The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research conducts and disseminates research on topics connected to human life in its biological, social and ethical dimensions. These topics are selected for study depending on emerging medical, technological and social developments. In undertaking this work the Institute believes that a sense of the inherent value and dignity of human life and of the human person as an end and not a means is a foundational perspective to bring to bear on its work.

The Institute's research may be original or may consist of reviews of existing literature. In each case the Institute's work is to be of the highest academic quality, though accessible to the general public.

From the Director's Desk

Check ethics at the door

Check ethics at the door Re: Doctors’ Beliefs Must Not Impede Care: Ontario College, March 7. Published in National Post.

Something precious was lost when Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons voted to strip doctors of their universally recognized right not to participate in an action that violates a properly formed conscience.

Its arrogance was nicely captured in the quote from past president Dr. Marc Gabel, who told the college counsel, “You cannot kick someone out of your office without care” — a slanderous mischaracterization of physicians who wish to bow out of the referral process for abortion and doctor-assisted killing. The vote took place the same day the Canadian Medical Association reportedly defended a physician’s right not to be forced to refer against his/her moral beliefs.

Unacceptable to force doctors to participate in assisted dying against their conscience

Legalized physician-assisted death will usher in such a fundamental change in practice “we simply cannot accept a system that compels physicians to go against their conscience as individuals on something so profound as this,” CMA president Chris Simpson said in an exclusive interview.

Today’s letters: On assisted suicide, ‘the SCC has done its job, now it’s Parliament’s turn’

Yes, the Supreme Court decision mirrors public opinion on assisted suicide. Unfortunately public opinion is ill-informed. Three years ago, our elected MPs showed that they had thought more deeply about the subject than our judges. Showing considerable courage, they defied public opinion and overwhelmingly rejected a bill to legalize assisted suicide. I have been personally touched by this issue. Twenty years ago my terminally ill father asked me to help him kill himself. He didn’t want to be a burden. I pointed out that those he loved would be greatly saddened if he did this. Fortunately a skilled physician managed his pain and he was able to die a dignified, peaceful death.

Ian Gentles, Toronto.

Published in the National Post
Letters | February 17, 2015 | Last Updated: Feb 17 6:00 AM ET

Dr. Shawn Whatley, newest DeVeber Institute Board Member reflects on Physician Assisted Suicide

"Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is fundamentally confused. Other societies throughout history have supported physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, infanticide and much more. That does not mean Canada should."

The full story from Dr. Shawn Whatley may be found here, below, or go to: http://shawnwhatley.com/physician-assisted-suicide-3/ 

Dr. Whatley is a practising physician and is the newest member of the Board of Directors of the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. Dr. Whatley writes about health, ethics and medical care on his personal website.

 

Questioning ethics in Canada

This wide-open decision announced by the Supreme Court removes the safety net for the elderly, persons with disabilities and individuals suffering suicidal ideation to name a few. It will allow coercion and intimidation of those costing the healthcare system money.

What will happen to those doctors and nurses who act or are forced to act on the request of a patient who asks for death? Will they develop PTSD, anxiety disorders and depression? Will some enjoy the power which ...is available in putting a person to death? How much of future life and death issues will simply be based on economics?