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Canada now has legislation that makes it legal for a physician to provide a patient with assistance in committing suicide or even to intentionally administer a substance that causes death. This is a significant departure from the long-standing policy that patients could be allowed to die under some circumstances, but that "active euthanasia" was always forbidden. The change in law seems to have been made possible by a prior shift in the beliefs of many Canadians about the ethics of these actions. But was this a good change in attitudes, or a bad one?
This discussion will explore some of the points of disagreement between the supporters and opponents of the new legislation. For example: Is there good reason for the law to distinguish between active killing and merely letting die? If assistance in dying is to be legally available, how should that effect physicians and related professionals who do not want to participate on the grounds of conscience? Are there good moral reasons for extending the current legislation to allow assistance in dying to groups of whom it is not currently available?
Thursday, January 12, 2017
MacKenzie Art Gallery
3475 Albert Street
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