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Doctors caution N.S. policy on medical assistance in dying could drive out some MDs

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HALIFAX – Some Nova Scotia doctors say a recently approved regulation requiring them to make referrals for medical assistance in dying could drive physicians from their practices and harm recruitment.

Three doctors told a news conference Thursday the wording of the professional standard crosses a line because it requires physicians to give an “effective referral” to another doctor willing to administer the procedure.

The policy, passed May 24 by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, could worsen the province’s shortage of family doctors if the regulator censures those who refuse to obey it, the doctors warned.

The news conference was organized by the Christian Medical and Dental Association of Canada and led by its director Larry Worthen. The advocacy group said in a news release that 41 physicians in the province have signed a letter stating they’re unwilling to follow the policy, potentially putting them at risk of discipline.

The three doctors — Dr. Amy Hendricks, an internal medicine specialist in Antigonish; Dr. Jeanne Ferguson, a geriatric psychiatrist in North Sydney; and Dr. Paul Young, a family physician and director of care at two nursing homes in Halifax — said Thursday the wording of the rule means they may be required to refer patients to another doctor who would carry out or arrange a procedure that is contrary to their consciences.

Ferguson said that during her 26 years in practice she has had patients request MAID because they suffered from a combination of physical illness and depression. However, she said, when the mental illness was treated, “they no longer wanted to kill themselves.”

“The new policy by the College of Physicians and Surgeons forces doctors to refer patients for death as a treatment …. It doesn’t matter that the doctor, based on their training and experience, believes this is not in the patients’ interests,” she said.

“Doctors risk losing their licences or being censured … this will not help us attract more doctors to the province, it will do the opposite.”

Young said while he’s never referred one of his patients for medically assisted death, he has been willing to provide information on where they could find out about the procedure. With the new rule, he said, he feels he’s being forced to make a referral or risk consequences.

“Until recently, conscience was always a guiding principle in the practice of medicine and that was supported by our leadership. Unfortunately, that appears to have changed,” he said.

The association and the doctors recommended that the province create a patient navigator service that doctors could send their patients to. Instead of being referred directly for MAID, patients would be advised on medical assistance in dying and other options, “so that patients would have a full range of services they need to make a decision about their lives,” Worthen said.

“We are calling on the provincial government … to intervene in this situation and call the parties to the table. The College, the Nova Scotia government and us (the association) to discuss and dialogue and find a way through this,” he added.

However, Dr. Gus Grant, chief executive and registrar of the college, said in an interview that the wording of the professional standard ensures the rights of patients to access a legal, publicly insured form of health care, and that the rule is in accordance with Canadian law.

“These 41 physicians (who have written letters against the regulation) are in effect saying the rules of the profession will not apply to them and that means their patients will not be supported,” Grant said in an interview.

“Our college council saw this standard as a step to ensuring that patients’ rights come first.”

According to Nova Scotia Health, last year there were 794 referrals for MAID, and 342 were carried out, with about 1,405 medically assisted deaths since the procedure was approved in 2016 in Nova Scotia.

Alexandra McNab, a spokeswoman for Doctors Nova Scotia, which represents physicians in the province, said in an email that since the policy was brought in, doctors have been required to make an “effective transfer of care,” even if they disagreed with the policy. McNab wrote that Doctors Nova Scotia supports the college’s standard because without it, “many patients will be unable to access the care they need.”

Hendriks told reporters Thursday a compromise should be possible in which doctors aren’t forced to make referrals and patients can approach the health authority directly.

“If the outcome is that a patient is still able to access what they need, I don’t think we have to fracture our medical community and tell certain doctors they don’t belong and threaten them,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2024.

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5 Life-Transforming Tips to Make it More Fun-Filled

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Everyone wants to make the most out of life. From personal life to establishing a successful career, enjoyment is all that people crave the most. But the key to happiness is having fun most of the time. It can be challenging to find time and moments of fun in the routine as life becomes boring and dull for many.

However, you can cultivate your mindset and embrace more pleasure and laughter in your everyday routine. To transform your boring and dull life into a fun-filled one, here are a few tips that you can consider in this blog.

Read on to explore!

 

1.    Start Enjoying Little Moments

The fun doesn’t need to come from an extensive and spectacular event happening around your life all the time. There are so many small moments in your life that can turn into more fun. All you have to do is embrace those little times in your life and be happy.

For example, you can give yourself a little break from a hectic day and enjoy some chocolate. Or you can make time to enjoy things that you like.

 

2.    Be Spontaneous In Life

Just like life becomes unexpected most of the time, you can be a little unpredictable with it as well. To bring fun to your life, you can work on being more open to new and unplanned experiences.

If you get an invitation for any activity, event, or sport, don’t say no to it. Getting to indulge in more social activities will help you create new memories and experience new thrills in life.

 

3.    Bring a Furry Friend in Life

A boring life can easily distance you from fun. To embrace joy in life, having a furry company can do wonders. You can cherish love and warmth and have little moments of joy with a furry one.

If you don’t have a furry companion, you’re majorly missing joy. It’s time for you to look for the best puppy-selling company, such as Fou Fou Puppie’s website, to bring a cute puppy into your life.

 

4.    Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness will help you to live the present to the fullest. As most people worry more about their future, it makes them overlook the current joys of life.

What you can consider best to bring fun to your life is practicing mindfulness for at least 2 minutes. Let go of all the thoughts that pop into your head and focus on the positive aspects of living.

 

5.    Participate More in Fun Activities

There should be no excuse for having fun in life as there are many low-cost fun activities for the community that you can explore to have fun. It can be simple, but it prevents you from living a boring and less-inspiring life.

For example, you can call your group of friends to have coffee together and share more laughter, or you can go to the movies to unwind yourself. These activities will not cost you a fortune and allow you to make the most out of your day, week, and month.

 

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Two-thirds of Canadians ‘desperately’ need interest rates to go down: MNP survey

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CALGARY – A new survey says the Bank of Canada’s recent interest rate cut did little to change Canadians’ negative perceptions about their personal finances.

The MNP Consumer Debt Index, conducted quarterly by Ipsos, dropped six points from the previous quarter to 85 points, which it says signals increasingly negative views on respondents’ debt situation.

Two-thirds of respondents say they desperately need interest rates to go down, as more than half indicate they are concerned rates may not fall quickly enough to provide the financial relief they require.

The central bank lowered its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.75 per cent in June and economists expect another cut could be in store when it meets Wednesday for its next rate decision.

The MNP report found 46 per cent of Canadians are $200 or less away from failing to meet all their financial obligations, while three-in-ten say they already can’t cover their bills and debt payments.

Grant Bazian, president of MNP Ltd., says that with the prices of many daily necessities still high, “many have not seen the meaningful reduction in their monthly expenses needed to ease their financial burdens.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

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The Simmering Feud Between Eva Mendes and Rachel McAdams

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The 2004 romantic drama “The Notebook” continues to be a pop culture phenomenon, captivating audiences with its passionate love story between Noah and Allie, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. But beyond the on-screen romance, rumours of tension between the actors and Gosling’s current partner, Eva Mendes, have added a layer of intrigue to the film’s legacy.

 

From Clashing Personalities to Real-Life Romance

While their undeniable on-screen chemistry led to a blockbuster performance, Gosling and McAdams reportedly had a tumultuous time during filming. “We inspired the worst in each other,” Gosling admitted to The Guardian. However, their initial animosity blossomed into a real-life romance in 2005, sending shivers down the spines of fans who had rooted for Noah and Allie.

 

Love Found, Love Lost

Their off-screen love story, however, wasn’t a fairytale. After two years, the couple went their separate ways. McAdams found happiness and a family with screenwriter Jamie Linden, while Gosling met his current partner, Eva Mendes, on the set of “The Place Beyond the Pines” in 2011. Together, they have built a life and share two daughters.

 

A Post-Breakup Conundrum: Maintaining a Friendship

While McAdams and Gosling’s romantic flame fizzled out, reports suggest they remained amicable post-breakup.  This friendly dynamic, however, is said to have shifted when Mendes entered the picture.

 

A Shadow of Jealousy? Unconfirmed Rumors of Tension

Unverified reports claim that Mendes is allegedly uncomfortable with McAdams being around Gosling.  Unnamed sources allege that Mendes discourages any interaction between the former co-stars, fearing it might upset her. This has reportedly limited Gosling’s ability to maintain a casual friendship with McAdams.

The validity of these claims remains shrouded in mystery.  Mendes and Gosling are known for their privacy, making it difficult to separate truth from speculation.

 

 

Beyond the Rumors: The Power of “The Notebook” Endures

While the rumors of off-screen tension add another chapter to the “The Notebook” narrative, the film’s enduring power lies in its timeless portrayal of love and loss. Whether Gosling and McAdams remained friends or not doesn’t diminish the on-screen magic they created. The film’s ability to resonate with audiences continues, reminding us of the intensity of first love, the pain of heartbreak, and the enduring power of memories.

The Notebook’s legacy is a complex one, weaving together a captivating on-screen love story, rumored off-screen tension, and a reminder of the film’s lasting impact on pop culture.

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