Monday, August 28, 2017

Doctors pressured this woman to die by euthanasia. One year later she is much better.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Candice Lewis
Last month Candice Lewis's mother received a disappointing response from the local hospital after sending an official complaint about being pressured by doctors who wanted Candice to die by euthanasia.

Mother upset after doctor urged her to approve assisted suicide for her daughter with disabilities.

An article by Stephen Roberts that was published in the Northern Pen newspaper  on August 28 explained that Candice is doing much better after receiving excellent care from a hospital in St John's Newfoundland. The article reported:

According to her mom, Sheila Elson, Candice hasn’t been having any seizures, is now able to feed herself, walk with assistance, use her iPad, and is more alert, energetic and communicative since her stay in St. John’s. 
“She’s back to about where she was five or six years ago,” says Elson. 
After a two-week hospital stay, Candice, along with her mother, walked her sister Glennis down the aisle at her wedding in Dildo in August. 
She’s been able to do all this despite the fact that in 2016, doctors suggested that Candice might be dying. 
In September of that year, a doctor at Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony had also suggested to Elson that physician-assisted death could be an option for Candice. 
What is satisfying her these days is her daughter’s health. Since returning to St. Anthony earlier this month, Candice hasn’t required a visit to the hospital. 
Elson believes Candice’s condition has improved because she is now on fewer medications.
Legalizing euthanasia (MAiD) gives physicians the right in law to lethally inject their patients. The doctors attitude toward Candice's "quality of life" were based on negative and discriminatory attitudes towards the lives of people with disabilities. The doctors thought that Candice was better off dead.


Dr. Jeff Koloze said...

Watch those doctors. At one time, physicians cared for their patients. Not now, when those who oppose the first civil right to life think it's easier to kill people than cure them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your work on keeping us aware of these issues. Please note it wasn't "the doctorS thought she was better off dead", but A doctor thought she was better off dead. Other doctors have clearly helped her in her recovery. There are still many doctors who are appalled at the assisted dying legislation and are working, as you are, to make sure that they have a right to continue practicing in ways that heal, respect, and protect life from conception to natural end.

Maureen said...

These are the kinds of stories the public need to hear about!!!

Unknown said...

This story is vague and allusive. Which hospital(s) and which doctor(s)? The option being presented is not pressure. It is an option. As such one is free to decline. Very curious as to tbe veracity of this story since MAID is notoriously difficult to get. P

Alex Schadenberg said...

If you go to the links you will read all of the information. If you google the story you will notice that CBC Newfoundland carried it. Check it out. The fact is she was pressured by the doctor to "ask" for euthanasia.

Karen Dwyer said...

Being "free to decline" is a vague and elusive right when one is in a weakened physical state (one of the reasons that one may well be in a hospital in the first instance!) The psychological pressure is ongoing and persistent and is not conducted between people of equal status, control, and authority within the medical system. The patient and their family member/s are NOT on an equal footing with the person providing medical advice/assistance. The patient/family do not have the authority to instruct medical staff, to issue or withhold medications, to enter particular physical spaces, to use their own items from home (fluids, pain relief, electrical items, bedding). They can be removed from the premises; they can be threatened with the involvement of state agencies (where the process is the punishment), they cannot truly know whether a particular medication or procedure is in the best interests of their family member or whether it is actually a pet medical project/experiment being conducted. Repeated hints that one's life is not worth living and that one is a burden is emotionally and physically draining. It is a form of "gaslighting" - psychological torture that has documented psychological and physiologically adverse effects.