Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quebec Liberal leader suggests euthanasia Bill 52 needs amendments.

The Toronto Star reported today that Philippe Couillard, the leader of the Quebec Liberal party and a former neurosurgeon, stated that Bill 52, the euthanasia bill  in Quebec, does not have sufficiently strict guidelines.

Philippe Couillard
The Toronto Star reported Couillard as saying:
... the Parti Québécois government’s euthanasia bill as it stands now doesn’t set sufficiently strict conditions that must be met before terminally-ill patients can ask to be euthanized by a doctor.
Couillard continued:
“The importance of the legislative process is to make things more precise and comprehensible and to know what we’re talking about, how we’re talking about it and what types of acts we’re talking about.” 
He said that in his experience there are very few cases in the dying days of a terminally ill patient where pain and suffering cannot be alleviated by doctors and drugs. 
“I understand that there can be situations that are truly exceptional. But I would like them to be more precise about what those situations are.”
The Quebec government voted 84 to 26, today, at second reading to send bill 52 to committee. It appears that Couillard will be pushing the separatist government in Quebec to amend Bill 52.
Legal scholars are also saying that Bill 52 is unconstitutional. Euthanasia is prohibited in Canada's federal Criminal Code as a form of homicide. Bill 52 redefines euthanasia as medical treatment by calling it "medical aid in dying."
Couillard's comments reflect the results of a recent poll of 500 Quebec citizens conducted by Abingdon Research from October 23 - 28 for LifeCanada.
The poll found that only 35% of those polled supported Bill 52, as written, while 14% opposed it and 47% thought that the issue required further study.
The poll also highlighted problems with the bill's use of the vague term, “medical aid in dying.” Before being given the definition, only 30% answered correctly that “medical aid in dying” as proposed by Bill 52, involves “a doctor giving a patient a lethal injection.” 
The Quebec euthanasia bill is a very dangerous bill. It is rife with false claims, euphemisms and ambiguous language and it is bad medicine for Québecers with disabilities.

1 comment:

Ethos said...

Link between the economy (finance) and euthanasia :

Robert Evans, a professor of economics at the University of British Columbia, recognizes that non-voluntary euthanasia would be a way to improve the country's finances, but believe that it would NOT BE THE BEST WAY:

"I would not suggest that the best way to improve the fiscal situation of Canada is to introduce a non-voluntary program of euthanasia for people over the age of 70".

Source: Senate of Canada, Special Senate Committee on Aging , IMPLICATIONS OF AN AGING SOCIETY IN CANADA, Testimony of Mr. Robert Evans, December 10 2007, p.2: 34 , online: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/392/agei/02eva-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=39&Ses=2&comm_id=600

In its predictions and foreseeable scenarios for the years 2007 to 2036, the " Development, Concepts and Doctrine Center " ( DCDC ) of the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom stresses that euthanasia of the elderly could become the political instrument to serve the young to reduce the economic burden of care for the elderly. I quote:

« Declining youth populations in Western societies could become increasingly dissatisfied with their economically burdensome ‘baby-boomer’ elders, among whom much of societies’ wealth would be concentrated. Resentful at a generation whose values appear to be out of step with tightening resource constraints, the young might seek a return to an order provided by more conservative values and structures. This could lead to a civic renaissance, with strict penalties for those failing to fulfil their social obligations. IT MIGHT ALSO OPEN THE WAY TO POLICIES WHICH PERMIT EUTHANASIA AS A MEANS TO REDUCE THE BURDEN OF CARE FOR THE ELDERLY ».

Source : United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Development, Concepts and Doctrine Center, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme : 2007-2036, 3d ed., 2007 à la p.79, en ligne : http://www.cuttingthroughthematrix.com/articles/strat_trends_23jan07.pdf

See also:

Japan is considering euthanasia as a solution to the economic burden posed by population aging on society.

See the following article : Annabel Claix , "A Japanese minister asks its citizens to die , and quickly" (January 22 2013) , online: http://www.ibtimes.com/japans-finance-minister-suggests-elderly-should-die-quickly-ease-health-care-burdens-1031418

Already in 1958, Glanville Williams , who was vice-president of the "Voluntary Euthanasia Society" and regarded as "Britain's foremost scholar of criminal law", stated :

"Kamisar expresses distress at a concluding remark in my book in which I advert to the possibility of old people becoming an overwhelming burden on mankind. I share his feeling that there are profoundly disturbing possibilities here ; and if I had been merely a propagandist, intent upon securing agreement for a specific measure of law reform, I should have done wisely to have omitted all reference to this subject. Since, however, I am merely an academic writer, trying to bring such intelligence as I have to bear on moral and social issues, I deemed the topic too important and threatening to leave without a word".

Source: Glanville Williams, « "Mercy- Killing" Legislation - A Rejoinder » (1958) 43 (1) Minn . L. Rev . 1 p.11 .

Eric Folot
Lawyer and bioethicist