What about assisted suicide's impact on those left behind?

The following article was published in the Montreal Gazette on March 9, 2015

By Derek Miedema

“No man is an island” said John Donne. We are not only radical individuals. Our lives and our deaths have profound consequences for those we love and those who love us. How we die is not solely our domain, but touches families, friends and our communities.

The makeshift roadside memorials and ghost bikes chained to light posts on busy city corners remind us that how one leaves the world lingers long after the last breath. Suffering does not end at death — not for those left behind.

When the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the prohibition on euthanasia and assisted suicide in the name of personal autonomy, it did not address the suffering of grieving families. In fact, the court’s decision last month introduced further tensions within families with a suffering loved one.

Assisted suicide adds a whole new dimension to the dying process for families and friends of the seriously ill. Choosing whether or not to kill yourself could never be described as simple. Take this example from Washington State: Attorney Margaret Dore recounts the story of a client in the state of Washington where assisted suicide has been legal since 2009. The client found herself caught in a family feud over whether or not her ailing father should take a prescribed lethal dose to kill himself. The adult daughter was distraught and the family divided. Worse still, her father lived his final months caught in the middle, unsure whether he should kill himself or not.

In situations like this, the dying family member can feel like a burden on his loved ones. The sad reality is this: The option of assisted suicide transforms the feeling of being a burden into consideration of a duty to die.

Link to the full article

Maggie Karner has the same condition as Brittany Maynard, except, Karner opposes assisted suicide

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Maggie Karner is a mother of 3 who lives in Connecticut with the same condition that Brittany Maynard had, but Karner opposes assisted suicide.

In a recent interview with WFSB TV in Connecticut, Karner said that:

"The talking point that pro-assisted suicide people use is right to die. My fear is that it will quickly become the duty to die,"

This is not the first time that Karner has spoken out against assisted suicide. 

Karner produced a Youtube video (below) urging Brittany Maynard not to die by assisted suicide and join her in fighting the glioblastoma brain tumor.

Maggie Karner speaks from her heart when she says that the weakest among us - those who are vulnerable - and everyone need and deserve protections against assisted suicide.

Thank you Maggie for caring. Thank you Maggie for speaking out.

Right to die becomes a duty to die

By Mark Penninga

euthanasia, closer look.jpg

Recently Mr. John Warren, vice chair of the organization Dying with Dignity, made the argument in this paper that the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision about assisted suicide will determine who owns your life – “you or the state.”

He referenced Sue Rodriguez who suffered from ALS and pleaded for the right to have a doctor end her life. Although she lost her case in a 1993 decision of the Supreme Court, Mr. Warren argues that public opinion has changed dramatically since then.

I hope we can all agree that we have a moral obligation to dig deeper than shifting public opinion. It is not enough to reduce this issue to emotional stories or catch-phrases like “dying with dignity.”

Read More: http://www.alexschadenberg.blogspot.ca/2014/09/right-to-die-becomes-duty-to-die.html