Sr. Nuala Kenny

Sr. Nuala Kenny

Sr. Kenny is Emeritus Professor of Bioethics at Dalhousie University and Ethics and Health Policy Advisor to the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada.

In the 16 months between the Supreme Court decision and the passage of federal legislation regulating medically assisted death, I was intensely involved in discussions and debates within the medical profession, among Catholic health care providers, ethicists and clergy, and with national and provincial government bodies. I was trying to mitigate the harms of the decision, particularly in the protection of the vulnerable, and in defending the right of conscientious objection for physicians and faith-based organizations.

On June 12, in another of the seemingly inexorable movements in the developed world to normalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, Quebec tabled Bill 52, “An act respecting end-of-life care.” Given that only 16-30 per cent of Canadians have access to comprehensive, quality end-of-life care, according to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, we ought to receive news of efforts to improve care at this crucially important and vulnerable time for dying persons and their loved ones with universal enthusiasm. But what vision of “end-of-life care” is presented here?

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