Covenant Health
This week's reflection

This week's reflection

In the end... We only regret the chances we didn't take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.

Lewis Carroll

Covenant Health Response to Medical Assistance in Dying

May 24, 2016

Covenant Health has now officially introduced its new policy to the organization, Responding to Requests for Medical Assistance in Dying. The policy is consistent with the Health Ethics Guide, our foundational ethics resource, and informed by our clinical experience and the Catholic moral tradition and teaching.

The policy will be reviewed in one year as Covenant Health and other health care organizations across the country learn what this new unprecedented legal reality means for both participating and non-participating organizations alike. 

See the memo from Patrick Dumelie, President and CEO of Covenant Health and the policy.

Covenant Health will not participate in or provide medical assistance in dying but will support persons in our care who seek more information regarding options, including palliative and hospice care.

Covenant Health Memo to Staff, Physicians and Volunteers
Covenant Health Policy - Responding to Requests for Medical Assistance in Dying 
Bill C-14 Medical Assistance in Dying

For more information and resources concerning medical assistance in dying, see the Alberta Health Services public website at:

Covenant Health Submission to Government March 2016 

Letter to Government
Submission to the Advisory Committee on Physician-Assisted Death
Catholic Health Response: Questions and Answers
Response to the Provincial/Territorial Expert Advisory Group: Questions and Answers  

Response to Alberta Government Survey

Memo to Covenant Health Staff, Physicians and Volunteers 

Learn more

Covenant Health Resources
Ethics Made Real (Oct 16, 2016)
Alberta Sets out Framework for Medical Assistance in Dying (June 4, 2016)
CBC Radio Interview with Patrick Dumelie (June 1, 2016)
Edmonton Journal: Covenant Health Letter to the Editor
 (February 18, 2016)
Organizational statement regarding physician-assisted death
(February 11, 2016) 
CBC Radio Interview with Gordon Self - Assisted Dying: How the Catholic Health System will handle requests for something the Catholic Church Forbids
Ethics made Real (June 19, 2015) 
A Catholic Perspective on Health Decisions and Care at the End of Life
Covenant Health Ethics Centre 
Theological Reflection in Support of Covenant Health's Palliative and End-of-Life Strategy 
Covenant Health Submission to the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, September 2010

Government of Canada Resources
Government of Canada - Medical Assistance in Dying

Alberta Health Services Resources
AHS website on Medical Assistance to Dying 

Resources from Other Experts
CHAC Response to Edmonton Journal Columnist Paula Simons (Oct 14, 2016)
Every Life Matters 
The coalition for health care and conscience
Not to be Forgotten: Report of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, November 2011
Submission from the Catholic Bishops of Alberta

Professional College and Association Resources
College of Physicians and Surgeons - Medical Assistance in Dying
College of Physicians and Surgeons - Informed Consent
College of Physicians and Surgeons - Conscientious Objection
College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta 
College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta
Alberta College of Social Workers

Other Resources

Federal Committee Report on Medical Assistance in Dying Parliament Canada, February 25th, 2016

The Special Joint Committee on Physician Assisted Dying was appointed to review the report of the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada and, following consultations, make recommendations on the framework of a federal response on physician assisted dying.