Euthanasia bill provides perfect cover for acts of murder

By Alex Schadenberg , Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying) was tabled today in the House of Commons. 

Bill C-14 appears more restrictive in comparison to the radical recommendations from the government assisted dying committee. The bill does not extend euthanasia to mature minors, to people with dementia, or to people who seek death by lethal injection based only on psychological reasons and it appears to require the person to have a terminal condition. 

In reality the bill provides legal immunity to anyone, who kills another, while the bill fails to provide effective oversight of the law or conscience rights for healthcare professionals.

There are significant problems with the design of the bill. Here are a few examples:

1. The bill does not provide effective oversight of the law. The bill requires approval for euthanasia or assisted suicide be done by two independent physicians or nurse practitioners, without requiring before the death oversight from an independent third-party. The bill permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to approve the act to be the person who does the act and to be the person who reports the act. There is no effective oversight when the same person approves the lethal injection, does the lethal injection and reports the lethal injection. Once the person is dead, it is too late to find out that the person who died was incompetent or coerced.

2. The bill provides legal immunity to “any person” who directly participates in euthanasia and assisted suicide. Section 241(3) provides legal immunity to any person who does anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying. Section 241(5) gives legal immunity to anyone who does 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. These sections of the bill may be interpreted to apply to family members or friends who are involved with the act of ending life. But at the same time, the bill lacks definition, so in fact it could be interpreted to apply to anyone.
This bill provides the perfect cover for acts of murder. 
3. The bill does not provide conscience protection for medical practitioners or nurse practitioners. Medical professionals who consider killing patients as the antithesis to medical care are not provided conscience protection and they are required under (Section 241.31) to send requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide to a “designated recipient” or the Minister of Health.

This bill does not provide effective oversight of the law. This bill provides the perfect cover for acts of murder by enabling “other people” who directly participate in the act. This billdoes not provide conscience protection for medical professionals who oppose killing patients. This bill is not a harm reduction model, nor does it provide safe spaces for people who are particularly opposed to being killed by lethal injection. 

With any legislation, the devil is in the details. The details in this bill are particularly dangerous for Canadians in their time of need.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is a national organization of citizens and groups who support caring measures and oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide. EPC has more than 25,000 supporters.

Spousal homicide: another reason why euthanasia and assisted suicide must be prohibited

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The recent case of an elderly man who plead guilty to killing his wife is an example of why assisted suicide must be prohibited.

Robert Edgar (83) was sentenced to 10 years for second degree murder after admitting to smothering to death Zdenko Sekora (79), his wife of 32 years.

An Ottawa Citizen article reported that Teresa Sernets, his daughter-in-law, was afraid of Edgar and was upset that she didn't warn her mother. The article reported:

Tereza Sernets, said she had been afraid of her stepfather, Robert Edgar, since she met him when she was 19 years old. He often chased her and taunted her, she told court. 
“How can I continue living happily when I couldn’t protect her, didn’t warn her?” Sernets said. “Why didn’t I share my fear?”

There have been many cases of spousal homicide where the perpetrator claimed that the act was an assisted suicide or euthanasia/"mercy killing."

Last year, in Montecello New York, Andrew Moore claimed that he strangled to death his mother, Margaret Regalia, as part of an assisted suicide pact.

In 2010 I wrote an article titled: Homicide or "Mercy Killing" in response to another spousal homicide case in New York.

Recently, a man in the Netherlands was acquitted for assisting the suicide of his mother

Canada's courts have always dealt more leniently with cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide. Now that Canada's assisted suicide act was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada in February, I fear that similar cases will claim to be assisted suicide or euthanasia deaths in the near future in an attempt to get an acquittal.

Man kills his mother and claims it was assisted suicide

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Margaret Regalia

Margaret Regalia

The following story from Monticello New York is very upsetting.

The story that is published in the Times-Herald Record states that Andrew Moore confessed to strangling his mother, Margaret "Peggy" Regalia, to death as part of an assisted suicide pact.

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Nitschke - "an undetectable death" or murder?

Paul Russell

Paul Russell

By Paul Russell
Director of HOPE Australia

The recent news of the suspension of Philip Nitschke’s medical licence pending the medical board of Australia’s investigations is good news. But many have asked: why has it taken so long?

The trigger issue for the medical board was the suicide death of Perth man, Nigel Brayley; Beyond Blue chairman, Jeff Kennett and others arguing that, in Nitschke’s contact with Brayley, he had a duty of care to try and stop Brayley from taking his own life.


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