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Canadian doctors support new stance on dying with dignity as legislative changes loom

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 26 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5307
  1. Barbara Kermode-Scott
  1. 1Calgary

Delegates at the Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA) general council meeting have overwhelmingly backed moves to modify the association’s existing policy on physician assisted death.

At the meeting in Ottawa on 19 August, 91% of delegates voted to adopt an advisory resolution presented by the CMA’s board of directors that said it “supports the right of all physicians, within the bounds of existing legislation, to follow their conscience when deciding whether to provide medical aid in dying.”

The decision recognised likely impending changes to Canada’s legislation surrounding “dying in dignity.” Euthanasia and assisted suicide are currently illegal in Canada under its criminal code, but in June 2014 Quebec became the first Canadian province to adopt right to die legislation. When it comes into force, Quebec’s Bill 52 will …

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