June 1 rally on parliament hill: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Are Not The Answer

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Are Not The Answer

Join the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, the Living with Dignity Network and the Physicians Alliance Against Euthanasia for a demonstration on Parliament Hill on Wednesday June 1, 2016 (noon to 1:30 pm).

The Supreme Court of Canada imposed a June 6 deadline upon parliament to pass a bill to regulate euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. Parliament could follow the Supreme Court decision and still protect Canadians from euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Bill C-14 is a dangerous bill that does not protect vulnerable Canadians. Bill C-14 provides a perfect cover for murder.

Boycott - Me Before You - "disability death porn."

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The movie - Me Before You will be released in theatres across North America on June 3.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is urging its supporters to boycott Me Before You to not give any money to the production of movies that perpetuate the ideology that death is better than living with a disability.

We also urge our supporters to donate the admission price to either: Not Dead Yet (donation), Not Dead Yet UK (donation), Toujours Vivant - Not Dead Yet (donate through the Council of Canadians with Disabilities) or the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (donation).

This is not a campaign to obstruct free speech, this is a campaign to oppose the "disability death porn" that this movie promotes.

In the Me Before You plot (Will Traynor) a man who was paralysed in an accident, decides to die by assisted suicide at a Swiss suicide clinic. His family, who are incredibly wealthy, hire Louisa Clark, as his care-giver. 

As the story progresses, Clark falls in love with Traynor, but Traynor has decided that death is better than living with a disability. Traynor dies by assisted suicide in Switzerland and of course he loves Clark so much, that he leaves her an inheritance.

What is most insidious about the movie is that Traynor’s suicide is sold as an act of love. For me that borders on what I call “disability death porn.”

People with disabilities are fighting for social and attitudinal change. Me Before You perpetuates the idea, that death is better than living with a disability.

To understand the disability perspective, I urge you to read the comments by people with disabilities concerning Me Before You.

Link to the full article

Thank you to NH House of Representatives for Defeating SB426

Nancy Elliott, Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) USA

Nancy Elliott

Nancy Elliott

The New Hampshire House of Representatives recently defeated SB426, a bill to study Assisted Suicide Euthanasia. It was a surprising defeat. 

EPC USA had worked closely with advocates in New Hampshire since the bill was first filed in the Senate. EPC USA and our allies educated the public and legislators on the dangers of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, including discrimination against the disabled, elderly, and ill who are encouraged to commit suicide while the young and healthy get suicide prevention. 

The bill's proponents had called for a Commission to Study End of Life Options, particularly "Aid in Dying," but bill sponsor Senator Kelly admitted at the Senate hearing that the real target was Assisted Suicide. 

Not only, then, was this commission clearly a showcase for Assisted Suicide, the proposed commissioners were loaded with activists likely to support this radical measure. While the commission claimed it would listen to stakeholders, people who would be affected by the proposed legislation, the commission would not even have had a single representative from a disability community group or seniors group. These are the two communities in the crosshairs of this type of legislation. 

Nonetheless, the bill had come out of the Judiciary Committee with the recommendation of Ought to Pass with Amendment. 

In the House Judiciary Committee hearing, John Kelly, regional director of disability community group Not Dead Yet, advocated for the rights of the disabled and elderly. Dr. Richard Johnson of New Hampshire and Dr. Paul Saba of Physicians for Social Justice, based in Montreal, testified that doctors make mistakes, and with treatment many of these people could live for years to come. 

EPC USA's coalition members worked in the Senate and the House to educate legislators on the dangers of SB426. And at the last minute, NH House members secured enough votes to soundly reject this idea on the House floor. 

Passing this bill would not have implemented Assisted Suicide or Euthanasia, but it would have put us closer to it. And even the unbalanced commission would have created some appearance of legitimacy for any bill they pushed, no matter how radical. This is a great win for our New Hampshire advocates, EPC USA, and the citizens of New Hampshire. 

For more information on this bill (Link).

Parliament Hill - Press conference - May 11, 2016

Presentation by Dr Lise Poirier-Groulx at the Press Conference on May 11, 2016

Dr Lise Poirier-Groulx  with Alex Schadenberg

Dr Lise Poirier-Groulx
with Alex Schadenberg

First, I need to say that I am not an activist; I am not representing any particular group or organization.

I am a concerned physician… Je suis un médecin, troublée, comme bien d’autres, par la tournure des évènements, concernant l’euthanasie et le suicide assisté.

Throughout the history of the civilized world, Physician Assisted Death has always been a forbidden medical act. The foundation of medical ethics is being shaken to its core.

Today, I hope to be a voice for those who’s lives are deemed “lacking in dignity and not worth living”; the sick and dying patients, and those living with disabilities, as well as dementia. The implication of Physician Assisted Death is the unspoken assumption, under the guise of self-determination, that it is better to die than to live with a disability.

Comme médecin de famille et psychothérapeute depuis plus de 30 ans, j’ai eu le privilège, auprès de mes patients, d’être témoin de leurs plus grandes souffrances.

It has been my clinical experience, which is supported by research, that the overwhelming majority of patients do not want to die. They do however want to end their pain; succumbing to despair and hopelessness they may want to end their lives, especially if they are lacking in support.

I remember as naïve medical students, the faith we had in our mentors, who were teaching us the art and science of Medicine, in order to “cure disease, save lives and relieve human suffering”. And that is exactly what we set out to do upon graduation. 

Link to the full article

Will Johnston - speech euthanasia on euthanasia Bill C-14 - Victoria BC - May 12, 2016

Will Johnston

Will Johnston

Dr Will Johnston , Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of BC

I have a dream, and in that dream the Parliament of Canada debates far into the night to perfect a new law. The new Bill has the support of the majority of our elected representatives. It strives to get just the right balance between Federal and Provincial powers over matters of life and death. In my dream hundreds of Canadians testify before Committees and Panels and town hall meetings. They all want a better Canada. In my dream our Parliament is working against a deadline to get a law into place which honors the highest aspirations of our civilization. Finally the law has passed through the Senate and passed through Parliament and one day, let’s imagine June 6 of the year in my dream, the law goes into force.

What a law! What an achievement, worth every one of those late nights of intense Parliamentary debate and Special Joint Committees and Provincial Territorial Expert Panels and External Panels and town hall meetings and letters and papers and open-line radio shows and documentaries. 

In my dream the new law says that anyone in severe pain anywhere in Canada is treated like a cardiac arrest, an emergency which activates a team of specially trained people. Anyone who is depressed and suicidal, anywhere in Canada, is treated like a house on fire, with immediate attention from another team of specially but of course differently trained people. People who are trying to live independently with major disabilities are funded and equipped like a Canadian Olympic team should be. Families with children with disabilities are treated like royalty. Having a disability or having a family member with a disability guarantees you will be kept far above the poverty line, never below that line and forgotten in the economic ditch. A report of possible elder abuse is by law to be treated like an Amber Alert, and abusers exposed to the clear light of emergency inquiry. 

What a dream. When the real Canada wakes up on June 6th, it will be to a new law far removed from my dream. Instead, our great nation labored and brought forth – what?- a legal excuse to protect a doctor or nurse from a murder charge as long as they are under the opinion that you fit the right criteria before your death is inflicted. The law will let someone else sign you up, unlimited doctor shopping to find two of them to agree you are better off dead, no independent objective review before the planned death, no required notification of family members, no need for you to be actually dying, no need to be offered alternatives to suicide, no guarantee the death certificate will state the true cause of inflicted death, no requirement for a pain control assessment, no ban on health care workers being intimidated to cooperate.

The new law is careful to protect doctors. Mind you, doctors are not protected in order to use their consciences, they are protected while making mistakes causing wrongful death. 

The polls show that people can imagine choosing the time of their own deaths. People expect that when that time comes , they will be in control. They think they have been given a new right, but instead they have lost the protections built into the old law. Someone will have control, all right, just maybe not always you.

Link to the full article

Belgium Warns Canada: Oversight of euthanasia is an Illusion

New Online Video Series: "Belgium's Advice to Canada."

Oversight of euthanasia is an Illusion.

Many doctors in Belgium no longer report cases of euthanasia because euthanasia is now considered a ‘normal medical procedure'. In this, our fourth and final video in "Belgium’s Advice to Canada:Oversight of euthanasia is an illusion", doctors, victims and advocates warn that effective oversight of euthanasia in Belgium is truly an illusion. The video features Etienne Montero, Lawyer Dean of the Faculty of Law of Namur; Tom Mortier, PhD; Prof Dr Benoit Beuselinck MD, PhD, Oncologist; and Marnix Coelmont, Teacher and Advocate. 

As Canadians deliberate controversial Bill C-14 in light of the June 6 deadline, EPC is releasing select clips from our upcoming film, Vulnerable - The Euthanasia Deception, to be released in late June.

Please consider making a donation to the production of this film. We need and appreciate your support of any amount. Link to donate.

The first three videos in the series were:
The first video in the series is: “Medical Assistance in Dying - Don’t Go There!
The second video in the series is: Safeguards Are An Illusion.

The third video in the series is: “Protect Doctor’s Conscience Rights!


EPC: Write to Senators and Members of Parliament

The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs will be hearing interventions concerning Bill C-14, the bill that will legalize and “regulate” euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.

Last week, EPC urged you to contact the members of parliament on the House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights, who hearing from groups and individuals from across Canada on Bill C-14

EPC needs you, to contact Canadian Senators, especially the members of the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs with your concerns about Bill C-14.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) presented to the House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights this week and next week we will be presenting before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee. The Senate has the ability to amend or defeat Bill C-14. 

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is also organizing a rally on Parliament Hill on Wednesday June 1 from 12 noon to 1:30 pm.

Link to the full article