Ottawa (Feb. 19, 2014) — The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will be travelling across the country over the next three months to find out what Canadians think about end-of-life issues in a national dialogue. The first of five town hall meetings will be in St. John’s, Nfld., on Thursday.
Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, CMA President, said today the goal is to engage and hear Canadians’ thoughts on physician-assisted dying, palliative care and advance care planning.
“Most of the attention has been focused on the question of physician-assisted dying and we’re concerned the end-of-life debate is being oversimplified,’’ Dr. Francescutti said. “We need to hear more from Canadians about how their health care system can ensure not only a long, healthy life but also a good death.’’
The issue of end-of-life care has been an issue of major public importance, with political leaders such as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne calling for a national dialogue. “I think it raises enormous questions, but I think it’s a national discussion,” Wynne said last summer. “I think it’s going to happen across the country.”
In addition to the town hall meeting in St. John’s (7-9 p.m. NST) at the Sheraton Hotel on Thursday, the other public town halls, in partnership with Maclean’s Magazine and in association with the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, will be held in:
- Vancouver, March 24.
- Whitehorse, April 16.
- Regina, May 7.
- Mississauga, May 27.
Following the town halls, the CMA will release a summary report on how the public views end-of-life issues to provide guidance in future policy decisions, Dr. Francescutti said.
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 80,000 of Canada’s physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA’s mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.
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