Indigenous contribution necessary for end-of-life care

Legislation side, political party side, and in the eyes of the medical profession, the debate on MAID and euthanasia is closed. The Supreme Court of Canada, Parliament and the Canadian Medical Association have delivered their final words on the subject.

But more than 630 Indigenous nations across Canada, as well as Métis and Inuit, were not even interviewed, says Dr. Carie Bourassa, scientific director of the Institute of Indigenous People’s Health and professor at the College of Medicine of the University of Saskatchewan. .

“Indigenous communities need to have their own discussions about this. I don’t think we were able to have these kinds of discussions, ”said Bourassa. “I have been to the Senate four times to talk about it and I always say the same thing. This task falls to the indigenous communities themselves. We need to provide them with the necessary resources so that they can engage as they wish. One size does not fit all.

Bourassa will be one of the presenters at Life Issues: The Indigenous Perspective, a panel discussion hosted by the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research on Zoom on October 5 (register for Indigenous midwives Ellen Blais and Katsi Cook will talk about traditional Indigenous birthing practices. Bourassa will talk about end-of-life traditions and the decolonization of health care.

“We have not made any progress in improving the health of Indigenous peoples. Why? “Asked Bourassa.” I believe it is because it has to come from the communities. It has to be about self-determination. This is when we will start to be healthy.

Bourassa argues that Indigenous communities, regardless of their size or remoteness, need the full range of end-of-life options, including hospice and palliative care.
“I don’t care how expensive it is. Everyone should have this opportunity, ”she said. “We are in a first world country. They deserve to have the best that we can offer in our country.

Working in palliative care, Bourassa still encounters obstacles to Aboriginal health in hospitals.

“I’m still shocked that I go to a hospital and someone is in hospice care and not allowed to mess – that’s their spirituality,” she said. “I still get these horrible emails asking me to help them share information so doctors and nurses can figure it out, in 2021. It’s just not correct. It’s ridiculous. But it still happens.

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