Ontario is setting up a new service for people seeking medically assisted death. The service will allow them to reach out for help directly, bypassing health-care providers who object to assisted suicide on conscience grounds.
The service makes it possible for patients to get in contact with health-care providers who are prepared to give medically assistance in dying. The Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins, says the service will be up and running from May on. The new service will come approximately a year after medically assisted dying was made legal in Canada.
365 Ontarians chose to end their lives with medical help between June of 2016, when assisted dying became legal, and March 30, 2017. In June, a line for doctors to call to refer patients to physicians willing to work on assisted death cases was set up. Physicians with moral and religious objections refused to make the call, because they see it as helping their patients end their lives.
Dying with Dignity investigated cases where patients weren’t referred and faced road blocks to assessing assisted death. These situations can be avoided with the new service.