We will continue resisting euthanasia

By Charles Lewis

There may be a tendency to give up now that the fight against legalized euthanasia has ended. We now have euthanasia in this country. With or without a law it's here. We tried to stop it and so we lost that battle. Notice I wrote we lost the battle and not the war. 

Bill C14 as is or whatever warped form it takes on is an evil. It's not a bit evil, or somewhat evil or even mainly evil. It's fully evil. There is nothing good about it. It offends human decency. We know this. That's why we've been fighting. So on that score nothing has changed.

At the end of the day it can be resisted. The worst thing anyone can do now, anyone who has been involved in the anti-euthanasia cause, would be to give up. This law does not have to be respected. And just because it offers and supports medical murder that doesn't mean we have to avail ourselves of it. Nor should we sit by while those we know decide to end their lives in such a barbaric manner.

Here is the problem as I see it: There is a strong core of us who will never accept euthanasia. We refused to cooperate with the government in the law's development. Our hands our clean. But we have inherited a huge responsibility. 

Link to the full article

California Assisted Suicide Law is Denounced by Leading Disability Rights Policy Center

The following media release was originally sent out on June 7, 2016.

Contact: Marilyn Golden, 
Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
(510) 549-9339  mgolden@dredf.org


Announces national web resource for reporting abuses and other problems

Berkeley, CA – June 7, 2016 – The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, a leading national disability rights law and policy center based in Berkeley, California, denounces the enactment of California’s End of Life Option Act, which goes into effect on June 9.

DREDF is pleased to announce, along with our coalition partners in Californians Against Assisted Suicide, that this week, the national organization Patients Rights Action Fund will launch a new web page where concerned individuals, family members, and friends can bring to light abuses, problems, and complications associated with assisted suicide laws. The new online resource is located athttp://patientsrightsaction.org/stories.

California’s assisted suicide law, which is modeled on Oregon’s law, is marked by extraordinarily weak safeguards and oversight, posing great danger to many Californians with disabilities. as well as people with chronic and terminal illnesses, lower-income Californians, and to the general public.

Link to the full article

Canadian Senate sends Bill C-14 back to parliament with amendments, the worst parts of the bill remain intact

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Canada's Senate passed Bill C-14, with its amendments, by a 64 to 12 vote, and therefore sent the bill back to parliament for acceptance or amendments.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition argues that Bill C-14 must be amended or defeated.

Bill C-14 will now go back to parliament where they will either accept the Senate amendments or send the bill back to the Senate. 

The Senate made seven amendments to Bill C-14. The only amendment to receive media attention is the amendment that replaces that a person's "death must be reasonably foreseeable" with a person having a "grievous and irremediable medical condition and after the condition has begun to cause enduring suffering that is intolerable to the person"

CBC news reported that the six other amendments are:

1. requiring a person to give informed consent to receive MAiD after having had a palliative care consultation, and after having been informed of treatment, technology and support options available to relieve suffering.2. a provision that prohibits a beneficiary from assisting a persons assisted death or signing the request for assisted death.3. require the federal minister of health to make regulations on the provision and collection of information for the purpose of monitoring MAiD and on the use and disposal of that information, and the information on death certificates.4. requiring a two-year deadline for independent reports on assisted dying.5. An amendment to the language of the bill to make the French and English versions consistent.6. An amendment to fix a drafting error in the bill.

The amendment that prohibits beneficiaries from assisting a death underscores the most grievous problems with Bill C-14, that being the lack of effective oversight of the law and the fact that the bill enables anyone to participate in acts of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

The most grievous sections of the bill have not been amended:

1. Bill C-14 allows anyone to cause death by euthanasia or assisted suicide. 

• Bill C-14 - Section 227(2) states: No person is a party to culpable homicide if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2. 
• Bill C-14 - Section 241(3) states: No person is a party to an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2. 
• Bill C-14 - Section 241(5) states: No person commits an offence under paragraph (1)‍(b) if they do anything, at another person’s explicit request, for the purpose of aiding that other person to self-administer a substance that has been prescribed for that other person as part of the provision of medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2.

No jurisdiction in the world offers legal immunity to anyone who does anything for the purposes of assisted dying. These sections must be struck from the bill.

2. Bill C-14 continues to provide medical practitioners or nurse practitioners total immunity for decisions or acts that contravene Bill C-14.

• Section 241.3 states: Before a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner provides a person with medical assistance in dying, the medical or nurse practitioner must: (a) be of the opinion that the person meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (1); 
• Section 227(3) states: For greater certainty, the exemption set out in subsection (1) or (2) applies even if the person invoking it has a reasonable but mistaken belief about any fact that is an element of the exemption.

I cannot understand why people remain so blind about the implications of the language of the bill. Bill C-14 remains the most wide-open bill in the world. It is even worse than the Belgian law. 

Recent studies from Belgium indicate that more than 1000 assisted deaths occur without request each year.

Bill C-14 must be amended or defeated.

Senator Betty Unger: I cannot support (Bill C-14) euthanasia and assisted suicide

This speech was delivered by Senator Betty Unger in Canada's Senate and posted on her website on June 15, 2016

"I do not know what is more alarming:
The fact that we are on the wrong road,
or the fact that we do not recognize it
and that so many are cheering"

Senator Betty Unger
Speaking to Bill C-14

 Senator Betty Unger

 Senator Betty Unger

Honourable Senators, I stand here today as but one voice in this Chamber.

My voice is not as loud or as strong as others in this House.

Yet behind me stand many, by the thousands, who wish their voices could be heard.

I am honoured to be speaking on their behalf.

And today, I hope you do not just hear my voice, but the sound of their voices as well.

These are the many people who weep that Canada’s moral fabric is being destroyed: Who beg us not to underestimate the harm that will follow when our hitherto and dearly held values are being shredded.

These are the elderly and the vulnerable: Who have now been burdened with new fears about visiting their doctor or being admitted to the hospital.

I propose to you that if this legislation was for a clear moral good there would be no need for debate.

It would be resoundingly supported not only in these halls, but in the halls of our nation.

Yet we do not hear such a sound, fellow Senators.

We hear the sound of division, of anger, of disagreement, and of fear.

I do not know which is more alarming:

The fact that we are on the wrong road, or the fact that we do not recognize it and that so many are cheering.

A fundamental tenant is, “Do not kill the innocent. Life is sacred.”

Yet in considering this legislation we have dismissed so many safeguards that the innocent are certain to be killed.

Why we cannot see it, I do not know.

Ignoring the lessons of history we elevate the right of the individual over the good of society.

Canada has had its democratic values uprooted: While in theory, “Parliament is Supreme”, this has become blatantly false.

The Supreme Court has supplanted our elected Parliamentarians by foisting “Judge-made law” on Canadians.

And although Parliaments across the nation could invoke the notwithstanding clause to ensure that this decision receives its proper deliberation, they seem unprepared to do so.

Where did we go so wrong, and when will we admit that the Supreme Court has gone too far?

What will it take? On what will they rule next?

Is there no situation under which the parliaments of Canada would be prepared to exercise their right under the Charter and invoke the notwithstanding clause?

I, for one, am not holding my breath, and I believe we are wrong, my friends. This story does not end well.

My only hope is that more and more Canadians are beginning to realize that something is terribly wrong and are rejecting the benign-sounding Medical Assistance in Dying Bill C-14.

Regrettably, far too few parliamentarians are amongst them.

I cannot support this legislation.

I don’t think this has been our finest hour: politics were ever-present. But may the gracious God who gave us life have mercy on us when He takes it in the end.

California assisted suicide law is challenged in court

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The California assisted suicide law came into effect on June 9. Based on the 15 day waiting period, the earliest possible death is June 24. The Coalition Against Assisted Suicide has launched a legal case and have asked for an injunction stating that the California assisted suicide law violates the equal protection Act

The Jurist reported on the case with the following:

A group of five doctors and the American Academy of Medical Ethics (AAME) [advocacy website] filed suit [application, PDF] Wednesday challenging a physician-assisted suicide law. The End of Life Option Act would allow "terminally-ill" patients, an individual who, determined within reasonable medical certainty, is going to die in 60 days due to an incurable disease, to be given a prescription for a lethal dose of "aid-in-dying" drugs. Those challenging the legislation argue that, "[t]he Act violates the equal protection and due process guarantees of the California Constitution in that it fails to make rational distinctions between ['terminally ill' citizens] , and the vast majority of Californians not covered by the Act." They argue that the term "terminally ill" is unconstitutionally vague and for that reason the law would "deprive individuals the protection of previously-existing California laws against assisted suicide by unconstitutionally creating a class of persons again based on arbitrary, unreasonable, and irrational distinctions." Finally, they argue that the legislature lacked constitutional authority to legislate on the matter of physician-assisted suicide during an extraordinary legislative session.

Californians Against Assisted Suicide is a diverse, broad-based coalition of disability rights organizations, physicians, medical groups, palliative and hospice care specialists as well as faith-based organizations.

Advanced Request For Euthanasia?

This article was written by Dr Catherine Ferrier and published on June 10, 2016 by impact ethics in Canadian BioethicsDeath & Assisted DyingLaw & PolicyMental Health

Catherine Ferrier a physician in the Division of Geriatric Medicine of the McGill University Health Centre, and is the president of the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia.

The June 6 deadline for legislation in response to the Carter judgment has come and gone, and our government has yet to adopt a law regulating medical assistance in dying. Too few of us have any idea what we are rushing into.

In the Carter decision the Supreme Court judges stated that the risks associated with physician-assisted death can be limited through a carefully designed and monitored system of safeguards. In contrast, the pressure is on to offer death as a solution for all forms of suffering, available to virtually everyone, including those who fear future suffering or disability.

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs wants Bill C-14 amended to include the recommendation of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying, “That the permission to use advance requests for medical assistance in dying be allowed any time after one is diagnosed with a condition that is reasonably likely to cause loss of competence or after a diagnosis of a grievous or irremediable condition but before the suffering becomes intolerable….”

I have spent the last 30 years diagnosing, treating, and caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It takes no special insight to realize that they are the principal intended “beneficiaries” of this recommendation.

Link to the full article

Wesley Smith: Canada Senate Votes for More Euthanasia

This article was published by Wesley Smith on June 10, 2016.

By Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

Assisted suicide advocates in this country pretend it is about terminal illness as a political expedience. It’s baloney, but a lot of people fall for it. Ya gotta want to believe! 

The need for euthanasia advocates’ deploying this tactic was obliterated in Canada when the Supreme Court conjured a right to be lethally injected if one has a medically diagnosed illness causing irremediable suffering–as defined by the patient. That goes waaay beyond a terminal illness, perhaps to the mentally ill (as allowed in Belgium and the Netherlands) 

Now, euthanasia advocates, freed from having to persuade the public, are have revealed their true goals, pushing for the most radical and broad license to be killed in the world. 

The House of Commons passed enabling legislation that mildly reined-in the agenda, requiring death to be “reasonably foreseeable.” That’s a mere pretense of limitation–more a gesture than a policy–which isn’t the diagnosis of an actual terminal condition, just one that could become terminal…someday. 

Too restrictive! The Canadian Senate just removed the “foreseeable” requirement. From the National Post story

The Senate voted Wednesday to allow suffering Canadians who are not near death to seek medical help to end their lives, knocking out the central pillar underpinning the federal government’s proposed new law on medically assisted dying. 
Senators voted 41-30 to amend Bill C-14, deleting the requirement that a person’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable.” 
The amendment replaces the eligibility criteria in the bill with the much more permissive criteria set out in last year’s landmark Supreme Court ruling, which struck down the ban on assisted dying. 

The Senate is indeed more in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling. 

But the Canadian Charter could have allowed the Parliament to temporarily void the ruling or make it nonbinding through a process know as the “notwithstanding clause.” (Would that the US had such an ability.) It didn’t even try. 

It it is beyond disturbing how enthusiastically–indeed, like being swamped by a dam bursting–Canada has being swept up into the culture of death. 

As our closest neighbor, both in proximity and culture, we will not be unaffected.