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Physicians and medical ethicists available for media interviews on death with dignity case

Physicians and medical ethicists across the country are available for interviews to discuss the ramifications of the B.C. Supreme Court’s ruling that Canadians who are seriously and incurably ill have the right to request that a physician assist them to end their lives in a dignified manner.

These individuals believe that based on their clinical experience and their understanding of medical ethics, they would consider it ethical in some circumstances to assist a patient who wishes to hasten death.

Sharon Cohen is a behavioural neurologist. She is the director of the Toronto Memory Program, a community based facility for dementia care and an active dementia research site. She was a witness in the death with dignity case and explained in her affidavit the suffering some patients with neurological disease experience at the end of life.

Read Dr. Cohen’s affidavit >>

Arthur Schafer is the Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba. He is also a Full Professor in the Department of Philosophy and an Ethics Consultant for the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. Arthur Schafer has published widely in the fields of moral, social, and political philosophy. Arthur Schafer has been a frequent guest on CBC radio and television. He has also appeared frequently on The Discovery Network’s “@Discovery.ca”, discussing ethical and value aspects of medicine, science and technology; and on the CTV, WTN, Global and Baton television networks.

Jocelyn Downie is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. She is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and is a Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at Dalhousie University. Professor Downie works at the intersection of law, ethics and health care. She has researched and lectured extensively on the topic of assisted dying and affecting change in health law and policy at federal and provincial levels.

 Further Resources

The BCCLA has a number of resources related to this case.

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