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Decisions over assisted dying should be based on autonomy and medical ethics, not religious dogma.
Dying With Dignity in Canada
role of religion in healthcare
Secularists believe that no one’s healthcare decisions should be restricted or imposed on by the religious views of others. Secularists generally believe that the
secular nature of our health services is what allows them to serve people of all faiths and none equally. Many believe that secularism should be a professional standard so that patient care, not religious concerns, always comes first.
The right for a terminally ill individual to end their own life peacefully has been historically supported by humanists and the nonreligious community at large. In fact, the second Humanist Manifesto of 1973 explicitly endorses this right.
Humanists defend the right of each individual to live by their own personal values, and the freedom to make decisions about their own life so long as this does not result in harm to others. Humanists do not share the attitudes to death and dying held by some religious believers, in particular, that the manner and time of death are for a deity to decide, and that interference in the course of nature is unacceptable. We firmly uphold the right to life but we recognize that this right carries with it the right of each individual to make his or her own judgment about whether his or her life should be prolonged in the face of pointless suffering.
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