Thursday, March 30, 2023

Proposed Regulation for Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telemedicine

RE: DEA Proposed Regulation for Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telemedicine

To whom it may concern:

On behalf of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition-USA (EPC-USA), representing attorneys, physicians, nurses, disability rights advocates across the country, a national network of groups and individuals that oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia, supporting positive measures to improve the quality of life of people and their families.

We fully support your proposed requirement of an in-person examination before a Schedule II controlled substance can be prescribed. The patient would be required to see the medical practitioner in person before receiving the prescription.

EPC-USA doctors have licensure and controlled substance license in a variety of states, along with the applicable separate DEA registrations. We have received advocacy alerts opposing your regulation because it would make it harder to prescribe by telemedicine, especially where state laws differ.

It is important that final regulation say that telemedicine cannot be used to cross state lines by unlicensed and unregistered clinicians.

DEA Law and regulations require registration in each state in which a prescriber is licensed. They do not authorize interstate practice without licensure. This is already the standard of care.

We are proposing the prescriber must be licensed to practice and follow the law of the State where the patient is located. Otherwise, you could have prescribers beyond the regulatory reach of any medical board.


Colleen Barry, Chair 

Terri Schiavo: A Culture-of-Death Tipping Point.

This article was published by the Epoch Times on March 29, 2023.

By Wesley Smith

The March 31, 2005, court-ordered death of Terri Schiavo was an ominous cultural tipping point. As many readers will recall, the legal case began when Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo applied to remove the feeding tube from his profoundly cognitively disabled wife so that she would die by dehydration. When Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler, joined by her siblings Bobby and Suzanne, fought the plan in court, profoundly important cultural and legal battle lines were drawn that were destined to change the country.

The legal battle raged for several years during which the country agonized and argued about the right and moral course. When her case began, few were aware that cognitively disabled patients could legally be made to die via the removal of feeding tubes. A few years later, after Terri’s family (in alliance with the disability rights and pro-life organizations) failed to save her life, this form of quasi-euthanasia was endorsed by polling majorities.

A Familiar Pattern

The public’s general acceptance of Terri’s dehydration followed a familiar pattern often seen as the culture-of-death slippery slope slip slides away. Initially, most people were shocked. But as the media pounded the drum in support of Michael, attitudes changed. This cultural shift was aided by prominent bioethicists and politicians assuring the public that taking away Terri’s feeding tube was not only legal — true — but ethically justified. By the time Terri was made to die agonizingly over two weeks — and despite Terri’s brother stating that she had become so desiccated that blood was pooling in her eyes — most of the country became convinced that her forced death was both right and compassionate.

Looking back nearly 20 years later, Terri’s case can be judged as a cultural cudgel that crushed the sanctity of life. These days, society’s primary purpose is popularly understood to be the prevention and elimination of suffering — even if that means eliminating the sufferer. In this nihilistic climate, killing — when supposedly motivated by “compassion” — often finds strong public support.

Radical Legal Changes

This shift has led to radical changes in our laws. When Terri died, only Oregon had legalized assisted suicide. Today, ten jurisdictions have passed statutes allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to dying patients (Oregon, Washington state, Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, California, plus the District of Columbia). These states encompass about one-third of the U.S. population.

Not only that, but most of these states have already begun the slippery slope process of expanding access to assisted suicide from that originally permitted, such as shortened waiting periods, allowing doctors to examine assisted suicide requesters over the Internet rather than in person, and allowing nurse practitioners to lethally prescribe. Vermont has done away with its residency requirements — likely followed soon by Oregon — opening the door to “suicide tourism” and potentially allowing patients throughout the nation to receive lethal doses who never meet the prescribing doctor in the flesh, or even enter the state.

Meanwhile, the euthanasia movement is striving to increase the number of jurisdictions that permit doctors to assist suicides. This year, there will be fraught political battles over assisted suicide legalization in New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Maryland, just to name a few.

Not content to await such changes, euthanasia advocacy groups promote suicide by self-starvation/dehydration to the elderly and people with disabilities, known in movement parlance as VSED (“voluntary stopping eating and drinking”). VSED is a form of quasi-assisted suicide. Starving oneself is an agonizing way to die — as it clearly was for Terri Schiavo if she was in any way conscious — so a doctor is usually required to palliate the agony. Otherwise, most people can’t complete the process.

Activists also promote “VSED by advance directive” for patients who willingly eat and drink. The idea is to allow people to create written legally binding documents ordering themselves starved to death should they become incompetent. Under these proposals, caregivers would be required to refuse sustenance to their patients — even if the patient asked for food and water — under the theory that the decision by the formerly competent patient should apply whether the person still wants to starve or not. 

Our Cousin Canada

How bad could this death agenda get? Canada — our closest cultural cousin — provides an alarming illustration. Our northern neighbor not only allows lethal injection euthanasia, but patients need not be terminally ill to qualify. Thus, lonely, frail elderly patients have been killed by doctors, as well as people with disabilities and chronic diseases — even the depressed. Next year the mentally ill are scheduled to be qualified legally for euthanasia, and the move is also afoot to allow children to be killed — perhaps without their parents’ knowledge or permission if doctors deem the child to be sufficiently “mature.” Not only that, but in Ontario, someone who has been accepted for euthanasia will be contacted by an organ transplant charity and asked for their liver, heart, pancreas, and kidneys.

If the same awful death paradigm develops here, the Terri Schiavo debacle will have paved the way. In the years since society nodded at the dehydration death of a helpless woman, we can trace a profound lessening in our commitment to the value of human life, along with a concomitant increase in poisonous utilitarianism in health care. Indeed, the day may soon come when killing seriously ill, elderly, and severely disabled patients is not merely seen as a legitimate “end-of-life choice,” but also a normalized way of death.

Cross-posted at The Epoch Times.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Florida doctors say NO to Assisted Suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr George Everett
The Orlando-Sentinel published a Guest Column on March 27 by Dr George Everett, the governor and president of the American College of Physicians, Florida Chapter.

Florida is currently debating assisted suicide Bills (S864/H1231).

Everett writes in his Guest Column:
As a physician, the overwhelming majority of my colleagues and I do not wish to participate in PAS. The American College of Physicians, the largest physician specialty organization in the world, and the American Medical Association, the largest physician organization in the United States, have both written extensively on the ethics surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide and vigorously oppose physicians’ involvement in either activity.

Here are some of our reasons for opposition.

First, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, a relatively new specialty, is greatly underused and often sought at the very end of life rather than earlier when suffering can be allayed. Second, a slippery slope of misuse of PAS has already been shown to occur in countries where it is legal. For example, the Dutch have expanded euthanasia (most often delivered by physicians) from adults who have given consent, to now include children from ages 1-12 where parents have given consent. Third, two of the four key ethical principles of medical care, beneficence (promote well-being) and non-maleficence (do no harm), are violated with PAS. Fourth, loss of trust in the physician as a healer and comforter with the best interests of the patient at the forefront of the relationship, is compromised.

Technically, the use of medication to assist in suicide is suspect. Medical science has not produced a medication that can be orally self-administered which results in certain and painless death. The most consistently successful suicides are through methods that a physician would not be able to provide or suggest. Medication overdose, on the other hand, is the most common layman’s method of suicide attempt and is usually unsuccessful.

Furthermore, suicide is strongly associated with social and demographic factors. Men commit 80% of suicides. The highest rate of suicide is among Native Americans and non-Hispanic whites while the lowest rates are in Asians, Blacks and Hispanics. Imagine, for a minute, that PAS was delivered more often to some social or demographic groups compared to others. Suspicions about motives and accusations about discrimination would surely be asserted. Trust in the medical profession would suffer.

PAS and euthanasia are essentially unnecessary with tools currently available to relieve suffering as people near the end of life. As physicians, we much more frequently encounter patients and families who demand maximum therapy, often painful and futile, all the way to the end of life, than those who request hospice or palliative care that could minimize suffering. This observation is supported by studies funded from the National Institute of Health which found that more than 20% of all Medicare expenses go to people in the last year of life, with only a minimal proportion spent on hospice care.

Citizens of the state of Florida would be poorly served by physicians assisting in suicide but would be greatly benefited by education about the effectiveness of hospice and palliative care to limit suffering near the end of life.
Everett was responding to an earlier article by Scott Maxwell which supported assisted suicide.

Connecticut politician quotes Nietzche in support of assisted suicide bill.

This article was published in the CT Mirror on March 29.

By Cathy Ludlum

We are in trouble when our elected officials start quoting Nietzsche.

It was at the Public Health Committee meeting March 10 that one of our legislators framed her argument in favor of SB 1076 (assisted suicide) with these words: “One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly” (clip position 27:40).

She did not appear to know who Friedrich Nietzsche was, and admitted that she had probably mispronounced his name. No doubt she had not read the rest of the paragraph from which that quote was taken. Here are some highlights: 

“The sick man is a parasite of society… A new responsibility should be created, that of the doctor — the responsibility of ruthlessly suppressing and eliminating degenerate life.”
There are reasons why Nietzsche was admired by the perpetrators of the Holocaust, as well as proponents of eugenics and euthanasia.

But it gets worse.

The Public Health Committee had an opportunity to explore the numerous concerns raised by the disability community, and a new group of voices, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide. Misdiagnosis, coercion, disparities in healthcare, and erosion of suicide prevention efforts are just a few of the many issues. Instead, the conversation was entirely focused on keeping religion out of our personal choices.

It was as if all the opposition testimony from a secular social justice perspective—whether offered in person, on Zoom, or in writing—had never happened.

One representative had the nerve to say, “We are looking at the fact that there are zero reported cases of coercion” (Clip position 17:30). Think that through. If the person was coerced into ingesting the lethal prescription, they are dead. How would anyone know? For 20 years, disability rights organizations have made available anecdotal evidence of abuse in the system. More recently, there has even been an acknowledgment by pro-assisted suicide supporters of abuse in the deaths of several women with anorexia nervosa. This information has been presented time and again to legislators. Yet suddenly they were oblivious to it.

Remember also, that states shred records from their death-making programs after they issue their annual report. In addition, they require that death certificates only list the cause of death as the underlying illness. There are reasons why the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice has repeatedly submitted testimony warning that falsified death records could interfere with a murder investigation.

The same legislator went on to say, “There has never been a report of the meds failing” (Clip position 17:30). Apparently, she has not read the articles about difficult deaths, or the annual reports from Oregon and Washington that include things that have gone wrong. People have had uncontrolled vomiting, seizures, long protracted deaths, and sometimes even woken up, only to die in deeper agony from the underlying illness.

People who are not religious testified about how they were relentlessly pressured by the healthcare system to withdraw treatment from loved ones who wanted to keep living. And this happened in the current healthcare system, not one under the shadow of legalized assisted suicide.

We in the disability and progressive communities implore the members of the Judiciary Committee to take our concerns seriously. Do not echo the Public Health Committee’s laser-like focus on people’s negative experiences with religion while ignoring inconvenient but important facts.

Embracing Nietzsche’s worldview is not the way to empower people with terminal illnesses. If you read it in context, it does exactly the opposite.

Cathy Ludlum is a member of Second Thoughts Connecticut, a grassroots disability organization opposed to the legalization of medical assisted suicide.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Euthanasia court decision in Québec was "fixed" from the beginning.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Prime Minister Trudeau with
Justice Minister Lametti.
In her National Post article: Thanks to Trudeau, Canada's death-care system is top of the line, Barbara Kay makes a strong statement that the 2019 Truchon euthanasia Québec court decision was a "fix" from the beginning. Here's what Kay wrote:
This deliberate obfuscation is consistent, however, with the honed tactics of boundary-pushing activists whose Dignity-R-Us rhetoric ... Liberals settled on a winning strategy. Don’t make euthanasia a political plank; do use the courts to keep the expansion ball rolling. The fix was always in for expansion of the death as “reasonably foreseeable” guardrails established by the 2015 Carter decision. Thus, the 2019 Quebec Truchon decision that found Carter’s limits to MAiD access unconstitutional went unchallenged by Quebec and Ottawa, in spite of a flawed trial process.

The trial judge for Truchon, Christine Baudouin, was a lawyer only recently promoted to Superior Court. Her father, retired Court of Appeal judge Jean-Louis Baudouin, a longtime proponent of state-executed euthanasia, wrote several publications urging decriminalization of assistance to suicide. Christine Baudouin shared his views. Her law firm, Heenan Blaikie, had financially supported her father’s advocacy for state-delivered euthanasia.

The lawyer for the titular disabled plaintiff seeking MAiD, Jean Truchon (who admitted in an email to a friend he didn’t really want to die, he only wanted greater assistance to live with dignity, but couldn’t get it) relied on Jean-Louis Beaudoin’s pro-euthanasia publications, which were accepted into evidence by Christine in the trial.

That Christine Baudouin did not recuse herself in such circumstances compromises the decision. The Quebec and Canada attorneys general knew that, but did not appeal the judgment, an appeal they likely would have won. They welcomed it as a springboard to new legislation. As evidence of their satisfaction with Christine’s ruling, Quebec’s A-G gave Truchon’s lawyer a justice award just days after the decision. And rookie judge Christine Beaudoin was elevated by David Lametti to the Quebec Court of Appeal.
Kay then states that her greatest concern is for people with disabilities. Kay continues by outlining the work of Roger Foley from London Ontario:
For years I’ve followed the vicissitudes of — and several times commented on — 48-year-old Roger Foley, who suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a fatal neurological disorder that limits his ability to move his arms and legs. His physical condition has not dimmed his intellect, his passion for life or his meticulously focused disability-rights activism. Supportive details regarding the Truchon decision and other pivotal moments in MAiD’s history can be found on Foley’s website, I particularly recommend his well-crafted “public-interest evidence video,” instructive as to the rather incestuous relationships amongst euthanasia ideologues, their justice-system enablers, political foot soldiers and the highly supportive Trudeau Foundation.
Kay then explains how Canada's euthanasia directly affects the disability community. She writes:
In 2019, Justin Trudeau promised Canadians they wouldn’t have to choose MAiD because “you’re not getting the supports and cares (sic) that you actually need.” But Catalina Devandas Aguilar, a lawyer from Costa Rica and the UN’s first ever Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, who explored Foley’s and other Canadian cases, found that was precisely what is happening. “Persons with disabilities have to initiate very lengthy and onerous legal procedures to get their rights recognized,” Devandas Aguilar said in a report to the Governor General. This visit and the rapporteur’s worthy recommendations apparently sank like a stone.

You can wait five years to see a medical specialist in this country. The disabled can wait forever to see their living-with-dignity rights honoured. But the euthanasia doctor is always there for you. Nobody, including our prime minister, denies Canada’s health-care system is broken. But cheer up: Our death-care system is top of the line.
Previous articles from Barbara Kay: (Link).

Chronically ill Montreal woman says her options are extreme poverty or death.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A CBC First Person article published by Alexandria Nassopoulos tells her powerful personal story of living with fibromyalgiaand possibly qualifying for (MAiD) euthanasia but not receiving enough support to live her life. Nassopoulos begins her article, I receive enough money to avoid homelessness but not enough to live, with the crux of the issue, she writes:

It seemed like a cruel joke when Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) pops up in my social media news feed.

As I scrolled through the articles and posts from other chronically ill Canadians, it looked like I'd qualify even without terminal cancer or a degenerative neurological disease. Out of morbid curiosity, I checked out the criteria on the Health Canada website.

It says that to be eligible I must have a "grievous and irremediable medical condition," which includes being in an "advanced state of decline that cannot be reversed" and causes "unbearable suffering."

My condition, fibromyalgia, can be summarized by chronic pain, fatigue and migraines. I was born with this condition and have lived with it day by day, going from doctor to doctor, and from hope to despair. There is no cure. This condition — which regularly prevents me from doing even the most mundane tasks — is never going away. It will always be there.

In other words, based on definitions, Nassopoulos may qualify for euthanasia. She continues:

But an assisted death isn't what I'm looking for. I have a dark sense of humour (chronic disabilities will do that to a person), but not that dark.

Those posts in my feed about MAiD made me feel disheartened and distracted. I went back to preparing a medical report detailing my chronic health conditions for the Quebec government so that I may beg to keep what meagre benefits I had.

Preparing the report is one of many things on my to-do list, which sadly also includes working up the strength to take a shower or make a meal. I say or, because sometimes I have to choose between the two depending on my energy level.
The government assistance that Nassopoulos receives has been reduced because the Québec government considers her condition to be temporary, as she says, I wish it was. She continues:
This is the second time in four years that I'm preparing the same report because my assistance has been reduced. I feel like a cartographer sketching out a map of pain for a trip she's undertaken countless times. Each time, I go back to my filing cabinet to remind them that fibromyalgia is a chronic condition — that I can't work, that I need help.

Perhaps this report would be more believable if my doctor wrote about how the pain in my spine prevents me from sitting at a desk job, about how the pain in my legs prevents me from standing in a retail job, about my hands — often faithful companions that help me create works of art but they switch on a dime and betray me to the point where I couldn't even hold a plate of food or operate a cash register.

The $720 per month that I currently receive in financial assistance isn't enough to pay for a place of my own, so instead I rent a room in my mother's home, helping out with her mortgage. After my phone bill and my Spotify subscription (which is precious to me), I have $200 left to cover my groceries for the month — and prices are rising fast.

I don't feel like I'm asking for much. Therapy, for starters, would be amazing. Enough income to pay for vitamins, fresh vegetables and more meat, all of which likely won't cure me but would make me healthier. The ability to try other medications or long-term treatments could mean I might conceivably work in the service industry.

Then, at age 38, I might finally be able to move out of my aging mother's basement.

These aren't outrageous requests for miracle cures or a wish to win the lottery...
She then concludes:
That's why when I saw the option for MAiD in my social media feed, it felt like I've been given the options of extreme poverty or death. I'm told to seek help, but am then asked if I really need it or told flat out that I don't qualify because my debilitating chronic illness is temporary.

I still wake up every day, chat with my friends and visit with my loving and supportive partner. I help my mother out around the house that I can't afford to leave, and, if my illness lets me, actually do work as a costume designer or create a piece of art.

And I still have that medical report to submit. I do it because perhaps this time around my government might revise their definition of chronic illnesses. I do it because I'm still an optimist. I do it because there are no other options.

I know because I looked.

Further reading:

Monday, March 27, 2023

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition contest. "Telling Our Side of the Story"

    "Telling Our Side of the Story"

The board and staff of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition are proud to invite all of our readers, and friends, to participate in an exclusive EPC creative messaging contest: "Telling Our Side of the Story".

For many years, we have been inundated with euthanasia propaganda portraying life as meaningless, death as freedom, despair as wisdom, hopelessness as courage, the abetting (and suggestion) of suicidal desires as an act of love.

It is high time (and more than time) for us to clean up this mess by "Telling Our Side of the Story"!

We call upon our readers and supporters to submit euthanasia stories that are true, or fictional or any combination of the two. This is the chance to set your heart (and your imagination) free, in both condemning nihilistic death and extolling the beauty of life.

Accepted stories will be published on the EPC blog (and if possible featured in a printed collection). As soon as we have received a sufficient number of contributions, EPC will award a first prize of $500. Future editions of the contest will evolve after the first contest is completed. 

Send your story to Alex Schadenberg:

For maximum flexibility and creative potential, there will be few rules, and no definite requirements on content, or form.

  • Anybody can send any article, story or video (articles that are good or interesting will be published),
  • Anyone in the world can participate,
  • Author privacy will be scrupulously respected (as desired).

Let us joyfully carry this exciting enterprise into the cultural domain. Join us, today, in "Telling Our Side of the Story"! 

If you wish to discuss your ideas, contact Alex at: or call: 1-877-439-3348.

Best Regards,

Gordon Friesen
President, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Friday, March 24, 2023

Reject Washington State assisted suicide expansion bill. Overall patient safety more than cosmetic need

This article was published by The Spokesman Review on March 24, 2023.

Dr Sharon Quick
Dr Sharon Quick

How important is patient safety? Two Washington state bills pertaining to elective medical treatments have opposing views.

ESSB 5050 wisely requires breast implant information prior to surgical consent because women believe time and information are lacking to make informed decisions. Risks include device failure, cosmetic problems, diseases and cancer. The bill supports the current standard, which includes four meetings with health professionals and signing over 20 documents two weeks prior to surgery.

By contrast, ESSB 5179 demolishes safeguards for the terminally ill to obtain lethal prescriptions. It chops the waiting period for lethal drugs from 15 to seven days and allows: nurse practitioners and physician assistants to determine eligibility and write lethal prescriptions; less qualified practitioners to perform mental health evaluations; consent form completion before two practitioners have agreed; mailing lethal drugs; and an indirect supervisory role between the two evaluating practitioners that compromises the integrity of the second opinion. The waiting period may start before either practitioner has evaluated the patient, making same-day death possible.

How can one bill require extensive consent processes for a cosmetic medical procedure with mostly risks that aren’t life-threatening, while another bill limits the consent process and diminishes safeguards for a procedure intended to cause immediate death? The difference in treatment unfairly disregards patient safety in one group of people, the terminally ill. The proposals in ESSB 5179 ignore palliative care possibilities, current deficiencies in safeguards and the vulnerability of terminally ill patients.

Proponents of ESSB 5179 suggest that shortening the waiting period to obtain lethal drugs is needed to end “intractable” pain. Two problems arise with this argument. First, pain is not “intractable.” Multiple medications, nerve blocks and other interventions including pain management consultation make end-of-life care effective in managing pain and other symptoms. Temporary sedation can eliminate symptoms in rare cases where usual measures are inadequate. Though studies show that some doctors lack knowledge about palliative care possibilities, lethal drugs should never be a solution for lack of education. Secondly, patients in significant pain cannot provide valid consent for lethal drugs.

Some want to rush lethal drugs to patients nearing death so they can die in the manner theychoose. However, hallmark symptoms for patients approaching death include brain dysfunction and the inability to ingest liquids. As a result, lethal prescriptions would be dangerous and consent invalid at this time.

Of the 2,704 patients who have received lethal drugs since 2009 in Washington, 476 physicians ’forms and 264 patient consent forms are missing from the Washington Department of Health records. The problem seems to be worsening, as about half of the legally required missing forms are from the last three years in which reports are available. Why does this bill propose to further reduce safeguards when hundreds of Washington residents have received lethal drugs without documentation of consent or a terminal diagnosis?

A wish to die requires thorough evaluation. It is often a plea for help or assurance of self-value in the face of new disabilities. The terminally ill frequently have a compromised capacity to choose,with good/bad days, declining cognition, depression, coercion risk, etc. If such deficits are not recognized and a request for lethal drugs fulfilled, then that person’s autonomy is violated. Such vulnerable patients risk ingesting lethal drugs, not realizing that with time and support they may not want to hasten death. Depression and impaired capacity to choose often go unrecognized by doctors. Evidence suggests depressed patients are getting lethal drugs. Allowing providers with less expertise to prescribe lethal drugs will worsen this.

The terminally ill need loving care, not abandonment to a lethal prescription. Without an adequate waiting period or sufficient provider expertise, patients are deprived of proper evaluation, treatment and time for mind changes. While ESSB 5050 rightly prioritizes safety and time for decision-making, ESSB 5179 exhibits reckless disregard for patient safety–violating the coremedical ethic to do no harm. Why are we discriminating against the terminally ill? Do disabilities make their lives less valuable?

Sharon Quick, M.D., M.A. (Bioethics) is president of Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation. She is a retired pediatric anesthesiologist/critical care physician residing in Bonney Lake, Washington.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Quebec leads the way in killing! Stop Bill 11.

By Gordon Friesen
President: Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Gordon Friesen
Some people are vaguely aware of the fact that Canadian euthanasia policy has been (largely) determined by provincial legislation passed in the Province of Quebec (2014). This political reality stems from the fact that Quebec legislators used their provincial Health competency to outflank the Federal criminal prohibition of homicide, and implement euthanasia unilaterally. It is from that point, that the dominoes began to fall.

Even more important, however, is the fact that when Federal legislators actually decriminalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2016, this was done using the term "Medical Assistance in Dying", of which the medical component was a nearly empty vessel, designed simply to accommodate the more detailed practical implementation policies already laid down in the Belle Province.

In other words, the essence of our present euthanasia policy, for better or for worse, was unquestionably hatched in the Province of Quebec.

However, my goal is not to stoke division, nor to indulge in any gratuitous Quebec-bashing. If things are what they are, it is very much the fault of the Canadian government, and especially that of other Provinces, for not properly representing their own constituents. For if it is the elected deputies of other jurisdictions who have been too cowardly (or too lazy) to defend the interests entrusted to them, how can we condemn those of Quebec for defending their own?

I simply wish to point out that things might have been very, very different; and that, indeed, they may still be, without changing either Federal or Quebec Law, depending only on the political will of leaders in other Provinces.

And how might things be different, one might ask?

To be clear: short of recriminalizing euthanasia (which is an exclusively Federal power) all Provinces may regulate the practice as they see fit (in virtue of the same Health competency invoked by Quebec). This means, for instance, that euthanasia could easily be excluded from public institutions, and that public funds could easily be denied to that use.

Without presuming of specific intention, however, the main point is that any Province may, at any time, adopt province-specific legislation on this subject; and that far from appearing as a villain in this respect, Quebec appears as a shining example to her more submissive provincial counterparts. For not only did Quebec first write a medical law in contradiction with federal criminal provisions, but now (since the Federal government has shown itself determined to delve into the medical details of eligibility through C-7 and subsequent review) Quebec is also poised to reposition herself, with regards to those criteria, by both forbidding that which the Federation has since accepted, and by authorizing that which the Federation has deliberately denied!

In other words, without going further into the details: Quebec has no compunction, whatsoever, about repeating her original contrarian coup, and is presently at work on QC Bill 11 "An Act to amend the Act respecting end-of-life care and other legislative provisions". 

There is, therefore, a sort of ongoing statutory ping-pong, between Ottawa and Quebec, in which Quebec is very much exploiting the initiative of legislative "fait accompli" and to which Ottawa will be forced, once again, to lamely respond, in order to maintain the fiction of federal uniformity in healthcare.

But uniformity is the last thing we might expect (or wish for) in the realm of euthanasia!

There is no common medical position on that subject. Jurisdictions all around the world have wildly differing interpretations. There is no reason why the other Provinces of Canada should simply adopt the Quebec interpretation (along with any periodic unilateral updates, to that interpretation, which might find legislative expression in that Province).

To repeat the essential point: every Province has exclusive competency in the field of Health, and is therefore free to define the medical status and implementation of euthanasia any way they please. All they have to do, is man up and do it.

Gordon Friesen is a disabled individual who has followed the assisted death question closely since the early 1990s. Gordon lives in Montréal QC.

Death by dehydration was 'Inhumane, awful and barbaric'

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by Steve Bagnall published by the North Wales News on March 21 concerns the death of Sarene Taylor (88) from North Wales (UK) who was starved and dehydrated to death over 28 days.

Bagnall interviewed Rob Taylor, the son of Sarane, and then reports:
Readers have been left shocked and appalled at how end of life care is handled in some cases, after an 88-year-old woman was left without food and water for 28 days before she died. The devastating story of Sarene Taylor, was brought to the public by her heartbroken son Rob Taylor, a decorated and highly respected former North Wales rural police officer.

He told how his mum suffered a stroke and was taken to a North Wales hospital more than four weeks ago. Doctors said there was nothing more they could do for her and she was sent back to die in a care home after foods and fluids were withdrawn.

However it took his beloved mum 28 days before she finally passed away yesterday (Monday). Mr Taylor said the approach to end of life care was "inhumane" and "heartbreaking" for the family and had to change.
Bagnall reports Mr Taylor saying in a statement:
"I understand end of life care, and the carers and district nurses do a fantastic job but to deny a human being food and water is disgraceful and we as a society need to ensure that this doesn't happen again."
Rob Taylor, a respected, retired police officer, is absolutely correct. His mother died by dehydration over 28 days. Therefore Sarene was not actually dying after her stroke. Her body was not shutting down and she was not near to death. If her body was actually dying, her death would have come within days, not four weeks.

Sarene Taylor was killed by dehydration, not because there was nothing that they could do for her, but because they decided not to do anything for her, since they believed that she was unlikely to improve.

The story resulted in many readers of the North Wales News commenting that this is a strong case for legalizing euthanasia. This was a woman who died from neglect and intentional dehydration. This is elder abuse.

Further to that, according to the story, Sarene Taylor was not capable of consenting to be killed by euthanasia. The response of the readers shows you how dangerous it is to legalize euthanasia, since people will demand death for someone who cannot consent to be killed.

This is a inhumane, awful and barbaric story of "lack of care." This form of elder abuse should never happen and yet it is somewhat common.

Everyone needs to purchase the Life Protecting Power of Attorney for Personal Care to protect them from such a barbaric death. (Purchase the Power of Attorney)