MDs can’t control pain, but now they’re expected to kill?

by One More Soul Staff

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Brilliant! The same Canadian doctors who are apparently very poorly trained in palliative care, have been given a license to kill by the recent radical ruling of the country’s Supreme Court.

This medical and potentially humanitarian mess is sorted through in a good column in the Toronto Star by Harvey Max Chochinov. From, “Canada Failing on Palliative Care:”

Despite the impressive strides that palliative care has taken — in areas such as pain and symptom management, and sensitivities to the psychosocial, existential and spiritual challenges facing dying patients and their families — at their time of licensure, physicians have been taught less about pain management than those graduating from veterinary medicine.

Once in practice, most physicians have knowledge deficiencies that can significantly impair their ability to manage cancer pain.

Doctors are also not generally well-trained to engage in end-of-life conversations, meaning that goals of care often remain unclear; and patients may not receive the care they want or the opportunity to live out their final days in the place they would want to die…

For 70 to 80 per cent of Canadians, palliative care is not available and hence, not a real choice.

Yikes! And remember, the Supreme Court case legalized both assisted suicide and euthanasia to the dying, disabled, and mentally ill!

This means that doctors who can’t adequately care, will be allowed to kill–assuming they don’t botch it, which can definitely happen:

In the future, how might this kind of scenario play itself out in the many Canadian settings that do not have adequate palliative care? There, the choices will come down to settling for sub-optimal care; dislocating from friends and family to seek out better care elsewhere; or, if one is so inclined, considering medically hastened death.

We are about to become a country that extends patients the right to a hastened death, but offers no legislative guarantees or assurances that they will be well looked after until they die.

Some “choice.” Some “compassion.”

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