Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan issues this release following the Health Minister’s remarks on MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) services at Covenant Health facilities.
Khan stated, “Access to MAID services is a constitutional right. Albertans have the right to die with dignity if they so choose. Alberta Liberals support these vulnerable Albertans and their fundamental rights. But, the NDP Government still refuses to step up and take a stand on this important issue.
“The NDP Health Minister continues to study and consult. This foot dragging has gone on for two years. What does the Minister still not understand? What is still not clear?
“Here are some fundamental facts for the Minister to consider. Publicly-funded institutions do not have the right to deny Albertans access to MAID services. Public money means a public responsibility to uphold citizens’ rights. Only individual health practitioners have the conscience right not to perform these procedures.
“Here are some solutions for the Minister to adopt. She can direct Alberta Health Services to designate certain rooms under its authority to allow these procedures. This removes the need for a lengthy administrative process that further compromises patients’ rights. Other jurisdictions have adopted that protocol. If necessary, a specialized team of doctors and other health practitioners can be brought in to the facility to perform MAID services if there are no employees of the Covenant Health facility willing to be involved.
“Alberta patients have suffered unnecessarily seeking MAID services at Covenant Health facilities. That is shameful. It must stop.
“The NDP Government must act now. The Minister must give a definite timeline for enforcing legal rights. Alberta MAID patients should not have to suffer for another two years.”