Thursday, December 13, 2018

Is an Ontario woman dead or is she alive?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Taquisha McKitty's daughter.
The case concerning a woman who has been declared brain dead by a Brampton hospital is heading to the court of appeal. The issue at hand is the definition of brain death.

Taquisha McKitty (27) of Brampton Ontario was declared brain dead on September 20, 2017, after having a cardiac arrest on September 14 related to a drug overdose. On October 17, Hugh Scher, the lawyer for her family, asked the court for more time for medical tests to prove that Taquisha is alive.

On June 26, 2018 Ontario Superior Court Justice, Lucille Shaw, ordered that McKitty was to have the Life-Support withdrawn in a month.

McKitty's family appealed the decision preventing the removal of life-support and challenging the brain death designation.

In the lower court decision Justice Shaw decided that McKitty was dead and that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms did not apply to McKitty, because it only protects “persons,” and because McKitty is clinically brain dead, is not legally a “person.”

Hugh Scher
Scher is arguing in the appeal, that McKitty’s Charter rights were breached in order to pronounce her dead. "To say that she doesn't have Charter rights because she is dead is putting the cart befre the horse." Scher also said:

“The Court’s predetermination of Taquisha’s death to justify non-application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms ... dehumanizes Taquisha as a non-person from the outset,” 
“Taquisha is an individual under the law deserving of Charter protection.”

Scher told CBC news that in some jurisdictions Taquisha would be considered alive. CBC news reported:
"Taquisha remains alive in Nova Scotia, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere, but according to [Ontario Superior Court] is dead in Ontario."
CBC news reported, the family believes that Taquisha is alive. She continues to move and she is breathing.

Canadian reports offer useful information but little direction.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Yesterday, the Council of Canadian Academies published three reports concerning the possible expansion of euthanasia in Canada. Those reports concerned child euthanasia, euthanasia for incompetent people who made an advanced request and euthanasia for psychiatric reasons alone.

Last night I published the following three articles on the report.
  1. Canadian report offers no clear direction on child euthanasia.
  2. Canadian report suggests that more research is needed on euthanasia for incompetent people.
  3. Canadian report is negative to the concept of euthanasia for psychiatric reasons alone.
Today, Andre Picard, the strongly pro-euthanasia writer for the Globe and Mail published an article titled: Expert panel on assisted dying has left us with many questions, but no solutions. Picard states:
The experts spent 18 months studying three issues related to assisted death: whether mature minors should have the same right to end their life as adults; how to handle advance requests for medical assistance in dying (MAiD), particularly from people with dementia; and how to legislate MAiD for people suffering from mental illness. 
Now we have the result: 798 pages of thoughtful and mercilessly detailed analysis of these legal and ethical quandaries, but no solutions.
Picard responds by stating that Canada needs to expand the scope of its euthanasia law. He wrote:
Today, two-and-half-years after the medical assistance in dying law took effect, a fundamental problem remains: Certain people, because of their age, their underlying condition and the uncertainty about how their illness will evolve, are being denied a right to choose assisted death.
Unlike Picard, I found the report as providing ample evidence against expanding euthanasia, in fact the report provides ample evidence as to why euthanasia cannot be controlled.

The report provided no directions concerning child euthanasia but it expressed an understanding that children experience a different level of vulnerability than adults.
The concept of child euthanasia is unpopular in Canada. Previous polls indicate that Canadians oppose child euthanasia and the recent response to the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) proposed child euthanasia policy shows how uncomfortable Canadians are with killing children.

The report suggests that more research was needed concerning the issue of euthanasia for incompetent people who made an "advanced request" for euthanasia injection. The report also stated that:
However, removing a requirement for express consent immediately prior to the MAID procedure raises the possibility that a person might receive MAID against their wishes.
Canada’s euthanasia lobby is pushing hard to extend euthanasia based on advanced requests. The Audrey Parker campaign was designed to pressure the government to approve advanced request.

The report is negative to the concept of euthanasia for psychiatric reasons alone. This report exhibits proof that a real divide existed among the working group examining this issue. The report stated:
A particular challenge for some people who request MAID MD-SUMC is that their desire to die could be a symptom of their mental disorder. Suicidal ideation is a common symptom of some mental disorders, and some mental disorders can distort a person’s thoughts and emotions, leading to a desire to die, hopelessness, and a negative view of the future, even when a person retains decision-making capacity. It may be difficult for a clinician to distinguish between a capable person who is making an autonomous decision for MAID and a person whose pathological desire to die is a symptom of their mental disorder that impairs their decision-making. 
Having a mental disorder is one of the most strongly associated risk factors for suicide. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have found that up to 90% of those who die by suicide may have had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder (as determined by a retrospective psychological autopsy). Furthermore, there is some evidence that some people who have sought psychiatric euthanasia and assisted suicide (psychiatric EAS) in jurisdictions that permit it share certain characteristics with people who attempt suicide.
The committee also recognized that extending euthanasia for psychiatric reasons alone would cause Canada to have the most permissive euthanasia law in the world. They stated:
MAID law in Canada explicitly defines intolerable suffering in subjective terms. While a healthcare practitioner must “be of the opinion that” these conditions are met, if a patient truly believes their suffering is intolerable, and believes that existing means to relieve their suffering are not acceptable to them, they thereby meet the criteria for intolerable suffering set out in the legislation. No other country permits MAID MD-SUMC where one of the eligibility criteria is based on an individual’s personal assessment of what conditions for relief of their intolerable suffering they consider acceptable. If Canada were to expand MAID MD-SUMC using this criterion, it could become the most permissive jurisdiction in the world with respect to how relief of suffering is evaluated.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition was concerned with the composition of the committee members since each committee had a majority with a pro-euthanasia bias. Nonetheless, since the report was not based on a consensus model, those who oppose euthanasia or simply oppose the expansion of euthanasia, were given an opportunity to express themselves.

Unlike Picard I am thankful that the report only provided information without a clear direction. Some of this information is helpful for opposing the legalization of euthanasia in other jurisdictions.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Canadian report is negative to the concept of euthanasia for psychiatric reasons alone.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



The long-awaited reports from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) concerning the possible extension of euthanasia to children (mature minors), to incompetent people who made an "advanced request," and to people for psychological conditions alone was released on December 12.

Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016 in response to the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision in February 2015 that struck down Canada's laws protecting people from euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are now referred to as Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) in Canada.




Canada's euthanasia law requires that a person experience: physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable. The law also requires that a person's natural death has become reasonably foreseeable. Therefore a person who is psychologically suffering can qualify for euthanasia, as long as their natural death is reasonably foreseeable.
The CCA report leans toward opposing the extension of euthanasia to people with psychological conditions alone. The report makes many strong statements concerning the problem with euthanasia for psychological reasons. For instance, the report states:
A particular challenge for some people who request MAID MD-SUMC is that their desire to die could be a symptom of their mental disorder. Suicidal ideation is a common symptom of some mental disorders, and some mental disorders can distort a person’s thoughts and emotions, leading to a desire to die, hopelessness, and a negative view of the future, even when a person retains decision-making capacity. It may be difficult for a clinician to distinguish between a capable person who is making an autonomous decision for MAID and a person whose pathological desire to die is a symptom of their mental disorder that impairs their decision-making. 
Most mental disorders lack the prognostic predictability of the physical conditions that currently motivate MAID requests in Canada. There is less certainty about how a person’s mental disorder will evolve over time and whether treatments and/or social interventions will be effective in relieving their suffering and improving their quality of life when compared to the physical conditions that currently motivate MAID requests. 
Having a mental disorder is one of the most strongly associated risk factors for suicide. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have found that up to 90% of those who die by suicide may have had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder (as determined by a retrospective psychological autopsy). Furthermore, there is some evidence that some people who have sought psychiatric euthanasia and assisted suicide (psychiatric EAS) in jurisdictions that permit it share certain characteristics with people who attempt suicide.
The report acknowledges that based on the permissive language in Canada's euthanasia law, if the law were extended to allow euthanasia for psychological conditions alone, Canada would have the most permissive euthanasia law in the world. The report states:
MAID law in Canada explicitly defines intolerable suffering in subjective terms. While a healthcare practitioner must “be of the opinion that” these conditions are met, if a patient truly believes their suffering is intolerable, and believes that existing means to relieve their suffering are not acceptable to them, they thereby meet the criteria for intolerable suffering set out in the legislation. No other country permits MAID MD-SUMC where one of the eligibility criteria is based on an individual’s personal assessment of what conditions for relief of their intolerable suffering they consider acceptable. If Canada were to expand MAID MD-SUMC using this criterion, it could become the most permissive jurisdiction in the world with respect to how relief of suffering is evaluated.
The report concerning the extension of euthanasia to people with psychological suffering alone does not offer recommendations for changing the law but it clearly underlines the problems with euthanasia for psychological suffering. 

C
Tine Nys (center) with her sisters
onsidering the recent announcement that three Belgian doctors are facing prosecution in the euthanasia death of Tine Nys. According to the Brussels Times:

The case concerns a 38-year-old woman, Tine Nys, who was euthanised in April 2010 at her request, as she suffered from psychological problems. 
According to the patient’s family, Nys was not ill enough to meet the requirements of the euthanasia law as it was at that time. In addition, the procedure was carried out in an “amateurish” fashion, relatives said. A sister of the dead woman made a complaint, and the circumstances of the case were investigated by the Ghent prosecutor’s office. 
According to the family, Nys had a psychiatric past, but at the time of her request for euthanasia had not been in an institution for 15 years. She had, however, experienced a recent break in a relationship.
Considering the fact that Canada's euthanasia law is completely subjective as to whether a person's suffering is considered "intolerable" the extension of euthanasia to people with psychological conditions alone would be a disaster. It would be impossible to determine whether a person is suffering intolerably or experiencing suicidal ideation and seeking an "assisted death."

Clearly Canada has gone too far already. Canada needs to add clear definitions to its euthanasia law rather than extending euthanasia.

Canadian Report suggests that more research is needed on euthanasia for incompetent people who made an advanced request

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



The long-awaited reports from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) concerning the possible extension of euthanasia to children (mature minors), to incompetent people who made an "advanced request," and to people for psychological conditions alone was released on December 12.

Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016 in response to the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision in February 2015 that struck down Canada's laws protecting people from euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are now referred to as Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) in Canada.



The CCA report offered "positive" and negative outcomes to extending euthanasia to incompetent people who made an "advanced request" for euthanasia but they concluded that more research is needed. They stated:
Allowing ARs for MAID could provide comfort and relieve anxiety and distress at end of life for people who want to receive MAID, but are concerned about losing decision-making capacity prior to the procedure. However, removing a requirement for express consent immediately prior to the MAID procedure raises the possibility that a person might receive MAID against their wishes.
The report recognized that the "advanced request" would only be implemented when the person becomes incompetent, meaning that a "Third-Party" would be required to make the decision for death. This becomes complicated with euthanasia decisions because the laws state that the person must be experiencing "intolerable suffering" which is determined by the person requesting euthanasia. The report then states:
However, the person must rely on others to recognize when the conditions described as intolerable suffering in their AR for MAID have been met. An AR for MAID would have to specify what criteria the person considers intolerable (e.g., being bedridden, not recognizing family members, difficulty breathing, or experiencing pain), but these are circumstances of anticipated suffering that may not reflect the lived experience of the person when they reach those circumstances. Uncertainty about how to approach an AR for MAID increases if the person who has lost capacity appears indifferent to receiving MAID, expresses a desire to continue living, or physically or verbally resists the MAID procedure.
The report also recognizes the difficulty with legislating advanced consent for euthanasia considering the fact that every province has its own advanced directive legislation.


Consider the recent case in the Netherlands concerning a woman (74) with dementia who made an advanced request for euthanasia

When the doctor came to do the euthanasia the woman resisted and said NO. The doctor, without telling her, put a sedative in her coffee, but the woman still resisted. The doctor then had her family hold her down while the doctor did the euthanasia injection.

In this case, the woman was incompetent and the doctor did not consider that she may have changed her mind. This case outlines how a supposed "advanced request" for euthanasia can result in a euthanasia death without consent.

Once again, the report leans toward the position that euthanasia is a medical act and it makes close comparisons between end-of-life treatment decisions and euthanasia. These comparisons are contentious considering that parliament legalized euthanasia (MAiD) by creating an exception in the criminal code and not by defining it as a medical act.

The report does not recommend extending euthanasia to incompetent people who have made an advanced request but rather it recommends that more research is required.

Canada’s euthanasia lobby is pushing hard to extend euthanasia based on advanced requests. The Audrey Parker campaign was designed to pressure the government to approve advanced request.

Canadian Report offers no clear direction on Child Euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



The long-awaited reports from the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) concerning the possible extension of euthanasia to children (mature minors), to incompetent people who made an "advanced request," and to people for psychological conditions alone was released on December 12.


Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016 in response to the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision in February 2015 that struck down Canada's laws protecting people from euthanasia and assisted suicide. Canada's law limits euthanasia to persons 18 or older.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide are now referred to as Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) in Canada.



The CCA did not offer clear direction concerning the issue of Child euthanasia. The report concluded that:
Many in Canada are grappling with the question about whether to extend MAID to mature minors in a society already exposed to changing ideas about death and dying. Although the Working Group examined a wide range of evidence, it concludes that there are many gaps in knowledge that make it difficult to arrive at definitive answers.
The report leans toward the position that euthanasia is a medical act and it makes strong comparisons between end-of-life treatment decisions and euthanasia. These comparisons are contentious considering the fact that parliament legalized euthanasia (MAiD) by creating an exception in the criminal code and not by defining it as a medical act.

Sadly the report does lean towards the side of accepting child euthanasia. It states:
The view that minors are in need of heightened protection is a widely shared concern. Despite research demonstrating that some minors are capable of making critical healthcare decisions, including end-of-life choices, some argue that minors as a group are too vulnerable to be given the ability to request MAID. However, part of protecting potentially vulnerable patients is to ensure that they are listened to. Thus, it has been argued that, rather than denying healthcare choices to groups frequently labelled as vulnerable, society must provide the accommodations to ensure that everyone is protected not only from exploitation, but also from being ignored and excluded.
Canadians are restricted through the criminal code and regulations from participating in many activities based on age.  The driving age is 16, the voting age is 18 and in Ontario the drinking age is 19.

Thankfully, the report did not follow the direction of the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) report. The Sick Kids report stated that there is no difference between end-of-life medical treatment decisions and euthanasia. They then decided that based on their current end-of-life decisions policy, that if the euthanasia law is extended to children that a "mature minor" could die by euthanasia without requiring the consent of the parents.

The most recent data indicates that the number of euthanasia deaths is increasing quickly in Canada. Sadly, the recent Quebec report indicated that the number of euthanasia deaths increased by up to 75% between April 1 and March 31, 2018.

Euthanasia Zealots Push Starvation and Dehydration as ‘Death with Dignity’

This article was published by the Spectator on December 11, 2018.

Wesley Smith
By Wesley Smith

It’s getting very dark in euthanasia-land. Not content with legalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill in six states plus the District of Columbia — with Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Colombia allowing lethal jab euthanasia — and unsatiated with Switzerland’s suicide clinics to which people from around the world attend — the so-called “death with dignity” movement now is pushing self-starvation as a splendid way to die.

Before I explain, two crucial distinctions. First, this essay is not about the common circumstance when a dying person stops eating as a natural part of the dying process. Nor is this essay about feeding tubes, which are deemed a medical treatment that can be legally refused or withdrawn. Rather, this essay addresses the growing advocacy in the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement and within bioethics to redefine self-starvation — known as “voluntary stop eating and drinking (VSED)” in movement parlance — as a means of attaining “death with dignity” in circumstances in which assisted suicide is illegal.

Compassion and Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society, is the country’s most prominent assisted suicide advocacy organization. Uncoincidentally, it is also the country’s prime promoter of VSED. Here’s how its WEB site promotes self-starvation to the elderly:
Many people struggle with the unrelieved suffering of a chronic or incurable and progressive disorder. Others may decide that they are simply “done” after eight or nine decades of a fully lived life. A person may choose to control their own dying by making a conscious decision to refuse foods and fluids of any kind, including artificial nutrition and/or hydration. This option, sometimes known as VSED, can be chosen by a decisionally-capable adult who has the physical ability to eat and drink but consciously refuses foods and fluids in order to advance the time of their death.
Be it noted that “advance the time of their death,” happens every time someone commits suicide. And that’s precisely what VSED is — suicide by self-starvation. But C & C pretends that forcing oneself to starve is a natural death:
Death from VSED is a natural process. As death nears, breathing becomes more shallow and irregular. Moaning or “rattling” breathing may occur, but is not believed to be an indication of pain or distress. The body may change temperature and there can be discoloration in the face (flushed red, or pale with bluish or yellowish tones), as well as purple or bluish mottling in the hands or feet.
Of course, none of that would be happening if the dying person took sustenance.

VSED is agonizing. Starvation and dehydration may take weeks, and in addition to the above symptoms, may involve substantial and painful cracking of delicate membranes, convulsions, and other physical distress that results when a body that wants to live is denied the sustenance necessary to do so. (Again, we are not discussing patients who naturally stop eating as death approaches, a peaceful process because the body is shutting down.) Thus, C & C warns people they will require “24-hour care” from family as well as a doctor or hospice professional willing to assist by palliating agonizing symptoms. And while it is true that the law probably can’t require the suicidal person to be force-fed, it seems to me that a doctor who uses his or her medical skills to help a person stop eating and drinking is immorally helping the person commit suicide.

Pushing VSED as a means of death and/or qualifying for assisted suicide/euthanasia is bad enough. But now activists have started a campaign to force caregivers to starve dementia patients — even when they willingly eat and drink! Here’s the push: If a dementia patient demanded VSED in an advance medical directive to be implemented once they reach a certain stage of incompetence — say, not recognizing a family member — then caregivers must starve and dehydrate them to death. The assisted suicide activist group End of Life Choices New York has already created such a directive for its members with the optional instruction:
If I am suffering from advanced dementia and appear willing to accept food or fluid offered by assisted or hand feeding, my instructions are that I do NOT want to be fed by hand, even if I appear to cooperate with being fed by opening my mouth.
Such directives are not yet legal, but several prominent bioethicists have supported enacting laws or ethical rules requiring such cruel instructions to be binding on caregivers.

Think about the potential consequences: People would be able to order themselves killed — and also require those in the most compassionate professions to do the killing by withholding food and water they willingly accept. And this would be true even if the incompetent patient asked to be fed, since their instructions while competent would prevail over all other considerations. In other words, inaction that is today universally considered elder abuse would be transformed into a twisted form of patient empowerment.

Here’s the thing: Advance directives permit signers to decide ahead of time the kind of medical treatments they want or don’t want. But spoon feeding is not a medical treatment! It is humane care, akin to keeping patients warm and clean. Imagine the brain-drain from the geriatric service sector if caregivers could be required to kill.

Here’s the cynical game being played. VSED is a not a goal but a wrecking ball intended to smash open the door to legalizing lethal injection euthanasia. Should starvation advocates have their way, they would soon start bellowing about the raw cruelty of such slow deaths and urge that euthanasia would be a quicker and less agonizing means of death. Indeed, lethal injections of dementia patients pursuant to advance directives are a part of normal euthanasia practice in Netherlands and Belgium, with Canada likely to soon follow suit.

With the open advocacy of voluntary and compelled VSED, the radical ultimate agenda of the assisted suicide movement can no longer be denied. Those with eyes to see, let them see.

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and a consultant to the Patients Rights Council.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Euthanasia is Becoming the First Resort in Quebec

This article was published by National Review online on December 10, 2018

Wesley Smith
By Wesley Smith

Euthanasia advocates are so full of it, promising that snuff medicine will only be a last resort when nothing else can be done to alleviate suffering.

It’s never been true, to the point that no law in the world requires that everything — or indeed, perhaps anything — be tried to alleviate suffering prior to taking the lethal measure. The patient can simply refuse alleviating interventions — and that refusal does not legally invalidate the “Make me dead” request even when their suffering could be reduced with proper medical, psychological, or social care.

Suicidal people can even increase their own suffering to qualify for euthanasia; in Canada, by self-starving to become sufficiently weak that death is foreseeable, or, in Oregon, diabetics refusing insulin to immediately become terminal.

Now, a study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics shows that euthanasia in Quebec — euphemistically called “medical aid in dying” (MAiD) — is sometimes applied with little or no attempt to palliate or relieve suffering through non-lethal medical means prior to the killing. (It is worth nothing that in socialized-medicine Canada, only 15 percent of patients receive adequate palliative care, while accessing euthanasia when legally qualified is treated as a positive legal right.)

From the study’s conclusion:

Requests for and provision of MAiD as documented in the chart can occur abruptly and without a documented evolution of the goals of care which may imply that requests for MAiD are not treated as having particular moral considerations but merely administrative or legal ones. 
If MAiD is not ethically distinct from other end-of-life practices, then the timing would not appear to add any additional ethical concerns to those already expressed in relation to late discussion of end-of-life care options in general. If, however, MAiD is ethically distinct and should be treated with special consideration, the tendency to avoid, delay or have inadequate conversations about end-of-life care may be especially troubling in the context of their unknown impact on requests for assisted death.
Of course euthanasia is losing its moral import. It is being normalized!

And what else should we expect? Harnessing the authority of doctors in support of homicide transforms the act into a perceived beneficence, which quickly erodes the perceived intrinsic value of human life. Over time, euthanasia practice becomes a banal bureaucratic matter of checking the right boxes or finding ways to maneuver around the “protective guidelines” — now perceived as “obstacles.”

Humans are a logical species. Once we adopt a principle — here, that killing is an acceptable way to defeat suffering — we take the road wherever it leads.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Stopping Assisted Suicide in Your State



The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is co-organizing a Campaign Training Session on Friday, January 25 and Conference on Saturday, January 26.

These events will be at the Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Midtown hotel in Albuquerque New Mexico. 

Book your hotel room by calling: 505-312-9842.


The Training Session on Friday, January 25 will go from 1:00 - 5:00 pm followed by a screening of the film -  Fatal Flaws at 7:00 pm with Kevin Dunn, the producer of the film.

The Conference on Saturday, January 26 will run from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. 

* We have added an impressive International speaker. Fabian Stahle, is the Swedish researcher who uncovered the definition of terminal used by the Oregon Health Authority which extends assisted suicide to non-terminal persons

The cost to attend the Training Session is $35. The cost to attend the Symposium is $50. The cost to attend both events is $80 or you can also watch the Conference simulcast with internet code for $30.

Download registration form. (Link)

Speakers include:

Hon Nick Goiran, Member of Parliament from Western Australia. Nick authored the minority report opposing the legalization of assisted suicide in Western Australia.

Diane Coleman, President & CEO of the disability rights group Not Dead Yet. Diane is a leading voice opposing assisted suicide for more than 25 years.


Alexandra Snyder
Amy Hasbrouk, Founder of Toujours Vivant – Not Dead Yet, a lawyer and the President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Alexandra Snyder, Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation and the lawyer challenging the California assisted suicide law.

Kevin Yuill
, Professor of History at the University of Sunderland, UK. He is the author of - Assisted Suicide: The Liberal Humanist Case Against Legalization.


Dr Annette Hanson
Annette Hanson
, Forensic Psychiatrist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Hanson co-authored the article: Twelve Myths About Assisted Suicide and Medical Aid in Dying.

 
Catherine Glenn Foster
, President and CEO of AUL and a lawyer. Catherine was the founding Executive Director of EPC-USA in 2016.


Nancy Elliott, former New Hampshire State Representative and President of EPC-USA.
Nancy Elliott

Margaret Dore, lawyer and President of Choice is an Illusion.

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. He is an author and has done speaking tours throughout the world.

Kevin Dunn, Producer of Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death and The Euthanasia Deception. Kevin is an award-winning filmmaker who operates DunnMedia & Entertainment.

Download registration form. (Link)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Euthanasia Advocate Backs Convicted Husband

This article was published by HOPE Australia on December 6, 2018

Euthanasia advocates have shown how far they would push euthanasia and assisted suicide laws if legalised in Queensland, giving no weight to financial motivations for helping someone to take their own life.

Last month, a judge sentenced Queensland’s Graham Robert Morant to ten years in prison for counselling his wife to kill herself, and then assisting her to do so.  He found that the motive for the crime was the $1.4 million that he stood to receive under insurance policies he had taken out in her name.

I
Jennifer Morant
n sentencing Morant to ten years imprisonment, Justice Davis sent a message to the community about the gravity of the crime of counselling a person to commit suicide, commenting that it was even more serious than assisting a person to do so.

Despite the clearly shocking nature of the crime and its motive, euthanasia advocates have sprung to his defence, calling the sentence “totally inappropriate.”

Bizarrely, Exit International’s founder Philip Nitschke argued that Morant’s actions of counselling and assisting his vulnerable wife to suicide in order to inherit $1.4 million an “act of love.”

According to the ABC, Nitschke said:
"Exit staff remember Jenny as being lovingly cared for by her husband, who was considered to be as kind, considerate and as compassionate as any husband could be… The severity of the sentencing for this act of love is totally inappropriate."
Kind, considerate, compassionate.  That’s how euthanasia advocates describe a man who a court found spent years encouraging his wife to take her own life and helping her to do so in order to financially gain from her death.

The real agenda of euthanasia advocates is clear.  That they are willing to hail as a ‘loving husband’ a financially-motivated man who a jury found – beyond reasonable doubt – to have counselled and aided his wife (who was not terminally ill) to take her own life shows how far they are wanting to extend the reach of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Any safeguards included by Queensland legislators won’t be welcomed by euthanasia advocates; they will be constantly trying to undermine them so that the Graham Morant’s of the world not only get through, but are hailed as kind, considerate, compassionate husbands.

Morant will appeal his conviction, using emails allegedly sent from his wife to Exit International as evidence that she was determined to die.  He will also appeal the length of his sentence.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Quebec euthanasia deaths increase by 75%

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Caroline Touzin reported for Le Press that the recent Quebec government euthanasia report indicates that the number of euthanasia deaths are increasing quickly.

Quebec legalized euthanasia in December 2015, while the rest of Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016.

According to Touzin the recent government report stated that there were 1664 reported euthanasia deaths between December, 2015 and March 31, 2018. 


It is concerning that 1493 reports were received and yet 1664 euthanasia deaths were reported by institutions. Therefore 171 euthanasia deaths were not reported representing more than 10% of the deaths.

A report compiled by the Sean Murphy for the Protection of Conscience Project indicated that there were 454 reported Quebec euthanasia deaths in 2016 and 757 in 2017. He stated that in 2017 1.2% of all deaths were by euthanasia (lethal injection) representing a 67% increase from the number of euthanasia deaths in 2016.


According to an article by Michael Cook for Bioedge there were 845 reported euthanasia deaths for the 9 months from July 2017 to March 2018, compared to 638 for the 12 months from July 2016 to June 2017 representing a 75% increase.

Cook also reported that the recent government euthanasia report states that doctors are often not following the law. According to Cook:

The latest report indicates that 10% of the reported euthanasia deaths were not administered according to the letter of the law. Either the paperwork was incomplete or the law had apparently been broken. The corresponding figure for the previous period was 8%. The report stresses, however, that the “great majority” of the euthanasia deaths were administered according to the law.
Abuse of the law is not new. Last year, Amy Hasbrouck, the EPC President and a Quebec disability rights leader, examined the Quebec government report and reported that:
  • Confusion and inconsistency exists between euthanasia figures offered by the various sources; the “number of forms received and examined“ by the commission, the reports of the institutions, and the reports from the Collège des médecins du Québec.
  • A 5% or 7% error rate (with 3% undetermined) would not be acceptable where lives depended on the effective application of safeguards (e.g. the airline industry).  
  • The three cases in which the safeguards were clearly violated (two where the person did not have a “serious and incurable illness” and one where the person was not at the “end of life”) were not addressed as the crimes that they are.
Similar problems exist in the Netherlands, where a study found that in 2015, 23% of the assisted deaths were not reported and 431 assisted deaths were done without explicit consent.

The Quebec government does report more information than Canada's federal government about the euthanasia practice.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Capital Punishment vs Assisted Suicide

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr Kevin Hay
Dr Kevin Hay, who is a family physician in Alberta, wrote an excellent op-ed titled: It's illogical to ban capital punishment but allow doctor-assisted death that was published on November 28, 2018.

What is most interesting about the article are the comparisons that Hay makes between capital punishment and assisted suicide. Hay wrote:

So is it contradictory for a society to embrace voluntary euthanasia while banning the death penalty? (MAID in Canada is overwhelmingly by voluntary euthanasia rather than the optional assisted suicide). To answer that question we need to take those arguments used to decry capital punishment and apply them to MAID. 
Capital punishment can kill the innocent. Euthanasia can kill the coerced and the incompetent. Both capital punishment and euthanasia are irreversible once enacted in error. Capital punishment is morally wrong because of the intrinsic value of human life; so, too, is euthanasia. 

Capital punishment brutalizes the prisoner, the executioner, society-at-large, the law and human rights. The requirements for MAID can brutalize a suffering patient (e.g. if death is not “immediately foreseeable,” MAID should be refused). After providing euthanasia, some doctors in Ontario “found themselves overwhelmed by the act of killing another human being.” Euthanasia can have devastating effects on friends and family, especially young children. Only a handful of countries allow a citizen to demand death at the hands of another citizen. Most countries believe that the state-sanctioned killing of a citizen is wrong. Rights are universal; if one person has the right to die, then we all have the right to die. 
Capital punishment is cheaper than life imprisonment. MAID is vastly cheaper than treatment or palliative care. It’s barbaric to promote cost reduction through the killing of the sick. (Note the case of 42-year-old Roger Foley in Ontario.)
The death penalty is unique as a punishment. Euthanasia is unique as a “treatment.”
In the U.S., the death penalty is applied unfairly across capital cases. No one can truly ascertain that some MAID applicants — and not others — “deserve” death. 
Capital punishment fails to deter serious crime and can martyr a terrorist. The glamourization of MAID in the media can cause suicide contagion — the Werther Effect. 
The mentally ill offender should be treated, not put to death. Civilized societies strive to prevent suicide in the mentally ill — not collude with delusions. 
The death penalty is inhumane (even by lethal injection, as reported in the Lancet in 2005). There is potential for difficulty with the administration of euthanasia. 
Capital punishment is unnecessary, especially with life imprisonment without parole. Autonomy allows a person to refuse care — that doesn’t commit the state to provide death at the hand of another citizen. 
Misguided compassion has blinded sympathetic people (including the Supreme Court of Canada) to the similarities between voluntary euthanasia and the death penalty. Logical consistency requires a society to have both or neither.
Hay makes it very clear, it's inconsistent to legalize assisted suicide and to outlaw capital punishment. In fact, when the Supreme Court of Canada (45 years ago) rejected capital punishment, they stated that is was inhumane to ask someone to inflict death on another person. I think the Supreme Court of Canada is inconsistent and Dr Kevin Hay is consistent.

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