Complexities and controversy surrounding euthanasia and doctors' conscience rights

In November 2018 – Alberta’s health minister, Sarah Hoffman, received complaints about Covenant Health and its refusal to allow patients euthanasia – and even assessments within their building. Covenant Health, which operates 17 health care and hospital facilities in Alberta, spoke exclusively to Context about updating its policies, and setting the record straight. Dr. Gordon Self is the chief ethics and mission officer with Covenant Health spoke with us from Edmonton.

Euthanasia raises existential angst among many of us. It’s always thought of as humane when dealing with an animal like a horse, or a cat. But human life, people argue, is different. While some people are quite clear about what they would do if they suffered a debilitating illness, others say only God has the power to say when our lives end and we go on into the next life. Doctors, however, should never be forced to perform a procedure that goes against their morals and ethics. Lorna Dueck explains the complex issue of Doctors’ Conscience Rights.

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