Euthanasia Action

Euthanasia is a very integral part of the respect for life from birth to natural death concept.  It is an area that "Pro-Lifers" foresaw as eventually becoming an area of concern about 40 or more years ago.  Pro-Lifers warned politicians and everyone they could that it was an issue that had to be addressed in a pre-emptive way, to protect all those who would be susceptible to the whims of those who believe that WE should have control of ALL life.  This was ignored, for the most part, and here we have it - Euthanasia is prevalent in the Netherlands and is more than creeping on our doorsteps.

We want to provide you with as much information as we can with regards to ALL life issues, including Euthanasia.  One of the best sources of information is from Alex Schadenberg's web site: www.epcc.ca

Alex's most recent blog and information about Quebec's Bill 52 is on this link.  This will likely be the "flag ship" for legalized Euthanasia in Canada so, we had better be well-informed and proactive in defeating THIS anti-life movement.

 

May
18
2016

Euthanasia Bill C-14 is like a “Trojan Horse.” It claims to be strict, but uses meaningless language.

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 on April 14 in the House of Commons.

Bill C-14 appears more restrictive than 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 euthanasia for psychological reasons alone. The bill appears to require the person to have a terminal condition and it appears to require a 15 day waiting period.

In reality Bill C-14 fails to provide effective oversight of the law or conscience rights for healthcare professionals and provides legal immunity to anyone, who kills another. There are significant problems with Bill C-14.   (Read More)

Mar
22
2016

"We find ourselves in troubling times, as the Supreme Court of Canada has opened the door to a devastating response to the suffering of others.  In their Carter decision, the Supreme Court judges make clear that they believe it is acceptable and even morally necessary to kill the person who is experiencing suffering and asks for it to be brought to an end.  But this is not a Christian response.  Would any of us, upon hearing our Lord ask for the cup of his suffering to pass from him, respond by ending his life?"...

"We continue to encourage the Catholic faithful and all Canadians to respond courageously to thechallenges posed by the Supreme Court's ruling, asking all to raise their voices in defense of the life and the human dignity of all persons, especially the most vulnerable.  Eliminating a life is never an appropriate response to suffering. ..."

Read More.

Mar
18
2016

Here is an example of an excellent letter written by Blanche Crowder, sent to the Prime Minister regarding Euthanasia:

From: Blanche Crowder P.O. Box 268

Blaine Lake, Saskatchewan S0J 0J0

To: Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada

House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Prime Minister:

Physician-Assisted Dying (Suicide)

I am an elderly Canadian citizen and taxpayer who is very concerned with this road the Supreme Court has set this country on. Does changing the wording from “physician-assisted suicide” to “physician- assisted dying” now also include euthanasia? It seems to me this change infers that; or, if not for now, to be used later without having to change the wording?

I know the Supreme Court’s decision of February 6th, 2015 has struck down the law(s) prohibiting physician-assisted suicide forcing you our government to make a law complying with their decision within a year. However, that timeline, even with the extension, is not sufficient to be able to reflect and act responsibly on this extremely serious issue.

I truly believe that now is the time for you and all our lawmakers to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause in Section 33 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms to allow up to five years to properly study this crucial issue and what the consequences are before making it into law.

Following are my reasons why you and all our elected Members of Parliament should take its time for enacting this kind of legislation.  (click here for the full letter)

Dec
10
2015

Re-printed from a Newsletter from Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director      

There is significant confusion concerning the Québec euthanasia law.

On December 1, Justice Michel Pinsoneault of the Québec Superior court decided that the Québec euthanasia law was in conflict with Canada's Criminal Code in a case brought forward by the Physicians for Social Justice. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) intervened in the case.

On February 6, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down Canada's assisted suicide law and approved euthanasia in limited circumstances. The Supreme Court gave parliament 12 months to legislate on the issue, therefore euthanasia and assisted suicide remain prohibited in Canada until, at least, February 6, 2016. 

On December 4 the federal government asked the Supreme Court for a six month extension on the issue. EPC submitted a brief to the Supreme Court on this question. We do not know when the Supreme Court will make its decision.  

On December 9, the Québec government was granted an appeal of the Québec Superior court decision. The Québec Court of Appeal will hear the case on December 18. EPC has intervener standing at the Court of Appeal.

Then the Québec government announced that the euthanasia law has come into effect today (Dec 10).

EPC assures you that the Québec government does not have the jurisdiction to lethally inject their citizens and doctors who participate in euthanasia can still be prosecuted. EPC will keep you up-to-date on this issue. 

EPC continues to work to protect people from euthanasia and assisted suicide through the courts, through education, and through our political work. Please consider donating to the EPC Legal Fund today

 

 

Alex Schadenberg,

EPC Executive Director

Sep
24
2015

"In the face of the terrible suffering that can be caused by illnesses or depression, a truly human response should be to care, not to kill. Likewise, the response to the anguish and fear people can experience at the end of their lives is to be present to them, offering palliative care, not intentionally to cause their death. The need for palliative care should be one of the most pressing preoccupations of our country and its institutions. This is where the energies and resources of our elected leaders should be directed. This is why we advocate making high-quality palliative care, long-term care, and home care easily accessible to all Canadians.

We are in the midst of a federal election campaign. The candidates' silence on the question of assisted suicide astonishes us. This question is fundamental for our society and its future."  Go Here to read more... 

Jun
24
2015

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is calling on Justice Minister Peter MacKay to establish a commission to make clear recommendations on a legislative framework. The Coalition is urging the government to use the notwithstanding clause in the Constitution of Canada to gain the necessary time to pass a new assisted suicide law. The Coalition is also concerned that clear language must be used in the future assisted suicide law in order to protect people from euthanasia.

The Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association supports the "Give Us Time" Campaign that is being promoted by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) directed by Alex Schadenberg.  Many of your local Pro-Life or Right-to-Life Associations have ordered postcards that you can send to your MP or the Federal Minister of Justice.  Just ask your local or, you can go to the EPC Website and download and print or order your own postcards.  We sincerely encourage you to support this project.

 

Jul
10
2014

Here is an article from Life Canada

By Peter Ryan

Until now it’s been a crime for a Canadian doctor to intentionally end the life of his or her patient. Last Thursday that appeared to change. The Quebec National Assembly adopted Bill 52, allowing a doctor in that province to give a suffering patient a lethal injection under some circumstances when the patient requests.

The behaviour approved officially dubbed “medical aid in dying” – is a euphemism for euthanasia. Quebec has shifted the ground on a contentious issue. Or has it? It depends largely on how Ottawa reacts.

The Quebec government, which sponsored Bill 52, does not acknowledge the practice of euthanasia is even at issue. Why? To openly admit doctors are allowed to kill patients would directly flout the Criminal Code of Canada. It would defy federal constitutional authority over the Code.

To keep the feds at bay, Quebec has erected a legal fiction. Let us suppose, they say in effect, that “medical aid in dying” is not about killing but end of life care, on a continuum with palliative care measures for the dying. It’s all simply good health care, and that is provincial jurisdiction. No need for Ottawa to intervene at all!

All that is a stratagem. Will the Harper government play along, fearing to alienate Quebec? Will politics dictate policy? Or will Quebec’s ruse be called? It remains to be seen.

If Canada’s Attorney-General, Peter MacKay, takes Quebec to court, he would seem to have a good case. Allowing doctors to give patients a lethal injection, he might argue, is homicide. Bill 52 qualifies the Criminal Code’s meaning and usurps federal power.

Furthermore, he might contend, the Code’s blanket prohibition against doctors killing patients is necessary to protect the most vulnerable in society. When the Supreme Court upheld the assisted suicide ban in the Sue Rodriguez case, they cited the need to protect the vulnerable. The courts might reject Bill 52 for the same reason.

Perhaps the ground won’t shift after all.

If it does shift, either because Quebec’s fiction goes unchallenged, or because the courts endorse “medical aid in dying,” one thing seems likely. It won’t stop shifting. I mean this in two significant ways.

First, if Quebec succeeds in redefining health care to include euthanasia, other provinces will likely follow suit. If Quebec patients can ask for euthanasia, desperate patients elsewhere will as well. It would be surprising if the practice did not go coast to coast.

Secondly, and worryingly, the circumstances under which euthanasia is practiced will tend to steadily expand. Véronique Hivon, Bill 52’s co-sponsor, maintains that medical aid in dying cases will be “exceptional.” But this too seems a convenient fiction. Belgium, which Quebec used as its legal model, has demonstrated how easily sands can shift.

Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002. The practice was to be limited to end of life situations. It has come to be used, however, as a solution to cases of mental illness and disability, where non-dying patients simply considered their lives not worth living. In one publicized case, a chronically depressed, otherwise healthy woman had her life ended. In another, 45 year old twin brothers, deaf and going blind, otherwise healthy, were euthanized.

Why would things turn out differently in Quebec? Ms. Hivon has averred that medical aid in dying will only be for the dying. Yet she rejected an amendment to confine the practice to “terminal illness.” The law’s “end of life” criteria are so broad Montreal geriatrician Catherine Ferrier says half her patients would qualify.

For Bill 52’s restrictions on paper, the question arises: Would they even be enforced? The Belgian experience is both instructive and sobering. A main tenet of its law is a patient must request to have their life ended. Yet a 2010 CMAJ study showed one-third of Belgian euthanasia deaths were effected without patient request! These were mostly elderly patients with dementia. It seems naïve to expect Quebec’s restriction to voluntary “medical aid in dying” would be immune from similar abuse.

There is, in fact, good reason to suppose abuse would be even worse in Quebec. When you recognize, as Belgium does, that doctors are ending patient’s lives, serious public vigilance over the practice can be expected. But if like Quebec you pretend it’s not euthanasia at all, a more lax approach likely ensues.

In February Belgium showed how hard it is to contain the genie once out of the bottle. Its Parliament extended euthanasia to children who request it. One more limit out the window.

Once the ground starts shifting around the idea “life is sometimes not worthy living,” it is unlikely to stop. Maybe it’s better not to go down that road in the first place.

Peter Ryan chairs the Euthanasia Committee for LifeCanada. LifeCanada is a national, not-for-profit organization working to ensure respect and dignity for all Canadians. Visit us at www.lifecanada.org

Mar
03
2014

Physicians are needed to sign on to the CMA euthanasia discussion board – comments there may shape CMA policy in 6 months. Go to: http://cmadialogue.ca
 
This is first and foremost a public safety issue. It would be helpful if comments were focused on the abuses that have occurred elsewhere and the idea that people who have lost hope, find no meaning in their lives, and want death need suicide prevention, not to be steered to suicide. Euthanasia is unnecessary and dangerous and bound to be extended to the sort of abusive uses seen recently in Belgium.
 
I strongly advise avoiding sanctity-of-life and religious language. Euthanasia promoters love to claim that the opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide comes from fanatics who want to force people to suffer for obscure religious reasons. “Dignity” has been reduced to “freedom from social embarrassment.” In my experience dignity is not a fruitful line of discussion because it is so easily twisted to describe an approved suicide.
 
I believe it is wise to have some understanding of the control-and-power focus of the euthanasia promoters. We all want control in our lives to some degree, the issue is whether giving a state medical system the power to endorse selected suicides, or euthanasia killing procedures, is a sane route to our objective.
 
Here is my first contribution to the online chat:
 
“It is hard for us to anticipate how the legal fact of assisted suicide would intrude into our medical ecosystem. The suicide offer would be constantly dangling, and would have to be referred to as part of thorough informed consent. Certain suicide-desensitized doctors would become the go-to people when the inevitable doctor-shopping starts. A relatively small group of doctors seems to account for a disproportionate amount of suicide in places that have allowed these practices to be entrenched. Meanwhile, the indications would be aggressively expanded, notably to the demented and the depressed. Belgian euthanasia doctor Mark Van Hoey actually seems proud of his involvement in the suicide of the 33 year old woman depicted in his documentary http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2519412/
 
Regards
Will Johnston MD
Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of BC