Thursday, December 7, 2023

You don't want to open the door to euthanasia or assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Alex Schadenberg (left)
Maggie Hroncich interviewed me for the New York Sun in an article that they titled: 'You Don't Want to Open the Door to this' Critics warn. Hroncich is interested in the topic since assisted suicide bills are being debated in several US states, such as New York, Michigan and Massachusetts and she was interested in stories about Canada's experience with euthanasia. Hroncich writes:

“If you look at what’s going on in Canada, and you look at what’s going on or other jurisdictions, you don’t want to open the door to this,” Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition’s executive director, Alex Schadenberg, tells the Sun. “The concept that this can have some sort of control is a misnomer.”

Hroncich specifically asked about the reported number of deaths and I responded:

In Canada, where, as the Sun reported, more than 13,000 patients died in 2022 by euthanisa — 4 percent of the country’s total deaths — concerns are growing that even those high numbers are underreported, as well as numbers in other jurisdictions where assisted suicide is legal.

It comes down to the reporting procedures doctors use to record the deaths, Mr. Schadenberg says. Doctors in Canada and states including Oregon, Washington, California, Vermont, and Hawaii, he says, are required by law to list assisted suicide as a natural death.

“They’re legislated — so it’s forced on them — that they cannot report on the death certificate that this was an assisted death or a euthanasia death,” Mr. Schadenberg says. “They have to report it as a natural death. Which means, that if you had cancer, but you die by euthanasia, that your death certificate will say cancer, it will not say euthanasia.”

When asked about concerns that doctors were reporting death by underlying conditions instead of by assisted suicide, a representative of Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada, Anne Génier, tells the Sun that “there is no underreporting” and that “all MAID deaths are required to be reported.”
The reality is that based on Canada's reporting system, it is impossible for Génier to know if a MAiD death was not reported. Hroncich then asked about a few recent Canadian euthanasia stories.
Dan Quayle
In Canada, a theme is emerging among sick patients who want treatment but are instead prescribed assisted suicide or choose euthanasia after waiting for treatment in a backlogged healthcare system.

One patient, a 52-year-old man named Dan Quayle, waited for ten weeks in the hospital for chemotherapy, the National Post reports. Doctors told him the treatment would prolong his life but wouldn’t schedule it or give him a timeline, and after weeks of waiting with intense suffering, he chose assisted suicide.

Allison Ducluzeau
Another British Columbia patient, a woman named Allison Ducluzeau, was diagnosed with abdominal cancer and forced to seek treatment in the United States after being pushed towards euthanasia by Canadian doctors.

“Chemotherapy is not very effective with this type of cancer,” Ms. Ducluzeau said she was told by surgeons, according to Global News. “It only works in about 50 percent of the cases to slow it down. And you have a life span of what looks like to be two months to two years. And I suggest you talk to your family, get your affairs in order, talk to them about your wishes, which was indicating, you know, whether you want to have medically assisted dying or not.”

It is important to note that Ducluzeau was successfully treated in Baltimore and has recently married. Hroncich then asked about Canada's legislated expansion of euthanasia to include mental illness.

Canada’s expansion of its Medical Aid in Dying law to allow mental illness as a condition for dying will allow patients suffering from alcohol addiction, drug and substance abuse disorders, and eating disorders to choose euthanasia.

One 47-year-old woman, Reuters reported, who suffers from anorexia and weighs only 92 pounds, is actively waiting for the March 2024 mental health expansion to go into effect so that she can die.

“The government has decided that certain types of drug addictions are in fact a mental illness. Therefore, they would qualify — even though they admit it would be difficult for them to assess it — they would qualify possibly for an assisted death,” Mr. Schadenberg says.

People who are going through difficult times and suffering from addiction need support, he adds. “And what will they get? They will qualify for death.” 

The more that people become aware of the Canadian euthanasia experience, the more they will realize that - You don't want to open the door to euthanasia or assisted suicide.

More articles on this topic:

Court rules that assisted suicide is suicide.

This article was published by Bioedge on December 7, 2023.

Michael Cook
By Michael Cook

Such is the stigma surrounding suicide that advocates of “voluntary assisted dying” insist vehemently that it is by no means suicide.

For instance, Go Gentle Australia, a leading lobby group for VAD, explains in its website’s FAQ that:

“People seeking voluntary assisted dying are not suicidal; they don’t want to die but are dying of a terminal illness and simply want to control how and when it happens and how much they need to suffer at the end. Australian laws expressly state that voluntary assisted dying is not suicide.”
In Australia, this is more than a quibble over words. In 2005 the Federal government amended the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995. It introduced two sections which criminalised counselling or instructing people about suicide over “carriage services”, which included communication over telephones and the internet.

It had good reason to do so. Access to the internet was growing, young people were being bullied or coaxed into killing themselves in internet chatrooms. Introducing the bill at the time, the Attorney-General explained that “internet chat room discussions have led to a person attempting suicide, and sometimes successfully. This research points to evidence that vulnerable individuals were compelled so strongly by others to take their own lives that they felt to back out or seek help would involve losing face.”

Chatrooms in Japan were particularly gruesome. In 2003, NBC News reported that strangers were organising suicide pacts over the internet. In one shocking case, four young men organised to gas themselves in a car overlooking Mount Fuji.

Furthermore, Dr Philip Nitschke, an Australian assisted suicide promoter and facilitator, began providing information about suicide techniques over the internet. At the time, the changes were even dubbed “the Nitschke amendment”.

However, after all of Australia’s states have legalised VAD, the Federal criminal code has become, in the words of advocates, a barrier to access, because it equates VAD with suicide. People who want to access VAD in rural areas may not be able to find a local doctor who is prepared to cooperate. For other medical consultations, they would be able to speak over the phone with a specialist. But for VAD, such a consultation would be a crime. It purportedly causes “delay and hardship for patients”.

So a doctor from Victoria, Nicholas Carr, recently asked the Federal Court to rule that “voluntary assisted dying” is not suicide. The judge, Justice Abraham, refused.

After a long examination of the relevant legislation and parsing the word “suicide”, she concluded that:

“in so far as the VAD Act purports to authorise medical practitioners to provide information about particular methods of committing suicide via a carriage service, it purports to authorise them to engage in conduct that the Criminal Code has criminalised.”
Taking a common sense approach to the definition, Justice Abraham consulted Australia’s Macquarie Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. They supported her stand. Suicide is “the intentional taking of one’s own life, and the act of doing so” and therefore VAD is suicide.

Dr Carr’s lawyers had another argument, an ingenious one. The Federal legislation bans incitement “to commit suicide”. The word “commit”, which is associated with committing a sin or committing a crime, must obviously mean that only stigmatised species of suicide are banned.

Justice Abraham dismissed this objection. 

“There is no basis to infer, from the text, context or purpose of the provisions that the word ‘commit’ was chosen by Parliament to denote that the term ‘suicide’ only applies to certain circumstances in which one takes one’s own life.”
When there is a clash between state and Federal law in Australia, Federal law prevails. For the moment, no one in Australia can use a telephone or the internet to give advice about VAD. It may be difficult to draft a law which will allow doctors to give advice about “voluntary assisted dying” but will stop people from encouraging unbalanced and distressed people to end their lives.

Letter to New York Legislators opposing assisted suicide Bill S.2445.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition-USA Statement in STRONG OPPOSITION to S.2445: Assisted Suicide–legally referred in the bill as “Medical Aid in Dying” 

Dear Senator:

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA supports public policy that promotes positive measures to improve the quality of life of people living with a terminal illness. We support policies to improve social and home-based support for the families and caregivers of individuals living with a terminal illness.  

Words matter. For the rest of our statement, we will use the term assisted suicide instead of the legally contrived term “medical aid in dying” used in S.2445.

We are aging and disability advocates, lawyers, doctors, nurses and politicians who are part of your registered voting constituents. We strongly oppose assisted suicide and it’s legally contrived synonym, “Medical Aid in Dying.” We strongly oppose the logical end of assisted suicide, which is euthanasia. In June 1997, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled there is no constitutional right to euthanasia (Washington v Glucksberg, 117 S Ct 2258 1997; Vacco v Quill, 117 S Ct 2293 1997)

Please allow S.2445 to die this session. Assisted suicide disguised as the euphemism, “medical aid in dying” is not healthcare and it does not serve or protect the health and well-being of your most vulnerable voting constituents and their caregivers.

Proponents of assisted suicide want to convince you to write and pass a law that allows assisted suicide providers to use their medical license to prescribe “medication” to include a combination of lethal doses of off-label drugs upon request. 

Assisted suicide advocates want you to absolve their network of assisted suicide providers from homicide or manslaughter by removing “MAiD” from cause of death on the death certificate. Assisted suicide advocates want you to falsely believe that assisted suicide provides a painless, quick, and peaceful death without complications. 

The truth is as assisted suicide laws and policies have been passed in 11 US jurisdictions since 1997, more suicides and less quality healthcare has ensued. In addition, assisted suicide advocates acknowledge a strategic plan to pass assisted suicide laws and then pursue expansion (waiving waiting period, assisted suicide by telemedicine or waive resident requirements) and removal of its safeguards. 

Any safeguards are part of a deliberate bait and switch tactic by assisted suicide advocates to get a bill passed and then come back to amend it by gutting those safeguards. This was openly acknowledged by J.M. Sorrell, Executive Director of Massachusetts Death with Dignity, who was quoted on a similar bill saying, “Once you get something passed, you can always work on amendments later.” (1) (Link) Oregon, Washington, California, Vermont, Hawaii, and New Mexico all have provisions that dramatically waive safeguards. 

This incremental strategy to promote legal and social acceptance of assisted suicide in the U.S. state by state since 1997 is confirmed by the Compassion & Choices (2) (Link) strategic plan. 

It’s Not about Pain  

“I’m often asked if I want people to die in pain. You probably have been asked that question, too.” Dr. Lonny Shavelson, a California assisted suicide provider says promoting “aid in dying” as avoiding pain is a political sales pitch. See webinar (3) minutes 25:24-27:53. He says people choose assisted suicide because they are low energy or afraid of losing control. Review of Oregon’s assisted dying law finds significant data gaps (4) (Link). The review revealed that information on clinical complications is often missing, while key information on the factors behind medical decision-making, the effectiveness of the lethal drugs used, and the extent of palliative care support is not collected.

It’s Not about a Peaceful or Quick Death 

Dr. Shavelson says the idea that assisted suicide creates a peaceful beautiful death is another myth. See webinar (3) minutes 37:35-41:00. 

Legalization of Assisted Suicide also impacts youths suicide. A 2019 report found teen suicides in California increased by 34% (5) (Link) since that state legalized Assisted Suicide in 2016. Oregon’s youth suicides increased 79.3% from 2000 to 2018. Research about completed suicides in four states that legalized Assisted Suicide (Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana) found it was associated at least a 6.3% increase in the rate of all suicide deaths (6) (Link).

No language euphemism can change the fact that documented cases of prolonged and agonizing deaths from the experimental lethal drug cocktails have occured. There are documented cases of individuals regaining consciousness after ingesting the lethal cocktail. Collateral damage caused by assisted suicide laws include: increased suicide attempts; increased Emergency Department visits due to attempted suicide; increased suicide deaths. Assisted suicide laws send a message that suicide is an acceptable way to solve problems. Publicity about suicide also leads to more suicides. This is called suicide contagion.  

Insurance Companies Use Assisted Suicide to Deny Curative Life-Saving Treatment

Insurers stop covering certain treatments due to the availability of Assisted Suicide.Dr. Brian Callister (7) (Link) of Nevada says he was stunned when insurance would not cover life saving treatment for his patients who were transferring to California and Oregon, but offered to pay for Assisted Suicide instead. These were people who could be cured with the denied treatment (8) (Link) rather than being rendered terminal. (9) (Link) In effect, Assisted Suicide is used to shunt people off the curative, restorative medicine track, especially if they cannot afford to pay for treatments out of pocket. People of color understand this will be used to provide them poorer care. Even with insurance, people of color get poorer hospital care and pain relief. According to a New York Times (10) (Link) article, people of color disproportionately died of COVID-19. So, it is unsurprising Black and Latinx people oppose Assisted Suicide by 2-1 margins. (11) (Link)

EPC-USA’s physicians advice you to allow the overwhelming majority of physicians in NY who will not and do not provide assisted suicide to practice the art and science of medicine with ethical integrity and a clear conscience. Physicians are fallible. Misdiagnoses and unreliable terminal prognoses are documented in at least three cases: Jeanette hall (12) (Link), John Norton, (13) (Link) and Rahamim Melamed an Rahamim Mlamed-Cohen (14) (Link).

EPC-USA physicians recognize the deadly downstream consequence of state-approved assisted suicide: erosion of patient/physician trust, physician moral injury and moral distress (being asked to assist on a suicide, assisting on a suicide, lying on death certificate), suicide contagion, and (involuntary or voluntary) euthanasia. 

EPC-USA Physicians advice you to reject codifying fear of disability, lethal and systemic disability discrimination into NY law. "Federal study finds the nation's assisted suicide laws rife with dangers to b with disabilities" (15) (Link).

EPC-USA’s Disability Rights Advocates remind us Assisted Suicide for the terminally ill very clearly normalizes discussions about whether it might be ok to help disabled people die by suicide. Without realizing it we can be blind to the reality that supporting Assisted Suicide individually and corporately is an example of ableism and perpetuates systemic racism for the poor, disabled, lonely, vulnerable and marginalized young and elderly individuals.

No change in language alters the fact that offering suicide prevention to most people while offering suicide assistance (redefined as “aid in dying”) to an ever-widening subset of disabled people is lethal disability discrimination. As the cheapest state-sponsored “treatment,” assisted suicide diminishes patient choice and takes away patient autonomy of the most vulnerable. Assisted suicide combined with a broken health care and home care system is a deadly mix for people who are economically poor, lonely, vulnerable, elderly, disabled, and historically marginalized in the US healthcare system. 

Assisted suicide advocates assert that there has never been one case of abuse related to laws legalizing assisted suicide. Setting aside the inherent flaw of making such a broad assertion, here is a link for a list of abuse cases: Some Oregon and Washington State Assisted Suicide Abuses and Complications. (16)(Link).

In closing, we urge you to oppose a public policy that reduces the quality of life of people living with a possible terminal illness. We urge you to oppose policies that socially isolate and do not provide home-based support for the families and caregivers of individuals living with a possible terminal illness. We urge you to oppose policies that allow healthcare professionals to legally harm their terminally ill patients by prescribing them lethal drugs. We urge you to allow S.2445 to die this session - a dangerous and harmful assisted suicide law.


Colleen E. Barry, Chairperson 347-245-9476

Josephine L.A. Glaser, MD.,FAAFP

Kenneth Stevens, MD

William Toffler, MD

Gordon Friesen

Alex Schadenberg

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA


End Notes






6. Assisted-Suicide-Affect-Rates-of-Suicide.pdf











Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Canadian (BC) Cancer Patient Euthanized After He Couldn’t Obtain Chemotherapy

This story was published by National Review online on December 5, 2023.

By Wesley J Smith

We are told continually that the Canadian system of health care is better than ours. Hardly.

A Canadian cancer patient was euthanized after opting for a lethal jab in desperation because he was unable to access chemotherapy that could’ve extended his life. From the National Post story:

Dan Quayle marked his 52nd birthday on Oct. 7 in Victoria General Hospital waiting to find out when chemotherapy would start for an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. He would die waiting.

After 10 weeks in hospital, Quayle, a gregarious grandfather who put on his best silly act for his two grandkids, was in so much pain, unable to eat or walk, he opted for a medically assisted death on Nov. 24. This was despite assurances from doctors that chemotherapy had the potential to prolong his life by a year. . . .

His family prayed he would change his mind or get an 11th-hour call that the chemo had been scheduled, said his step-daughter Shayleen Griffiths, whose mother, Kathleen Carmichael, had been with Quayle for 16 years. As the weeks dragged on in hospital, Carmichael kept pressing for answers on when chemo would be scheduled.

“There was never a timeline on that,” said Griffiths, who lives in Victoria. “Their exact words were, ‘We’re backlogged.’”

Even as they are still grieving Quayle’s death and planning his celebration of life, the family felt compelled to speak out about his inadequate care, following the stories of two Vancouver Island women who went public with their decisions to seek treatment in the U.S. to avoid delays in B.C. “I think I could still have my Dan if he had gotten treatment sooner,” Carmichael said.
Euthanasia is about “choice,” they say. It is about compassion, they say. Bah.

More articles on this topic.

  • BC woman with cancer who was offered euthanasia was successfully treated in the US (Link).
  • BC woman prepares to die by euthanasia. She can't afford the cost of care (Link).

41% of older Canadians experience loneliness.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The National Institute on Aging (NIR) released a report on December 5, 2023 titled: Understanding the Factors Driving the Epidemic of Social Isolation and Loneliness among Older Canadians.

In the media release the NIR stated:

Social isolation and loneliness are becoming increasingly recognized as significant public health concerns, particularly for older individuals, across Canada and around the world. With older persons making up a rapidly growing proportion of Canada’s population, the number of isolated or lonely older Canadians is expected to significantly increase, meaning that both the individual and societal consequences of loneliness and social isolation will likely also become more severe.

The report, Understanding the Factors Driving the Epidemic of Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Older Canadians, finds that as many as 41 per cent of Canadians aged 50 years and older are at risk of social isolation and up to 58 per cent have experienced loneliness before. To date, a lack of consistent definitions and measurement scales of loneliness and social isolation have made it challenging to fully characterize the scope of the problem in Canada, which could better enable measures to address it. Using data from the NIA’s inaugural 2022 Ageing in Canada Survey results, the report aims to fill this evidence gap by examining the extent to which both social isolation and loneliness are impacting Canadians aged 50 years and older across 10 provinces, and will continue to do so over the coming decade.

The report found that:

  • 41% of Canadians aged 50 years and older are deemed as socially isolated. On the other hand, only 59% of Canadians aged 50 years and older appear to be somewhat well-connected or have strong social ties.
  • 18% of Canadians aged 50 years and older are very lonel and another 40% are somewhat lonely. On the other hand, 42% of Canadians aged 50 years and older are not lonely.
  • Less than a third (30%) of Canadians aged 80 years and older could be classified as socially isolated... compared to 45% of Canadians aged 50–64 years and 40% of Canadians aged 65–79 years.
  • Among Canadians aged 80 years and older, 9% are very lonely and 38% are somewhat lonely, while 53% are not lonely.
  • On the other hand, among Canadians aged 50-64 years, almost one in four (23%) are very lonely and another 41% are somewhat lonely while only 36% are not lonely.
  • In terms of Canadians aged 65–79 years, 14% are very lonely and 39% are somewhat lonely, while 47% are not lonely.
  • Overall, 63% of Canadian women aged 50 years and older report that they are either somewhat lonely or very lonely, while the share is 53% among Canadian men of the same age.
  • Most concerningly, one in five (20%) Canadian women aged 50 years and older report that they are very lonely. Correspondingly, the share of Canadian men of the same age who are very lonely is 16%.

Clearly loneliness has become an epidemic in Canada. Loneliness and isolation are key issues for people who are considering death by euthanasia. When I have discussed the reasons why someone who is considering euthanasia or already been approved for euthanasia, the dicussion most often leads to feelings of loneliness, isolation or feelings of hopelessness.

Sadly, the epidemic of loneliness is feeding the euthanasia mentality.

We need a society that recognizes the need for interdependence and places caring for others over killing.

More articles concerning loneliness.

  • Loneliness is an epidemic with profound risks to health and life (Link). 
  • Loneliness as a root cause for symptom distress among older adults (Link). 
  • A wish to die is most often linked to loneliness and depression (Link). 
  • Study uncovers euthanasia deaths based on loneliness in the Netherlands (Link).

Monday, December 4, 2023

BC woman with cancer who was offered euthanasia, was successfully treated in the US.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Amy Judd and Kylie Stanton reported for Global News on November 27 that a BC woman who was diagnosed with abdominal cancer was offered MAiD (euthanasia) rather than treatment was successfully treated in the US.

The article begins by stating:

Allison Ducluzeau has just returned from a dream trip to Hawaii where she married the love of her life on the beach. But it was a wedding she couldn’t even imagine earlier this year.

The article explains that Ducluzeau started feeling abdominal pain around Thanksgiving 2022 (October 10). The pain persisted so Ducluzeau started seeking tests for her problem but she was told it would take weeks to get an appointment for an ultrasound and CT scan. The pain was so bad that in November she ended up in emergency. Judd and Stanton report:

“I didn’t get to sleep one night and I woke up my now husband and said, I think we better go to emergency. So we did. And when I was there, I got a CT scan or I was booked for one the next day and the results of the CT scan indicated it looked like it might be something called peritoneal carcinomatosis, which is abdominal cancer.”
The article explains that after two CT-guided biopsies that Ducluzeau was diagnosed as having Stage 4 peritoneal carcinomatosis and she was referred to the BC Cancer Agency. Her family doctor told her that 'with this type of cancer, they usually do a procedure called HIPEC, which involves delivering high doses of chemotherapy into the abdomen to kill the cancer cells.

The article states that a surgeon with BC Cancer told her that:
“Chemotherapy is not very effective with this type of cancer, ...It only works in about 50 per cent of the cases to slow it down. And you have a life span of what looks like to be two months to two years.
The Surgeon told her to talk to her family and get her affairs in order and asked her if she wanted medical assistance in dying (euthanasia).

Ducluzeau was floored by the news. She said it was the worst day of her life having to tell her kids and knowing that her mother had recently died. Instead Ducluzeau decided to everything she could to find treatment.

To move the story along, Ducluzeau found several places where she could receive treatment and she was successfully treated at the Institute for Cancer Care at Mercy Medical Centre in Baltimore.

Before going ahead with treatment 'she called BC Cancer to ask how long it might be to see the oncologist and was told it could be weeks, months, or longer, they had no idea.'

Ducluzeau is doing well now and thanks the team at Mercy Medical Center for their care. She told the reporters:
“I feel 100 per cent,” she said. “Some days even better. There is nothing that I did before I got sick that I can’t do now. I mean, I can ride my bike 15 kilometres and go have dinner with friends and ride home afterwards. I can golf 18 holes without feeling tired. I started running again and I haven’t run for 10 years.”

She said she was back at work a month after having her surgery. But the financial burden is still weighing heavily on her.
Ducluzeau is trying to get her medical bills paid by the BC Ministry of Health but she received a letter from the BC Cancer Agency stating:
“the services you chose to receive in the U.S. would not have been the recommended treatment for your cancer diagnosis.”
I guess euthanasia (MAiD) was the preferred treatment in BC because that is all Ducluzeau was actually offered.

Ducluzeau ended the article by stating she is trying to focus on married life and taking it day by day.
“I’m calling this my bonus round and I’m just trying to find joy in every day.”
There are a few take-aways from this story.
  1. For most Canadians it is not an option to go to Baltimore for treatment.
  2. Euthanasia (MAiD) was offered as the treatment of choice since she wasn't actually offered any other options.

More articles concerning similar issues:

  • BC government to build death center next to Catholic hospital (Link
  • Canada's MAiD program has gone "mad" (Link)
  • Health Canada reports 13,241 assisted deaths in 2022 (Link).
  • Canada: How death care has pushed out health care (Link).
  • Hospitals should not ask people to consider euthanasia (Link).
  • Canadian woman offered euthanasia as a "treatment option" during a mental health crisis (Link).
  • Afghanistan veteran slams Canadian government for euthanasia of veterans (Link). 
  • Research article: The reality of euthanasia in Canada (Link).

National Non-Profit Blasts Documentary 'Between Life & Death: Terri Schiavo's Story' an Inaccurate Cover-up on a Tragic Tale

Film Released on December 3rd - Terri's Birthday - Her Legacy Deserves Better.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2023 (Link to the media release).

Terri Schiavo looking at her mother.
Yesterday, MSNBC released a 90-minute documentary chronicling the case of Terri Schiavo. Sadly, it failed to capture the real human tragedy that was a woman being forcibly starved and dehydrated to death over 13 agonizing days. Further, it was quite unfortunate that the producers chose to frame this story of horrific abuse through a false lens of supposed "compassion" instead of portraying the real story of what transpired.

We recognize that condensing years, if not decades, of events into a 90-minute video is difficult. Still, the final product does not present even a fair portrayal of the brutality that Terri had to endure at the hands of Michael Schiavo and the Florida courts, which enabled his actions.

Perhaps more shocking than this editorial failure was the behavior of Judge George Greer, the jurist who presided over Terri's guardianship case and interviewed for the documentary. Greer confirmed the long-held belief of the Schindler family that his conduct during proceedings was strongly biased against Terri and he approached the case with a predetermined mindset before hearing any actual evidence. Although almost twenty years after the fact, there is not much that can be done about this revelation, and perhaps the public can take solace in the fact that the now-retired Judge Greer can no longer abuse a position of power.

Slick editing, clever voiceovers, and other trickery cannot take away from some key facts of this case:

  • Michael Schiavo swore under oath that he would honor his wedding vows and dedicate his life to caring for Terri.
  • Terri was as alive as anyone reading this statement.
  • Terri was not sick with any disease that was expected to end her life anytime soon.
  • Terri only needed food and water to remain alive.
  • Judge Greer ordered that Terri's food and water be removed, which included no comfort care, so she endured a horrible and excruciating death 13 days later.
  • If Michael Schiavo had done to a family pet what he did to Terri, he would have been criminally charged.

Even though this documentary presents an inaccurate portrayal of the events that unfolded all those years ago, we still encourage those who may be interested in the case to watch it with a proper skeptical eye while remembering the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:40, "whatever you did for one of the least of these, . . . you did for me."

The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope is a non-profit network that continues to assist parents and families fighting for the lives of their loved ones. As we think fondly of Terri, our prematurely departed daughter and sister on her birthday, the Schindler family continues to stand alongside and serve families in crisis across the nation and around the world. Bobby Schindler, Terri's brother, travels the country speaking to audiences and advocating for the medically vulnerable who are frequently not given a voice. All of this ministry work is made possible by donors and friends who contribute to protecting innocent lives.
Since 2005, the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network has responded to requests from thousands of families, supporting them with advocacy, guidance, and resources at no charge. For more information, visit
SOURCE Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network
CONTACT: Bobby Schindler, 813-766-6239,


Sunday, December 3, 2023

A Warning from Canada to Hungary about Euthanasia

Dear Hungarians,

Amanda Achtman
I visited your country this time last year and was deeply impressed and inspired by it. Now that I hear Hungary is considering legalizing euthanasia, I must issue a warning to you about this from my home country of Canada.

Canada legalized euthanasia nationwide in 2016. Since then, with the criteria expanded and safeguards eroded, euthanasia now accounts for 4.1% of all deaths and is the fifth leading cause of death.

In fact, the number of Canadians who have died by euthanasia since legalization is commensurate with the total number of Canadians who died of Covid.

Having monitored the debate and expansion of euthanasia closely for the past several years, I have some important information to share with you that will hopefully prevent Hungary from going down the same path.

Euthanasia will not be limited.

Initially, euthanasia was legalized for those whose deaths were deemed “reasonably foreseeable.” Patients were required to have a “grievous and irremediable” condition. But soon, this was seen as discriminatory against those who were suffering but not imminently dying. And so, a second track (literally named “Track 2”) was created to qualify for euthanasia those whose deaths were not imminent. Initially, this was for those suffering from physical pain but then this was seen as discriminatory against those who were suffering from psychological pain. So, euthanasia was expanded to those not imminently dying and to those with psychological suffering rather than physical all under the rubric of equality. As long as euthanasia is seen as a reasonable solution to suffering, then there is no limit as to who should quality for this relief. For this reason, euthanasia activists have advised euthanasia for children who, when speaking before parliamentary committess, they refer to as “mature minors.” As soon as euthanasia is seen as a good for society and for suffering persons, any rationale to limit it will be arbitrary and considered unjust by at least some of those who are excluded by the criteria.

Euthanasia will undermine suicide prevention efforts.

Though we have gone through many euphemisms, nothing can change the reality that euthanasia is simply suicide with an accomplice. The euthanasia lobby stopped using the terms euthanasia and assisted suicide because it is bad for public relations. And so, we have gone from “euthanasia” to “assisted suicide” to “physician-assisted suicide” to “medical aid in dying.” Now in law, politics, and journalism, the English acronym for the latter is used universally. This deadens people’s consciences so that they do not realize that premature killing is precisely what is meant by “MAID.” As George Orwell said, “As language corrupts thought, so thought also corrupts language.” Many people who work in palliative care believe that palliative care is the true assistance in dying; they would never dream of killing their patients. But now, these lines are becoming blurred. Unfortunately, we now have a two-tier society where some people get suicide prevention and others get suicide assistance. This is terribly unjust because everyone deserves suicide prevention.

Euthanasia will devalue the lives of people with disabilities.

Many people with whom I speak tell me they think euthanasia is reasonable for persons with a certain illness or disability. They will usually name a particular condition that, in their mind, justifies premature death. Yet, even if they would say that euthanasia should never be coerced, suggesting that there is any threshold at which a person’s life is not worth living denigrates their life and sends the message that their life is less valuable. Furthermore, many persons with disabilities attest that they are being de facto coerced to consider euthanasia due to lack of adequate supports to live. I cannot stand by idly when my fellow citizens with disabilities attest that they are tempted to seek euthanasia because they lack housing, money for food, accesibility provisions, or even family, friends, or visitors who care about them. This is clearly an urgent cry for help, not death.

Euthanasia will threaten the doctor-patient relationship.

When a doctor raises euthanasia with a patient, it already deflates them. Simply put, it is dehumanizing to tell someone that they qualify to die. In Canada, many advocates tried to ensure that euthanasia would only ever be patient-initiated. At least, this way, patients would not be counselled to consider suicide in a moment of weakness, vulnerability, or pain. But now it is the complete opposite. Doctors are being compelled to present “MAID” as an option to all eligible patients which, as you can see, is many of them. Even if someone does not choose euthanasia for themselves, it takes a toll to even have it suggested or to know that the phsyician has euthanized other patients or referred them to their deaths. This makes it harder to trust that the doctor will truly do everything for the sake of preserving health. Euthanasia is an easy way out and, since it is legal and commonplace, there is next to no investigation of the abuses which often leaves grieving family members traumatized.

Euthanasia will cut short our opportunities to love.

Premature death cuts short the capacity to show and receive kindness in the world. Every euthanasia death short circuits our opportunities to love. And if someone is asking for euthanasia because they do not feel loved in first place, then the right response is not lazy indifference (sometimes masqueraded as “support”) but rather a loving and urgent intervention. Those who are in need make an appeal to us. It is so important that we do not miss the opportunity to respond to them. It is the very basis of our humanity to be responsible in this way -- to care and be cared for.

To avoid descending into a euthanasia society, my recommendations are to:
  1. Provide the supports that people across diverse demographics need to live.
  2. Bolster self-harm and suicide prevention efforts across all generations.
  3. Work toward ever-better inclusion of persons with disabilities.
  4. Insist on the role of doctor as healer, not killer.
  5. Affirm the value of those suffering and caregiving heroically by letting them know that it’s good they exist. Notice the challenge that it is to suffer, die, and caregive well and praise those who are doing it for their courage.
Through promoting these actions and attitudes, we can create a society where dying naturally is not shameful or “undignified”, but rather a supreme occasion for realizing what is significant in life. All of this is what the dying person deserves. And for all of us, one day that dying person will be us.

Amanda Achtman recently served as the senior advisor to a Canadian parliamentarian working to prevent the expansion of euthanasia on the basis of disability and mental illness. She currently works with Canadian Physicians for Life on ethics education and cultural engagement. Amanda is also the founder of Dying to Meet You, a project dedicated to preventing euthanasia and encouraging hope.

@AmandaAchtman /

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Canada's most vulnerable are falling through the cracks in the euthanasia regime.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

This is the Speech by Dr Leslyn Lewis MP (Haldimand-Norfold) in Canada's House of Commons on November 28, 2023 opposing Canada's MAiD (euthanasia) law.

The poor, the homeless, the abused, veterans, seniors, youth, adults suffering from disabilities, those suffering from depression, and mental health conditions.

These are among the most vulnerable in our society that are falling through the cracks of Canada's Medical Assistance in Dying regime.

They are the ones who will be at risk when the MAiD laws in Canada are expanded in March 2024.

Last years death by euthanasia increased by 30% from the year before. Every day in Canada 36 people use MAiD to end their lives, which is the highest in the world.

Last week I hosted a forum with Canadians who are disturbed by the expansion of MAiD euthanasia regime to include the mentally ill. This expansion is not about compassion it's a betrayal of the most vulnerable.

I call upon this government to reverse its course and instead provide help and hope for Canadians suffering with mental health conditions.

Thank you Dr Lewis for standing up for people with mental health conditions in Canada.
P.S. 36 euthanasia deaths every day is the highest in the world. Canada's euthanasia rate was 4.1% of all deaths in 2022 which was lower than the Netherlands euthanasia rate which was 5.1% of all deaths. Canada's population is greater than the Netherlands making 36 euthanasia deaths per day higher than the daily number of euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands.

Euthanasia being forced on Montreal palliative care home.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On June 7, The Physicians’ Alliance against Euthanasia joined with the Living with Dignity citizen network to express their great disappointment that Bill 11, An Act to amend the Act respecting end-of-life care and other legislative provisions was passed in the Québec legislature.

Bill 11 expanded euthanasia in Québec in four ways including that it created an obligation for palliative care homes to offer MAiD.

Anna Farrow, reported for The Catholic Register on November 29, 2023 that:
A Montreal hospice is under pressure to perform medical assistance in dying (MAiD) contrary to the legal agreement between the Archdiocese of Montreal and the hospice.
St. Raphael Palliative Care Home and Day Centre was founded with an agreement with the Archdiocese of Montreal guaranteeing that St Raphael's would provide end-of-life care but never provide euthanasia. Farrow reported:
In 2016, Archbishop Christian Lépine and then St. Raphael Board Chair Marie-Michèle Del Balso signed a 75-year lease, beginning with an initial 25-year term and renewable for a further two such terms, and the land and buildings were transferred to the use of the centre. A significant condition of the emphyteutic lease was that the facility would offer only end-of-life care and support and never MAiD.

After a successful fundraising campaign that garnered support from several high-profile Catholic foundations and business leaders, including a donation of over $500,000 from the estate of the last priest of St. Raphael Parish, Fr. Gerald “Gerry” Sinel, St. Raphael’s opened its doors in 2019.

But the close relationship between the key players, including the Archdiocese of Montreal, leaseholder, the former St. Raphael parishioners who played a significant role in the realization of the project, and the administration of the centre may now be in jeopardy.
The euthanasia lobby is committed to forcing all religiously affiliated medical institutions to provide euthanasia. A campaign to force Catholic hospitals in British Columbia to provide euthanasia recently resulted in the British Columbia government announcing that they are building a killing center next to St Paul's hospital in Vancouver.

Friday, December 1, 2023

British Columbia government to build death center next to Catholic hospital.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

St. Paul's Hospital
The British Columbia government is building a euthanasia center next to St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver in response to a complaint that palliative care patients did not have access to euthanasia at the Catholic hospital.

The provincial government is constructing a new clinical space adjacent to St Paul's Hospital so palliative care patients who choose to undergo medical assistance in dying or MAID don’t have to be loaded into transfer vans or ambulances and driven elsewhere to get the end-of-life procedure.

On Wednesday, the province announced the construction of the new clinical space for MAID, which will not be part of the existing St Paul’s, but on adjacent property. It will be connected to the hospital with a corridor.
The euthanasia lobby is continuing its campaign to pressure the BC government to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia. Paterson reported that Jim O'Neill the father of Samantha O'Neill, who had been transferred from St. Paul's hospital to die by euthanasia, stated:
the decision to build an outside space for MAID totally absurd.

“It makes zero sense. It’s not easy access and not cost effective,” O’Neill said. “I just think it’s outrageous. I think Minister Dix completely misses the mark on this.”
I reported on June 27, 2023 that the euthanasia lobby group, Dying With Dignity, was lobbying the British Columbia (BC) government to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia.

At that time I reported that Alex Muir, the Chair of the Metro Vancouver chapter of Dying With Dignity wrote in a letter to the editor in the Vancouver Sun announcing their campaign to force Catholic hospitals to kill their patients rather than transfer their patients.

This is not the first time that Dying With Dignity (a registered charity) lobbied the BC government to force Catholic hospitals to kill their patients by euthanasia.

I published an article on March 8, 2022 entitled: Canada's euthanasia lobby demands that religious medical facilities kill. The euthanasia lobby wants to stop transfers of people who request euthanasia by forcing denominational medical institutions to provide euthanasia.