Thursday, August 2, 2018

Canada's euthanasia law lacks effective oversight. Is DWD circumventing the law?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I was contacted by a woman who wanted to know how her nephew was approved for, and died by euthanasia (MAiD).

She explained that her nephew, who had a brain injury, made a request for death by MAiD in his local community. Since he did not have a grievous medical condition and since his "natural death was not reasonably foreseeable" he was told that he did not qualify for death by euthanasia.

She said that her nephew, then, contacted Dying With Dignity (DWD), a leading euthanasia lobby group in Canada, and soon after, he died by MAiD.

The questions are concerning: Did her nephew qualify for death by MAiD and if he didn't why did a physician who works with Dying With Dignity (DWD) cause his death?

The fact is that Canada's euthanasia law lacks effective oversight.

Canada's euthanasia law enables physicians and nurse practitioners to decide whether or not someone qualifies for death by euthanasia. The law then enables the same physician or nurse practitioner to carry-out the death by lethal injection and then it requires the same physician or nurse practitioner who caused the death to submit a report to the Coroner.

Canada has instituted a self-reporting system that enables physicians and nurse practitioners who are willing to kill their clients, a system that enables them to cover-up decisions that are controversial or outside of the intended parameters of the law.

Canada's euthanasia law also employs imprecise and undefined terms and require the doctor or nurse practitioner to lie about the cause of death on the death certificate.

This is not the first story to outline potential abuse of the law.

In November 2016, EPC was contacted by a man who wanted to know how his Aunt could have been approved for euthanasia. The Aunt had no known medical condition and she may have only had a bladder infection. The man wrote:
When we mentioned the urine tests we had asked to be done; the euthanizing doctor said it would make no difference because my Aunt has already signed the permission for her euthanasia. The euthanizing doctor said she is going to put a rush on the Euthanasia. To my even more shock the doctor gave My Aunt the lethal injection today. It all took less than three days from start to finish. The doctor did the three doctor visits to my Aunt in three consecutive days. I am so upset.
In September 2016, Dr Will Johnston wrote an article about a depressed man who was living with MS had died by euthanasia. Dr Johnston stated:
But this patient had lost hope for the future and felt his existence was meaningless and that death was the only solution. This death-focused tunnel vision defines a suicidal depression, and any able-bodied person would be given psychological help to relieve it. This disabled man, who was nowhere near dying, was instead killed by a Vancouver physician. 
The physician's rationale for circumventing the law, reportedly given over the phone before she met or examined the patient, was that he could easily get bed sores and then die of infection, so that his death "was reasonably foreseeable." 
What surprised his wife was "how easy" it was for her depressed, self-isolated husband to be killed under the new regime. What seems obvious is that the whole nature of this death is not going to be reported to the Minister of Health or the Minister of Justice -- there is no transparency to this system.
An analysis of Quebec euthanasia deaths indicated that 7% of the deaths did not comply with the law.

By reading these stories we understand why euthanasia is quickly going out-of-control in Canada. The recent euthanasia data indicates that MAiD deaths increased by 30% in the second half of 2017 and there is no indication that it will slow.

We must respond to the culture. 

One of the most effective ways to respond is by organizing a screening of the Fatal Flaws film. Fatal Flaws has proven to be an effective tool for changing minds and motivating people to speak out. Order the Fatal Flaws film today.

1 comment:

Paul Anderson said...

If you check the government website, what you'll see is a series of recommendations and points of principle. As yet, there is in fact no legislated system of oversight and accountability in the administration of MAiD.

I wrote directly to the Minister of Justice in regard to this issue in 2017, and the reply was essentially an assurance that they were working on it. Apparently they are still working on it, more than 2 years after Bill C-14 became law.

Thousands of people in Canada have had their lives ended by MAiD so far, and still there is no effective legislated system of oversight and accountability. In light of this, I am inclined to wonder whether the lack of such a system might actually be seen as an advantage by those who would wish to use MAiD as a way to "thin the ranks" of the chronically and infirm.