Poll: What do Canadians think about forcing religious hospitals to provide assisted suicide?

euthanasia, killing, physician-assisted death, assisted suicide, California

Pro-assisted suicide organizations in Canada are pushing for religious hospitals to be forced into committing assisted suicide and euthanasia — but the majority of Canadians don’t agree.

Earlier this summer, the Vancouver Sun reported that Dying with Dignity Canada finds it “unacceptable” that Catholic hospitals, like St. Paul’s in Vancouver, do not commit Medical Aid in Dying (MAID). Helen Long, the assisted suicide organization’s CEO, said any hospital or care home that receives government funding should be required to commit MAID.

“[W]e’re talking about a hospital and hospitals don’t have conscientious rights. The hospital should have a policy that allows outside physicians to come in and perform MAiD without having to transfer the patient,” she said, adding, “It’s just a horrible situation to put people in when all they want to do is say goodbye and spend a few minutes with their loved ones.”

Canada has quickly become one of the most extreme nations in regard to assisted suicide, funding research groups with taxpayer money, and currently leading the world in euthanizing incarcerated people. Additionally, the government is attempting to allow children and people with mental illness to die by physician-assisted death, and Canadians support MAID in significant numbers for issues like homelessness and poverty.

READ: Researcher: Canada is funding euthanasia groups with taxpayer money

Yet forcing religious organizations to commit MAID seems a bridge too far for Canadians. Data from the Angus Reid Institute found that three in five Canadians (60%) feel that a patient requesting MAID should be transferred elsewhere, rather than forcing the religious institution to commit assisted suicide or euthanasia. Only one province — Quebec — saw different results.

Oddly, an overwhelming majority — 70% — said physicians with a moral or religious objection to MAID should be required to make a referral for MAID if a patient requests it.

“The Angus Reid Institute did not differentiate between a doctor being required to refer a patient for euthanasia or a doctor who opposes euthanasia being required to make an ‘effective referral’ for euthanasia. Most medical professionals are willing to refer a patient, but not make an effective referral, since an effective referral means sending the patient to a medical professional who will do the act,” Alex Schadenberg, of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, explained.

“Medical professionals who oppose euthanasia, usually oppose killing their patients,” he added. “If they believe that it’s morally wrong to kill a patient then they will also believe that it’s morally wrong to send their patient to someone who will kill their patient. Nonetheless, Canadians clearly support the right of religiously affiliated healthcare institutions to not provide euthanasia.”

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