law allowing medically assisted death has been passed after decades of debate, discussion, research, and court cases, all of which lead to the Supreme Court decision which is supported by the vast majority of the country. The Catholic hospitals cannot bury their heads in the sand by denying rights to the dying as if all our laws are subject to their religious views.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    After a ruling from the Supreme Court, the Canadian government has passed laws to allow people with terminal illnesses to seek medically assisted suicide.
    The question I would have is whether this gives an individual the constitutional right to force a hospital to perform a procedure the hospital is not prepared for. And, if so, should the government have the right to force every hospital to be prepared to perform every legal medical procedure known to man?

  3. #3

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    They passed a law in Colorado no more treatment just make them comfortable for people later in life sounds like Logan's Run stuff.
    matter of fact one of the city council members said we have to get seniors out of their houses so young people have them.
    I see it as a slippery slope making life cheap.
    One world order stuff kill most off .
    Transport them to a place that will do the act.
    Open a place next door the death house wheel them there.

  4. #4

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    At times there is a plain contradiction between the freedoms afforded religious organizations and the tax benefits those organizations enjoy. This is one of those. I don't mind if a religious hospital denies patients procedures that are in conflict with the core beliefs of that religion. But, gosh. The taxpayers are, in effect, funding that organization's sub-standard (from a secular point of view) services. That doesn't really work. Freedoms, sometimes, need to come with a price. This isn't Sunday worship, it's a hospital. Let it pay its fair share of taxes before it rejects lawful procedures.

  5. #5

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    If the Catholic Hospitals are trying to prevent the other hospitals from providing the service, then that is going too far and should be looked into. However, if it is just their policy not to provide the service then they should have that right. I could see cutting some of the funding from tax payers if the hospitals don't provide the service, and really would this be an issue if there was not the religious connection for the hospital? I.E. it was a secular hospital that did not want to help someone commit suicide for any reason.

    Before anyone says that an organization is denying rights to those in need, they might need to take a step back. I don't see the Catholic hospitals denying anything in this case, but I still see it as possible if they won't do it, they will transfer the patient to a hospital that will. Unless the Catholics are trying to prevent others outside their organization from providing the service, nothing is being denied as much as something has to be set up for those that want/need the service in question.

  6. #6

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    Irrespective of the hospital's specific ethos, surely it is the individual decision of the doctor. If they are at odds with hospital policy they have the opportunity to work elsewhere. Likewise, if they were being instructed against their will to perform such procedures, regardless of the law, surely that's unethical. The hospital may be forced under law to offer these services, but I can't believe a doctor could be forced to comply. No doubt there will be sympathetic doctors willing to assist, and of course now enough sympathetic, if not mandated hospitals. This is about choice, isn't it?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    The question I would have is whether this gives an individual the constitutional right to force a hospital to perform a procedure the hospital is not prepared for. And, if so, should the government have the right to force every hospital to be prepared to perform every legal medical procedure known to man?
    I don't see how the hospital would be 'unprepared' for a request from a patient seeking to terminate their life, but rather the hospital is unwilling to end the patient's suffering based on religious beliefs. The reason we have separation of church and state is to ensure that everyone's constitutional rights are guaranteed by state funded institutions.



    Quote Originally Posted by foxkits View Post
    They passed a law in Colorado no more treatment just make them comfortable for people later in life sounds like Logan's Run stuff.
    matter of fact one of the city council members said we have to get seniors out of their houses so young people have them.
    I see it as a slippery slope making life cheap.
    One world order stuff kill most off .
    Transport them to a place that will do the act.
    Open a place next door the death house wheel them there.
    I don't share this perspective. My reason for thinking about this is because my mother passed away in a hospital last week with cancer. She went swiftly and we never got to the point of discussing medically assisted death. I do remember several conversations with her in past years where she expressed her strong belief that she would never want to wither away in a hospital having others care for her and being a burden to her family. Her exact words were 'If I wind up in that condition, just put me out of my misery.' That is what my mother would have wanted. I don't see it as being a slippery slope because of the process and safeguards in place. It just allows people who cannot live with the suffering an option to die in dignity.



    Quote Originally Posted by Cottontail View Post
    At times there is a plain contradiction between the freedoms afforded religious organizations and the tax benefits those organizations enjoy. This is one of those. I don't mind if a religious hospital denies patients procedures that are in conflict with the core beliefs of that religion. But, gosh. The taxpayers are, in effect, funding that organization's sub-standard (from a secular point of view) services. That doesn't really work. Freedoms, sometimes, need to come with a price. This isn't Sunday worship, it's a hospital. Let it pay its fair share of taxes before it rejects lawful procedures.
    This is what galls me. The church doesn't pay taxes, yet it refuses to provide services for which the taxpayers are paying for.



    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf View Post
    If the Catholic Hospitals are trying to prevent the other hospitals from providing the service, then that is going too far and should be looked into. However, if it is just their policy not to provide the service then they should have that right. I could see cutting some of the funding from tax payers if the hospitals don't provide the service, and really would this be an issue if there was not the religious connection for the hospital? I.E. it was a secular hospital that did not want to help someone commit suicide for any reason.

    Before anyone says that an organization is denying rights to those in need, they might need to take a step back. I don't see the Catholic hospitals denying anything in this case, but I still see it as possible if they won't do it, they will transfer the patient to a hospital that will. Unless the Catholics are trying to prevent others outside their organization from providing the service, nothing is being denied as much as something has to be set up for those that want/need the service in question.
    They are most certainly denying service to a person suffering interminably for the remainder of their days. It's not a matter of simply transferring them to other hospitals. In the rural or smaller communities there may not be a hospital within reach and the patient may have to be transferred out of province. Also, a a patient requesting medically assisted death may not even be physically able to survive being moved to another hospital. There was a disastrous case in Edmonton of a man requesting termination of his life in a Catholic hospital, and the transfer alone practically killed him. The combination of being moved across town without medication left him screaming in agony in his final hours.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/ca...-death-request




    Quote Originally Posted by ozbub View Post
    Irrespective of the hospital's specific ethos, surely it is the individual decision of the doctor. If they are at odds with hospital policy they have the opportunity to work elsewhere. Likewise, if they were being instructed against their will to perform such procedures, regardless of the law, surely that's unethical. The hospital may be forced under law to offer these services, but I can't believe a doctor could be forced to comply. No doubt there will be sympathetic doctors willing to assist, and of course now enough sympathetic, if not mandated hospitals. This is about choice, isn't it?
    The legislation allows a doctor to opt out of performing the procedure as long as a referral is made to another doctor in the same institution. However, the edict from the church prohibits all doctors in Catholic hospitals from complying with a request for medically assisted dying.

  8. #8

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    Medically Assisted Suicide is something I've always been strongly for. If you are dying, and suffering why should you be forced to live out the rest of your days in complete agony?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    I don't see how the hospital would be 'unprepared' for a request from a patient seeking to terminate their life, but rather the hospital is unwilling to end the patient's suffering based on religious beliefs. The reason we have separation of church and state is to ensure that everyone's constitutional rights are guaranteed by state funded institutions.
    I see it as a moral issue more than a religious issue. It's also a financial issue which will most likely be the deciding factor. If the law is written in a way that allows the government to force tax supported medical facilities to conduct procedures they are morally opposed to, then those facilities that strongly object will have to examine their government contracts to see what options are available to them.

    What would be the impact if religious institutions pulled out of the health care business?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    Since the law was passed, Catholic hospitals, which are publicly funded institutions, have taken the position that they have religious rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and have instructed their doctors not to perform the service.
    Really? You're really going to go there? You, who run around posting all kinds of anti-suicide rants, posts, links, etc., etc., you're going to make an exception just so you can take a pot shot at the Catholic Church? Sorry, you've just lost a whole bunch of credibility with me.... going from well meaning, but a little too reliant on emotion to just another... well never mind. There's no point.

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