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Survey: Most Canadians respect religious objections to MAID

Medical assitance in dying, Canada

AndriiKoval | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 10/30/23

While more than half of respondents say hospitals shouldn't be forced to provide MAID, the majority say it should be accessable through referrals and transfers.

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) has been a topic at the forefront of debate in Canada in recent years. The practice of euthanasia or assisted suicide has gained prevalence as Canadian lawmakers have repeatedly attempted to broaden eligibility for euthanasia and place requirements on religious hospitals to provide the “treatment.” Now, however, a new survey from the Angus Reid Institute has found that the majority of Canadians think that religious institutions should not be made to provide MAID. 

The new data, taken between September 19 and 22, 2023, found that nearly three-in-five (58%) of respondents believe that religious healthcare facilities that are opposed to euthanasia should not be forced to offer MAID services. Meanwhile, just less than one-quarter (24%) said that the objections should be ignored and these healthcare centers should be forced by law to acquiesce to the patient’s demands. 

The rates of responses were practically the same across every Canadian province, save for Quebec, the only province in which fewer than half (47%) of respondents believed religious-based healthcare facilities have a right to their objections. On the other hand, Quebeckers were more likely to say that these institutions should be forced to provide MAID, at 35%. The portion of Quebec who said they were unsure, however, was similar to other provinces. 

While more than half the country believes that the objections of religious-based institutions should be respected, they did not maintain these feelings when it came to individual doctors. A solid 70% of respondents across Canada said that a doctor who is morally opposed to MAID should be required to offer patients a referral to a doctor who is willing to prescribe euthanasia. The remaining portion of respondents (30%) said that a doctor should not be required to give a referral. 

The responses were similar when asked if a healthcare facility that opposes euthanasia should be required to transfer patients to a facility that provides MAID. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that the hospital should be required to move the patient to a different facility, while 24% said the hospital should be forced to provide MAID, regardless of any religious objections.

Click here to see the full results of the survey, as well as an analysis of the data from the Angus Reid Institute.

CanadaEuthanasiaHealth and Wellness
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