Assisted suicide: How about a few second thoughts?

This article was published in the Anglican Journal on May 19, 2015.

By Adrian Rhodes

Archbishop Fred Hiltz is correct in saying Anglicans should “…exhibit an unwavering resolve to include those most affected by our deliberations.” In response, I am writing my impressions.

I have three chronic disabilities. I have experienced substandard care; misdiagnoses, been accused of being a drug user and have been told I am not doing enough to look after myself. Now there’s another option: instead of caring, a doctor can offer to help me end it all.

I noted with sadness that one commentator was “ecstatic” and another “overjoyed” at the Supreme Court of Canada’s February ruling. I have a database with approximately 318 names of people killed by doctors, nurses, or family because they were ill, dying or disabled. Is that something to be ecstatic about?

Unbearable suffering, not defined, was mentioned. That suffering can be interpreted to the lowest common denominator. What is the minimum suffering that someone has to have in order to demand death?

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My visit to the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario Annual General Meeting

This article was written by Adrian Rhodes and published on his blog on April 21.

A record of my visit to the RNAO meeting. Some comments based on my observations concerning the assisted suicide public seminar.

I ended up going to the RNAO Annual General Meeting on Saturday, April 18, 2015 and had no little trepidation about it. I had never done something like this before and so did not know what to expect. I left Markham via TTC on a beautiful cool Saturday morning with my small knapsack, a couple of notepads and a couple of pencils. I also took along a copy of Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Stephen Eric Bronner. I read that book on the way down on the bus and train. All told, it took me an hour and ten minutes to reach the hotel downtown.

The venue was beautiful; the hotel had been newly renovated and it showed. I looked around the lobby and found a sign for the RNAO meeting downstairs, reached via escalator. I went down and looked at the different displays before any people were around. There were between fourteen and sixteen displays, all related to the RNAO’s work in different parts of Ontario.

Before going downstairs, I asked at a table with an RNAO rep (and sign) if I needed to sign in for the public meeting and was told I did not. In addition, there were no open venues until that one meeting. It would begin at 11:30. As it turned out, the previous meeting, at ten, ran a little late. I decided to go upstairs and have a cup of coffee while I waited. Best five dollar coffee I ever had.

The service was good and I must have looked out of place: Cherry red 14 hole Doc Martens, blue jeans, grey t-shirt, blue alpha jacket and haversack. I certainly had the attention of the staff in the hotel. However, as they got used to my presence, I faded into the background as I enjoyed that aforementioned coffee at the bar.

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