Canadian Physicians for Life educates pro-life medical students

This is the fifth post in our series on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Thanks to Alex Schadenberg for coming to speak to our campus this week!

The Catholic Register reports on the Canadian Physicians for Life’s sixth annual medical student form, which took place last week in Calgary.

“The medical students are going to be the ones to make the decisions in the future, aren’t they, so it’s very important for them to understand what they’re dealing with,” [Margaret Somerville] told The Catholic Register.

Somerville said many doctors in Quebec who responded to a survey about whether or not euthanasia was wrong do not understand what it is. Many indicated that euthanasia was synonymous with palliative sedation and adequate pain relief.

“The public is being lulled into the idea that all doctors think it’s OK but of course if you think it’s just palliative sedation or pain relief when it’s needed then of course you don’t think it’s a problem,” she said. “What we should be talking about is doctors being allowed to kill their patients.”

As a professor, she said, the idea of having to stand up in front of medical school students to teach them how to properly kill their patients is horrendous.

“I mean, if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to teach them to do it competently,” she said, citing an example in the Netherlands where a patient who survived a lethal injection then sued his doctor for malpractice. In the Netherlands, doctors can administer lethal injections to patients who are depressed and wish to die.


“This is the most important thing, which is to educate and support medical pro-life students so they can carry on the presence of a strong life ethic within the medical profession which is so easily hijacked by an amoral technocratic mindset.” [said Will Johnston, president of Canadian Physicians for Life and a family physician in Vancouver]

One of the presentations will revolve around how to create medical pro-life groups on campus. Johnston said these are very important because they allow students to have the direct support of colleagues.

If you’re a pro-life medical student at the University of Toronto, we want to hear from you!

Previous posts in this series:

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