We will continue resisting euthanasia

By Charles Lewis

There may be a tendency to give up now that the fight against legalized euthanasia has ended. We now have euthanasia in this country. With or without a law it's here. We tried to stop it and so we lost that battle. Notice I wrote we lost the battle and not the war. 

Bill C14 as is or whatever warped form it takes on is an evil. It's not a bit evil, or somewhat evil or even mainly evil. It's fully evil. There is nothing good about it. It offends human decency. We know this. That's why we've been fighting. So on that score nothing has changed.

At the end of the day it can be resisted. The worst thing anyone can do now, anyone who has been involved in the anti-euthanasia cause, would be to give up. This law does not have to be respected. And just because it offers and supports medical murder that doesn't mean we have to avail ourselves of it. Nor should we sit by while those we know decide to end their lives in such a barbaric manner.

Here is the problem as I see it: There is a strong core of us who will never accept euthanasia. We refused to cooperate with the government in the law's development. Our hands our clean. But we have inherited a huge responsibility. 

Link to the full article

Canadian Senate sends Bill C-14 back to parliament with amendments, the worst parts of the bill remain intact

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Canada's Senate passed Bill C-14, with its amendments, by a 64 to 12 vote, and therefore sent the bill back to parliament for acceptance or amendments.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition argues that Bill C-14 must be amended or defeated.

Bill C-14 will now go back to parliament where they will either accept the Senate amendments or send the bill back to the Senate. 

The Senate made seven amendments to Bill C-14. The only amendment to receive media attention is the amendment that replaces that a person's "death must be reasonably foreseeable" with a person having a "grievous and irremediable medical condition and after the condition has begun to cause enduring suffering that is intolerable to the person"

CBC news reported that the six other amendments are:

1. requiring a person to give informed consent to receive MAiD after having had a palliative care consultation, and after having been informed of treatment, technology and support options available to relieve suffering.2. a provision that prohibits a beneficiary from assisting a persons assisted death or signing the request for assisted death.3. require the federal minister of health to make regulations on the provision and collection of information for the purpose of monitoring MAiD and on the use and disposal of that information, and the information on death certificates.4. requiring a two-year deadline for independent reports on assisted dying.5. An amendment to the language of the bill to make the French and English versions consistent.6. An amendment to fix a drafting error in the bill.

The amendment that prohibits beneficiaries from assisting a death underscores the most grievous problems with Bill C-14, that being the lack of effective oversight of the law and the fact that the bill enables anyone to participate in acts of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

The most grievous sections of the bill have not been amended:

1. Bill C-14 allows anyone to cause death by euthanasia or assisted suicide. 

• Bill C-14 - Section 227(2) states: No person is a party to culpable homicide if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2. 
• Bill C-14 - Section 241(3) states: No person is a party to an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2. 
• Bill C-14 - Section 241(5) states: No person commits an offence under paragraph (1)‍(b) if they do 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 in accordance with section 241.‍2.

No jurisdiction in the world offers legal immunity to anyone who does anything for the purposes of assisted dying. These sections must be struck from the bill.

2. Bill C-14 continues to provide medical practitioners or nurse practitioners total immunity for decisions or acts that contravene Bill C-14.

• Section 241.3 states: Before a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner provides a person with medical assistance in dying, the medical or nurse practitioner must: (a) be of the opinion that the person meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (1); 
• Section 227(3) states: For greater certainty, the exemption set out in subsection (1) or (2) applies even if the person invoking it has a reasonable but mistaken belief about any fact that is an element of the exemption.

I cannot understand why people remain so blind about the implications of the language of the bill. Bill C-14 remains the most wide-open bill in the world. It is even worse than the Belgian law. 

Recent studies from Belgium indicate that more than 1000 assisted deaths occur without request each year.

Bill C-14 must be amended or defeated.

Advanced Request For Euthanasia?

This article was written by Dr Catherine Ferrier and published on June 10, 2016 by impact ethics in Canadian BioethicsDeath & Assisted DyingLaw & PolicyMental Health

Catherine Ferrier a physician in the Division of Geriatric Medicine of the McGill University Health Centre, and is the president of the Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia.

The June 6 deadline for legislation in response to the Carter judgment has come and gone, and our government has yet to adopt a law regulating medical assistance in dying. Too few of us have any idea what we are rushing into.

In the Carter decision the Supreme Court judges stated that the risks associated with physician-assisted death can be limited through a carefully designed and monitored system of safeguards. In contrast, the pressure is on to offer death as a solution for all forms of suffering, available to virtually everyone, including those who fear future suffering or disability.

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs wants Bill C-14 amended to include the recommendation of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying, “That the permission to use advance requests for medical assistance in dying be allowed any time after one is diagnosed with a condition that is reasonably likely to cause loss of competence or after a diagnosis of a grievous or irremediable condition but before the suffering becomes intolerable….”

I have spent the last 30 years diagnosing, treating, and caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It takes no special insight to realize that they are the principal intended “beneficiaries” of this recommendation.

Link to the full article

Wesley Smith: Canada Senate Votes for More Euthanasia

This article was published by Wesley Smith on June 10, 2016.

By Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

Wesley Smith

Assisted suicide advocates in this country pretend it is about terminal illness as a political expedience. It’s baloney, but a lot of people fall for it. Ya gotta want to believe! 

The need for euthanasia advocates’ deploying this tactic was obliterated in Canada when the Supreme Court conjured a right to be lethally injected if one has a medically diagnosed illness causing irremediable suffering–as defined by the patient. That goes waaay beyond a terminal illness, perhaps to the mentally ill (as allowed in Belgium and the Netherlands) 

Now, euthanasia advocates, freed from having to persuade the public, are have revealed their true goals, pushing for the most radical and broad license to be killed in the world. 

The House of Commons passed enabling legislation that mildly reined-in the agenda, requiring death to be “reasonably foreseeable.” That’s a mere pretense of limitation–more a gesture than a policy–which isn’t the diagnosis of an actual terminal condition, just one that could become terminal…someday. 

Too restrictive! The Canadian Senate just removed the “foreseeable” requirement. From the National Post story

The Senate voted Wednesday to allow suffering Canadians who are not near death to seek medical help to end their lives, knocking out the central pillar underpinning the federal government’s proposed new law on medically assisted dying. 
Senators voted 41-30 to amend Bill C-14, deleting the requirement that a person’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable.” 
The amendment replaces the eligibility criteria in the bill with the much more permissive criteria set out in last year’s landmark Supreme Court ruling, which struck down the ban on assisted dying. 

The Senate is indeed more in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling. 

But the Canadian Charter could have allowed the Parliament to temporarily void the ruling or make it nonbinding through a process know as the “notwithstanding clause.” (Would that the US had such an ability.) It didn’t even try. 

It it is beyond disturbing how enthusiastically–indeed, like being swamped by a dam bursting–Canada has being swept up into the culture of death. 

As our closest neighbor, both in proximity and culture, we will not be unaffected.

Australian Assisted Dying Report - A sugar coated poison pill

“vulnerable people—the elderly, lonely, sick or distressed—would feel pressure, whether real or imagined, to request early death” House of Lords.
Paul Russell

Paul Russell

By Paul Russell

The Legal and Social Issues Committee of the Victorian Parliament handed down its Report into End-of-Life choices in Victoria today.

The extensive report makes some valuable comments and recommendations in respect to improvement in palliative care.

It acknowledges that access to palliative care is patchy, is overburdened and needs improvement. In a country rated recently as second in an international table for end-of-life care, it still remains that the availability of such care is more closely related to postcode than it is to need.

The committee heard from many individuals whose family members had passed away in circumstances that were clearly far from what all Victorians would want and certainly far from best practice. The committee seems to take it as read that such cases are compelling proof that Victoria needs a regimen of ‘assisted dying’ – euthanasia or assisted suicide. Few, I contend, are that clear.

While family members submitting their stories to the committee often (but note: not always) called for legislative change, the submissions and stories may well have been evidence of poor care, lack of care options or, indeed, refusal of good care options; we simply do not know. For the committee to seem so easily to have accepted that poor deaths require the State of Victoria to help people to suicide is a travesty as much as it is the potential abandonment of people in great need.

Certainly, the admission that palliative care is still not able to meet the needs of Victorians is an important one and we welcome all policy and planning decisions that bridge the gap between need and availability. Sadly, however, the committee seems intent that, for those who cannot access such care, being made dead is an option. This is a failure of the committee’s stated aims to improve choice; suicide in such circumstances is no choice at all.

Link to the full article

Will Johnston: The case against physician-assisted dying

This article was published by the CanadianHealthcareNetwork.ca on June 1, 2016

Discussed: The 'wedge' cases, the language of the debate, the moral culpability of the doctor, and the question of pure autonomy
Dr Will Johnston

Dr Will Johnston

By Tristan Bronca.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition was officially founded in 1998 in response to rising public support for physician-assisted dying. It’s made up of about 2,000 donors—both members and organizations—who began to come together in about 1993 during the Sue Rodriguez case. One of those members is Dr. Will Johnston.

Now the chair of the B.C. chapter of the coalition, the family physician took a strong stance against euthanasia about 22 years ago, when he began writing about it and speaking to high school students and church groups. He also testified opposite euthanasia advocates in the Carter case, which led to the legalization of medically assisted death in Canada. Dr. Johnston spoke with the Medical Post about his concerns with the legislation recently passed through the house of commons, the laws around the world, and why he feels Canada is about to make a dangerous mistake.

Q: Explain the impetus for a coalition of bodies who are opposed to physician-assisted dying.

The bodies that are involved in the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition might not agree on any other issue but they share in common a sense of the huge societal mistake that is being made in euthanasia and assisted suicide. We realize that there is some strength in numbers. Obviously not enough strength to stop the freight train that ended with the Supreme Court being unanimous in its decision—which I think is a troubling sign of the shallowness of the Supreme Court’s reasoning—but nonetheless more power than we would have as individual activists.

Q: Which elements of the proposed federal legislation do you personally find most troubling?

The legislation doesn’t yet allow the euthanasia of children, psychiatric patients, or mentally incapable patients long after they consent, but the preamble to the legislation promises to explore those areas further, which is deeply troubling.

Link to the full article

Bill C-14 needs to be amended or defeated

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I appreciate the amendments to Bill C-14, An act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying made by the House of Commons

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg

I recognize that conscience protection language has improved and some of the language of the bill was improved, but the most grievous sections of Bill C-14 were not amended. 

The House of Commons passed Bill C-14 with a 186 to 137 vote, now the Senate of Canada will begin to debate Bill C-14. The Senate has the power to amend the bill and/or defeat the bill.

For those who are concerned that Bill C-14 will not be passed by June 6, stop worrying, it will definitely not become law by June 6. Therefore the approach needs to be to amend Bill C-14 in the Senate and if it is not adequately amended, to defeat the bill.

If this bill passes, in its current form, the language of Bill C-14 will lead to significant growth of euthanasia. There will be many stories that people will refer to as a "slippery slope." Let me tell you now, these stories will not be the result of a "slippery slope" but rather they will be based on the fact that the language of Bill C-14 allowed these acts to occur.

Link to the full article