Physician-Assisted Death in the Renal Unit?

A special four-part series on the various struggles physicians face with the legalization of Physician-Assisted Death.

Physician-Assisted Death in Canada: Where We Are, Where We Are Going

Presented by Dr. James Downar

Dr. Downar expands upon Dr. Gainds lecture by exploring the various infringements in mental illness brought up in the Carter decision ruling and Section 7, and further explores these infringements in laws such as Bill C-14 and in other cases like Canada v E.F. Alberta Court of Appeal ruling. In addition, he brings up the key issues of accessibility and the roles of autonomy and capacity in decision-making in assisted death, and explores the psycho-social stressors that make up the psychic course, particularly in the renal unit.


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Dr. James Downar is a Critical Care and Palliative Care Staff Physician at the Toronto General Hospital. He graduated from McGill Medical School and completed residency programs in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Palliative Care Medicine at the University of Toronto. He also completed a Master’s degree in Bioethics at the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto.

His research interests focus on communication and decision-making for seriously ill patients, as well as expanding the role of palliative care in the critical care environment and for non-cancer illnesses. He is the current chair of the Postgraduate Education Committee of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians.

Follow Dr. Downar on Twitter at @jamesdownar