By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Hospice organizations in several Canadian cities have declared that they will not participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide.
The director of the Hospice of Windsor, which is known as one of Canada's most comprehensive hospices, was reported by the Windsor Star as stating:
"the organization does not view either assisted dying or euthanasia as a part of palliative care."
The Hospice of Windsor statement emphasized their commitment to:
the “most effective means of pain and symptom management,” counselling and supporting those going through suffering, and enhancing the quality of life of people at the end of their lives.
A statement from the Canadian Society for Palliative Care Physicians stated that the majority of palliative care physicians oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide and concerning the act of doing euthanasia or assisting a suicide the statement said:
"if legalized, should not be provided by palliative care services or palliative care physicians."
It is important that people know where hospice and palliative care organizations and physicians stand on these issues. People should not be pressured by physicians or hospice employees to die by euthanasia and assisted suicide when they are in a vulnerable condition.
It is also important that conscience rights for health care workers be upheld.