Human Exceptionalism

Canada Physician Assistants Want in on Euthanasia Kill

How radical is Canada’s pending euthanasia scourge likely to become? Beyond anything I would have predicted even a year ago.

No place in the world that permits active lethal injection euthanasia lets anyone but death doctors do the dirty deed. But Canada is on the verge of corrupting nurses and other such licensed medical professions by allowing them to kill under the direction of a doctor. 

That suits the Canadian Association of Physicians Assistants just fine.

Rather than protest being dragged into lethal acts, rather than assert that its members didn’t get all that schooling to participate in homicide–who would have predicted this development even a few months ago?–instead the organization has embraced forcing its members to participate in euthanasia when ordered by a doctor. From the organization’s statement:

In instances where patients are contemplating PAD, PAs could play a supportive role to the physician, patient and their families. PAs can play an integral role in helping to provide care to the patient leading up to the act and to provide a counselling role to the patients’ families.

In some instances where the supervising physician feels that it is appropriate and the situation warrants it, regulated PAs should be permitted to administer medications that provide an assisted death. This would occur by way of delegation and the physician would assume ultimate responsibility for the act.   

That doesn’t get a participating physician assistant off the moral hook. While the PA won’t determine when it is “appropriate” to kill, he or she will be just as morally responsible for doing the deed as the doctor who ordered the homicide.

CAPA says it respects religious and other conscientious objectors. But that’s a crock. The position statement takes back the protection it pretends to extend:

CAPA respects the freedom of choice and a PA’s right to refuse involvement in assisted death. PAs who have a conscientious objection based on moral and/or religious beliefs should not be required to assist in this process.  

CAPA supports the requirement for an effective referral process, which includes facilitating a transfer to a physician/team who is willing to assess the patient’s eligibility for the procedure.

The term, “effective referral” is a polite way of saying procuring a death team willing to kill. 

Besides, the decision to euthanize isn’t up to a PA. He or she carries out their tasks under the auspices and supervision of a doctor.

This means that saying no to committing homicide based on religious or moral objection could be considered insubordination–meaning that objecting PAs may face a stark choice of killing the patient as directed or losing their jobs.

In the Netherlands, a lot of death doctors become stress cases from committing euthanasia. PAs better get ready to sustain some big-time PTSD, because killing can extract a terrible emotional cost on the killer. 

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