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Workshop on Bill C-14 (Medical Aid in Dying)

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

Recently, I had an opportunity to attend a workshop in which David Levangie from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Saint John brought helpful information regarding the proposed Bill C-14 (Medical Aid in Dying) that is supposed to go into effect June 6. David went through the history of the Bill, the terminology, the fears and uncertainties ahead, and the particular difficulty of crafting a federal law that covers all of Canada given that the provinces and territories are in charge of managing their own health care. (Read Rosemary Ganley comprehensive summary here). David spoke about how we all carry a bias as a result of our experience and the tradition we have known; pastoral care persons need to listen to patients, respect their dignity and their diversity of views. He cautioned us to avoid certitude. Sometimes when we don't like change, we choose to not engage and to deny those who do engage. An alternative would be to learn all we can about impending change and potential effects. Most public hospitals seek to embrace many faiths and an inclusive stance towards all its patients, professionals and ministry personnel.


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