Read the original article copied in italics below at the following link: http://www.theprovince.com/news/official+says+most+doctors+knows+want+keep+assisted+suicide+prohibition/5714965/story.html#ixzz1doyJqwUd. Note that one of the comments asserts that doctors want to keep patients alive to get their fees. We see this as further proof of the cost-cutting mindset behind the effort to legalize assisted suicide. Also note that the doctor testifying against assisted suicide has palliative care experience. The doctor who will testify for assisted suicide tomorrow is a pathologist, who works in a lab or does autopsies on people who are already dead. The first doctor knows a lot about dying; the second does not.
A top Vancouver health official testified Tuesday that most doctors he knows want to keep Canada’s law against assisted suicide.
The comment from Dr. Douglas McGregor came during his testimony at a constitutional challenge to the law being heard in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.
Under cross-examination by plaintiffs’ lawyer Joe Arvay, McGregor was asked whether physicians could comply with ethical guidelines should the law be struck down.
“Yes, but I’m not sure that’s the right thing to be doing in our society,” replied McGregor, the regional director of palliative care for the Vancouver Coast Health Authority.
Under further questioning from B.C. government lawyer George Copley, McGregor expanded on his answer.
He said physicians set out to value and esteem life “above everything else” and asserted that is a value held in society.
“I personally feel that is a value I want to continue to hold and I don’t think many of my colleagues would differ from that.”
Earlier, McGregor testified that hospice services in the Vancouver area were being expanded, with new hospices in Richmond and on the North Shore.
He said 65 per cent of patients requiring palliative care can be well managed in the community and 20 per cent with more complex needs can still be managed at home.
Another 15 per cent have “very complex” needs requiring hospitalization or other medical care.
For people in the last stages of an illness, 85 per cent can be accommodated in a “fairly straightforward” manner, with the remaining 15 per cent having more complex conditions, said McGregor.
For patients suffering from extreme difficulties, there are “extra measures” to relieve symptoms, he said.
And when no relief of pain and suffering is possible, patients can be sedated, he said.
In the last eight years, at a hospice in Vancouver, there were only six or seven times a patient needed palliative sedation, said McGregor.
Under questioning from Arvay, McGregor conceded that sedation could speed up the death of a patient.
The case is expected to continue Wednesday with testimony from Dr. Marcia Angell, a pathologist and senior lecturer at Harvard University. Angell, a witness for the plaintiffs, has filed an affidavit addressing the question of whether from a medical ethics perspective, physician-assisted suicide should be legalized.
The trial is expected to run for five weeks.