In March, Global Television broadcast an episode of 16X9, called “Taking Mercy” which portrayed people with disabilities as having a poor quality of life and included a call for legalized euthanasia. CCD’s Ending of Life Ethics Committee, co-chaired by Rhonda Wiebe and Dean Richert, has been raising awareness about the impact of negative media portrayal on Canadians with disabilities and public policy which governs practices at end of life. CCD has written to Members of Parliament informing them about “Taking Mercy”: and urging them to remain committed to maintaining Canadian law prohibiting assisted suicide. The Ending of Life Ethics Committee oversaw the development of an article for Abilities magazine which encouraged readers to make a complaint to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council whenever they see a media piece which devalues people with disabilities. As Global plans to rebroadcast “Taking Mercy” two additional times, Rhonda Wiebe, Dean Richert, Jim Derksen and Laurie Beachell have been talking to the producers of 16X9, encouraging them to redo the episode to include people with disabilities who will counter the negative messages presented in the first broadcast.
A link to information about the Rasouli case.
The Supreme Court of Canada has decided to hear the Rasouli case, which is about who gets to make decisions about withdrawing treatment from a patient who cannot make that decision for him/herself—doctors or the patient’s family. CCD has not intervened in this case but will be monitoring developments both in the media and at the court.
A link to information concerning the "Taking Mercy" 16 x 9 Global news episode.