Jean Echlin: Letter to the Minister of Justice on euthanasia

Jean Echlin RN, MScN

Jean Echlin RN, MScN

As a nurse consultant for 36 years in palliative care & gerontology I believe that hospice palliative care for every Canadian must be the priority. 

How dare we ask our doctors and nurses to put patients to death when a safer option exists. Healthcare providers must never assume the role of killers or refer to another who will provide the "death management." Trust and legal issues will make more problems for our sick and elderly. 

Abuse of the elderly and "copycat" suicides will increase. If economics are driving this movement and if we are honest cost-savings will be an outcome, we are a society bereft of moral and ethical values. 

Just study the statistics from the Netherlands, especially Belgium and you will understand the fatal results of this death promotion. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that in 2013, more than 1000 deaths were hastened without explicit request and more than 2800 died by euthanasia in Belgium. Does that promote a feeling of safety and security when we require acute or chronic care? Certainly many will fear institutional admission when the future reveals the magnitude of the coming "death tsunami." 

I fear that the "true north strong and free" is no longer a democracy if those who help us get cures and stay well are also denied their conscience rights. Please think how you would feel if society (government) stripped you of your rights and freedoms under our Canadian Charter? Would you quietly acquiesce or demand fair treatment under your Charter Rights? Please consider these thoughts. 

Thank you.
Jean Echlin RN, MScN
President - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition 

Hospice and Hospital will not participate in assisted dying

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The recent report of the federal government's Special Committee on Assisted Dying stated (recommendation 11) that every publicly funded healthcare institution should be required to allow assisted death on its premises.

On March 5, the Windsor Star published an article by Brian Cross concerning Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital and the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County, since both institutions oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Carol Derbyshire the CEO of the Hospice of Windsor stated that their philosophy of ca supports:

“respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life,” and ... that it’s (assisted death) not part of palliative care.

Janice Kaffer, the CEO of Hotel Dieu, that also operate a hospice, stated:

As a faith-based Catholic hospital, it does not believe it should participate in physician-assisted suicide.

Jean Echlin who is the President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and a registered nurse who was instrumental in founding the Hospice of Windsor clinical and volunteer programs and recently co-authored a book titled: It's not that simple told the Windsor Star:

most Canadians don’t understand how dignified death can be when pain and symptoms are well managed. She fears the push for assisted suicide is being driven by a desire to control health costs. Little consideration is given to the “death squads,” the doctors and nurses expected to deliver the deadly drugs,

While Dr Brad Burke, a physical rehabilitation expert told the Windsor star:

“Whether I’m the executioner or I’m made to to refer someone to an executioner, I feel I’m still responsible,”

Burke is concerned that the Ontario College of Physicianswould revoke his medical license if he refuses to kill his patients. The Windsor Star stated:

He worries that if he follows his conscience he may contravene the rules of the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons and end up losing his licence.

The Canadian Medical Association recently urged the federal government to respect the conscience rights of healthcare professionals.

Healthcare professionals and institutions must not be forced to participate in killing their patients. If Canada imposes euthanasia upon the nation, there needs to be "safe havens" where people can go and not be pressured to die by lethal injection.

Code Black: Québec Euthanasia - Kill and Conceal

By Jean Echlin, President of Euthanasa Prevention Coalition

Quebec’s euthanasia experiment that was scheduled to begin on December 10, 2015 is the only law in the world which attempts to coerce physicians and palliative programs into providing euthanasia. Thankfully, a Québec Superior Court Justice prevented the launch of euthanasia in Québec based on its conflict with the federal Criminal Code

The methods used by the Quebec government and the Quebec College of Physicians are bullying, threatening and abusive to doctors and agencies providing palliative care. These words come from a report that was written after the recent “Euthanasia Symposium: Theory and Reality about Euthanasia” held in Montreal October 31, 2015, sponsored by The Physicians’ Alliance Against Euthanasia; Living with Dignity network and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Included in the report:

  • Physicians around the world have always rejected euthanasia as a public safety hazard driving people to throw away years of their lives.

  • It provides caregivers and heirs with enormous power. The illusion of control will erode medical diligence in the care of people chronically disabled and acutely disabled by illness. 

  • Suffering is feared by most people at the end-of-life. We must find less dangerous options to constant availability of “death on demand.” For the small minority of patients for whom other options are not completely effective, palliative sedation can answer all symptom control problems.

The existing 29 palliative care centres in Quebec said NO to medically assisted death. The University of Montreal Hospitals (CHUM) stated that euthanasia will not be provided in its’ palliative care department.

Link to the full article

Supreme Court Assisted Dying Decision: A New Social Disorder

By Jean Echlin RN, BScN, MScN

Jean Echlin

Jean Echlin

After 35 years of many fearing and rejecting hospice palliative care programs that provide life and death with dignity, we now have Canadians enamored with doctor provided death. The Supreme Court of Canada has abolished a portion of our Criminal Code that prohibits euthanasia and assisted suicide. They have designated physicians as the group in our society to carry out the act of putting patients to death upon request. The patient must be suffering in a manner that is intolerable to them including both psychological and physical issues. 

It must be remembered that nurses work closely with doctors following their orders and monitoring patients for any positive or adverse effects to treatment. Therefore nurses will automatically be assistants and collaborators in any type of inflicted death.  In addition social workers, chaplains and other members of the inter-professional team will be affected.

Inflicting death on another human being is considered the ultimate act of violence so I ask: “How dare we ask our doctors and nurses to kill us?” But this is exactly what is proposed. 

In my opinion, those who opt to carry out euthanasia and assisted suicide will no longer be trusted. As well I believe that acute and long term care institutions that enable patients to be put to death will not be trusted. Persons afraid of being euthanized will avoid admission on the basis of fearing an untimely death.

Link to the full article