Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Edward Thomas Downes and his wife Joan die at Dignitas suicide clinic.

The media are in an uproar about the sad suicide death of a British conductor and his wife at the Dignitas Clinic.

Last week the House of Lords in the UK voted down a proposal by Lord Falconer that would have made death tourism a right for citizens of the UK.

Dr Peter Saunders, the director of the Care Not Killing Alliance in the UK stated to the BBC News that:
"The current law is clear and right and the House of Lords were wise not to approve any change to it."
He further stated that:
"With imminent health cuts, growing numbers of elderly people and increasing levels of elder abuse the very last thing we need is to put vulnerable people, many of whom already think they are a financial or emotional burden to relatives, carers and the state, under pressure to end their lives through a change in the law."
People need to understand that the Dignitas clinic views euthanasia and assisted suicide as a human right. We understand that Joan had cancer, but we do not know whether she was terminally ill. It appears though that Edward was not dying but experiencing symptoms related to old age.

I am concerned when the media creates a push for elderly people to view their lives as not worth living. People should be treated with dignity and not pressured to end their lives.

This case should be viewed for what it is, another tragic case of a couple who have killed themselves in difficult circumstances.

New Threats in Canada
Canadians need to understand that Bill C-384, the private members bill in the Canadian parliament that would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada, would allow for death clinics to operate in Canada.

The bill would allow euthanasia and assisted suicide and would allow death by lethal injection.

The bill does not limit euthanasia and assisted suicide to terminally ill persons but rather allows the direct and intentional killing of people who are suffering physical or mental pain.

The bill doe not limit euthanasia and assisted suicide to Canadian citizens and would therefore allow Canada to become a destination for death tourism.

The bill does not define terminal illness.

The bill bases mental capacity on whether or not a person "appears to be lucid."

Canadians need to defeat Bill C-384 or we will become the next Switzerland.

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