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Politicians wrestle with doctors’ consciences in Victoria

Originally published in MercatorNet, April 2017 by Paul Russell As the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Panel on “assisted dying” makes ready to release its interim report sometime in April, The Age newspaper turned its attention to the matter of conscience whether a doctor may refuse to take part in any action that would bring about the premature and deliberate death of a person. Conscience – or the ability to draw upon one’s …Read More

Growing Intolerance Threatens Rights of Conscience of Health Care Workers

Originally published in CNS News, March 2016 by Lynn Wardle Around the world, policies and actions of many governments and governmental agencies are threatening rights of conscience of health care providers and employees.  These challenges and dangers seem to be increasing. Recent times have seen numerous high-profile incidents in which nurses, doctors, hospital staff, government employees, and other health care workers are being pressured, required and forced to provide morally-controversial …Read More

Understanding freedom of conscience

Originally published in Policy Options, May 2018 by Brian Bird The year 2017 marks the 150th anniversary since Confederation and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. By virtue of a court case in Ontario that might go all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada, 2017 may also be the year when freedom of conscience — until now a dormant Charter freedom — …Read More

Why the right to conscientious objection must be restored

Originally published in Conscience Laws, June 2014 Presentation to the Life Dinner Melbourne, Australia by David van Gend I feel a little out of place coming from Queensland to speak about the wretched situation in Victoria: coming from a State where it is always sunny, where the people are always nice, and where we don’t have oppressive laws that try to compel the conscience of free citizens. But we are all …Read More

In reply to supporters of the End of Life Choice Bill

Originally published in New Zealand Doctor, February 2018 by Rosalie Evans   I agree that all doctors should read the End of Life Choice Bill. However, unlike Dr Havill et al, I do not believe it is inevitable that this bill will become law, writes GP Rosalie Evans. Dr Havill et al “cherry-picked” a few submissions to the health select committee which promoted a change in the law, as evidence for their viewpoint Far more jurisdictions have rejected moves to legalise euthanasia …Read More

Doctors, Revolt!

Originally published in The New York Times, February 2018 by Rich Joseph Boston — The 96-year-old patient with pneumonia in Bed 11 was angry. “Do you really need to check my vital signs every four hours?” he asked. Checking things like temperature, blood pressure and respiratory rate every four hours on hospitalized patients has been the standard of care since the 1890s, yet scant data indicates that it helps. In …Read More

Dr. Arnold Gold, 92, Dies; Made Compassionate Care a Cause

Originally published in The New York Times, February 2018 by Richard Sandomir Dr. Arnold Gold, a pediatric neurologist whose belief in the importance of an empathetic bedside manner led him and his wife to create a foundation to inspire young doctors to practice compassionate patient care, died on Jan. 23 in Manhattan. He was 92. His wife, Sandra Gold, confirmed his death. “You’re only half a physician if you’re just …Read More

Nurses’ unique perspectives on end-of-life choices must be heard

Originally published in Nursing Review, February 2018 by Taumihau Teremoana The outcome of last year’s government inquiry into assisted dying left me both hopeful and disappointed that as a society we have not addressed alleviating suffering effectively. The inquiry’s decision not to recommend law changes allowing legalised assisted dying was welcomed by Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand and Hospice NZ. Though the concept of suffering is complex much can be said from …Read More

Ron Jones: Leave doctors out of ‘assisted dying’ discussion

Originally published by New Zealand Herald, March 2017 by Dr Ron Jones Most individuals have strongly held views either for or against the proposed euthanasia legislation. My own views are those of a retired, perhaps somewhat cynical, doctor who has spent most of his professional life caring for women with gynaecological cancer. During this time I was never asked to deliberately end the life of one of them; my wife died …Read More

Physician-assisted suicide won’t atone for medicine’s ‘original sin’

Originally published in StatNews, January 2018 by Dr Ira Byock Centuries from now, one of the things our era will be known for is the plague of dying badly. A growing number of physicians believe that one solution is helping their dying patients choose to end their lives. I disagree. I’m proud of being a physician and a lifelong political progressive. I ardently believe in human rights. But there are …Read More