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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Medical Assisted Death in Hanover

Hanover | by Robyn Garvey  

Hospital Board votes in favour of offering medically assisted death.

Medically assisted death will be offered at the Hanover and District Hospital.

In a secret ballot, the Board of Governors voted to accept Medical Assistance in Dying as a service.

Board Chair Dave Cardwell says this is probably the hardest decision the Governors have ever or will ever have to make on the Board.

The hospital held a number of engagement sessions with staff, physicians, clergy and the public -- some residents even held peaceful protests in the spring against the issue.

Cardwell adds there was no shortage of public feedback as the Hospital was flooded with letters both for and against physician assisted death.

Cardwell says in the end, it came down to the rights of patients.

He stresses though that the conscience rights of staff will also be protected.

Staff and physicians will not be obligated to provide medical assistance in dying.

The criteria and process will be outlined in a Board Policy that is currently being drafted.

There will also be a referral service for patients who do not get support from their physicians.

On June 17th, the Medical Assistance in Dying Act became law.

Cardwell says the Act includes safeguards for those patients who may be vulnerable.

The South Bruce Grey Health Centre says it will also offer medically assisted death at its hospitals in Kincardine, Walkerton, Chesley and Durham.



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