Since medically assisted death (MAID) became legal in June 2016, 268 Albertans have died with assistance.
However, some faith-based facilities are refusing to perform this service, and as a result, 37 Albertans have had to be transferred to other centres. Among these facilities, are hospitals run by Catholic-based health agency, “Covenant Health.”
The topic was debated earlier this month during a forum at the University of Calgary, where members of Calgary’s Catholic community argued that Covenant Health has a constitutional right to deny providing MAID due to their religious beliefs, adding that referrals and assessments are provided at the hospitals.
Dying with Dignity, a group that advocates for patients requiring MAID, has started a petition, calling on all premiers and health ministers to address this issue.
Calgary Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann says the issue is a tough one, but says it brings up if there should even be publicly-funded faith-based centres in Alberta, and wonders how long if the province can sustain funding two parallel systems with separate policies.