A recent CBC News article outlines the Ontario government’s new “care co-ordination service” for medically assisted death, which will be up and running as early as May. This new service will allow people seeking medically assisted death to reach out for help directly from central staff, who will then connect them to health-care providers prepared to handle requests for medically assisted death.
Since June 2016, when assisted dying became legal in Canada, 365 Ontarians chose to end their lives with medical help.
While doctors are required to make a referral to physicians willing to work on assisted death cases, if they are unwilling to handle a patient’s request personally (because of objections on conscience grounds), some doctors do not want to make that referral because they see it as helping their patients end their lives.
In effect, this new service will allow patients to bypass these health-care providers who object to assisted suicide on moral and religious grounds. Instead, patients will be able to access the care-co-ordination service directly.