Psychiatrists fear role as 'suicide enablers' (Dr. Romayne Gallagher)

After practising for generations to prevent suicide, psychiatrists across Canada could soon be asked to help some people kill themselves - thrusting the profession into what some of its members are calling the untenable role of “suicide enablers.”

In its historic ruling striking down the Criminal Code provisions prohibiting doctors from “aiding or abetting” suicide, the high court granted adult Canadians suffering a “grievous” and “irremediable” condition, the right to die a doctor-hastened death.

“After working in endof-life care a long time, you realize that people have ups and downs in their mood, in their feelings, in how they see their future,” said Dr. Romayne Gallagher, a leading expert in palliative care who is among those calling for a psychiatric referral for every request for hastened death.

Sharon Kirkey reports.

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Also found in The Star Phoenix and The National Post