By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
On December 30, Canada's National Post published two articles concerning Canada's healthcare system.
An article by Kristy Kirkup explains how the euthanasia debate has exposed a "dark secret" that Canada's palliative care system is inadequate while the article by Brian Rotenberg asks Canadians to examine what medical services should continue to be paid for by the government.
Together, these articles should caution Canadians and urge governments, at all levels, to reject the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The first article is based on a soon-to-be released report by Gabriel Miller, the public issues director with the Canadian Cancer Society. Miller is hoping that the euthanasia debate will lead to a greater commitment to palliative care across Canada. Kirkup reports:
“There are thousands of terminally ill Canadians who are not getting the right kind of care,” Miller said. “That’s causing patients and families unnecessary suffering and it is costing the health-care system precious resources.”
Miller is urging the federal Liberal government, along with its provincial and territorial counterparts, to capitalize on the chance to ensure Canadians have universal access to better, affordable end-of-life care.
“We finally have a moment to pull this problem out of the shadows and solve it,” he said.
“That’s the importance of the broader debate that’s unfolding right now. It is a chance to confront a broken system for end-of-life care and make a lasting reform.”
The second is an opinion article written by Rotenberg who is an expert advisor with the Evidence Network.