Physician-Assisted Dying Threatens Doctors and Gospel Witness in Canada

Paul Carter | January 26, 2017

Physician-assisted dying, or assisted suicide, has been a much-debated topic in North America over the past few years. Collin Hansen recently dubbed it one of 2016’s most important theological stories. With legislation working its way through the courts on both sides of the border, this issue is likely to continue to dominate the headlines for several years to come.

On June 17, 2016, the Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-14 into law, effectively amending the Criminal Code in order to permit certain forms of physician-assisted dying. According to the amendment a person may receive medical assistance in dying if they meet all of the following criteria:

(a)  they are eligible—or, but for any applicable minimum period of residence or waiting period, would be eligible—for health services funded by a government in Canada;

(b) they are at least 18 years of age and capable of making decisions with respect to their health;

(c) they have a grievous and irremediable medical condition;

(d) they have made a voluntary request for medical assistance in dying that, in particular, was not made as a result of external pressure;

(e) they give informed consent to receive medical assistance in dying after having been informed of the means…

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