Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Hospitals should not ask people to consider euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Kathryn Mentler was offered euthanasia.
Brian Bird, lecturer at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, wrote an excellent article that was published in the National Post on August 21, 2023. Kathrin Mentler (37), a Canadian who lives with chronic suicidal thoughts, was recently offered (MAiD) euthanasia while she was seeking help during a mental health crisis. Bird explains:

Imagine if you were having suicidal thoughts and, fearing for your life, you went to a hospital seeking treatment. A clinician tells you that psychiatric healthcare is “broken” and plagued by delays. Later in the conversation, the clinician asks if you have ever considered assisted death.

There is no need to imagine this scenario, because according to a patient in Vancouver — 37-year-old Kathrin Mentler — this is precisely what happened to her. It is now a matter of public record that, in Canada, euthanasia is being openly discussed with individuals who are suicidal but want to live.

Bird explains what happened:

Mentler, who has struggled with depression and suicidal ideation, went to Vancouver General Hospital to seek help in June. After completing an intake form, she was taken to a room where a clinician conducted an interview. The clinician asked Mentler if she had ever considered assisted death as an option, noting that it would be more “comfortable” than committing suicide by overdosing on medication — a concern that Mentler specifically had in mind when she went to the hospital that day.

Bird states that the counsellor at the hospital posed the euthanasia question to assess the risk of suicide. Bird correctly states that this is unacceptable. Bird  explains that euthanasia for mental illness is not yet a legal practice and he further suggests that suggesting euthanasia is wrong. He wrote:

Providing euthanasia in circumstances that have not been exempted from the Criminal Code is a serious crime. The same is true for counselling someone to receive euthanasia even if they are legally eligible to receive it. While there can be a fine line between informing and counselling, some of the comments in the case of Mentler seem to wander close to it.

...An investigation should look into Mentler’s case and determine whether it is an isolated incident. Although the hospital apologized for “any distress caused” to Mentler, it appeared to maintain that what happened was standard and appropriate clinical procedure. Minister of Health Adrian Dix should be making inquiries — if he has not done so already.

St Paul's Hospital Vancouver
Bird compares this case to the pressure applied by the euthanasia lobby to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia. He writes:

...Not far down the road from Vancouver General, a controversy erupted after St. Paul’s Hospital, a Catholic healthcare community which adheres to the ethical position that euthanasia amounts to killing, refused earlier this year to provide the procedure to a patient who requested it. The patient was later transferred to a nearby facility where she received euthanasia.

The case of St. Paul’s sparked sustained media coverage and intense public outcry, which led the health minister to state that Catholic hospitals in British Columbia should provide euthanasia within their walls. Discussions between the province and Providence Health Care, the faith-based organization standing behind St. Paul’s Hospital, appear to be ongoing.

Bird questions  whether the Mentler case will get the same degree of scrutiny as the case at St Paul's Hospital.

Bird points out that the argument that suicide and assisted suicide are different has been proven wrong by the Mentler case. 

Bird concludes the article by stating that there is a need for medical facilities that do not provide euthanasia. Bird wrote:

Healthcare communities that conscientiously refuse to provide euthanasia are not simply protecting their moral and ethical integrity and the persons who work within. They are protecting patients who do not want to be treated in facilities where euthanasia will be proposed.

There is profound value in preserving sanctuaries from euthanasia in our healthcare system. Given the case of Mentler, I suspect she and many other Canadians would wholeheartedly agree.

Links to previous articles on these topics:


Anonymous said...

Again we see people who are overwhelmed with their circumstances being told I could get someone to murder you and it would all be over.Just take this injection or tablet and your suffering will be over.Euthanasia is not a solution to a health care problem but we could offer a solutions.We have a big campaign on to remind us that every life matters our weak and our sick our mentally compromised citizens our babies our elderly do their lives not matter. Of course every life matters wether you are in the womb ,the hospital bed ,struggling with physical challenges,in the nursing home your life matters ,you are valuable ,you were made in the image of God you were created for love and you have a Saviour His name is Jesus and He loves you God loves you ,You are valuable and your life should not be snuffed out like a bug He is the answer and He wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to tell you are valuable your life is valuable you have something to offer .He is as close as a prayer so invite Him into your life He is as close as a prayer.Receive God’s love your life matters do not let someone take your life you our valuable and your life matters .Marlyen

Karl said...

How true this is and yet, hospitals have adopted (Doctors' specifically) that approach in the ER. How demeaning of the value of a human being. Why would anyone use euthanasia as the first thing considered in a crisis mode? What kind of triage is this?

Anonymous said...

Thankyou Anonymous!
We need more people to speak out against the insanity in the healthcare system. It seems as though health care is the last thing on their minds.
We are ALL valuable in the eyes of God & in the eyes of our Saviour Jesus.
I believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. None of us want to experience pain in any way but the Lord has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us which tells me that no matter what we might go through He will go through it with us. God Himself will decide when the last day of my life will be and when that day comes I am assured that I will then be in Heaven with Him.
So, I would implore all that are reading this, to accept Jesus as your Lord & Saviour so that you too can have life everlasting.
Jesus died for us so that we would have eternal life. He wants to have a relationship with you. BJG

Kimberly Howard said...

The holocaust that MAiD is creating across Canada is horrific and morally repugnant. Tragic and heartbreaking.

My beloved mother was killed by stealth euthanasia at a Catholic hospice in St. Paul, MN/U.S.A.in 2020. She was born in Canada and was so proud of her homeland.

When my mother was admitted to the hospice for palliative care, she was not in an active state of dying. She revoked her full code status and signed a DNR and a POLST. It broke my heart.

It took her body three weeks to succumb to the toxic cocktail of drugs prescribed the hospice MD's. Her body showed definitive signs of malnutrition and dehydration. It was gut wrenching watching her die as she struggled for every breath and her lungs filled with fluid. I watched as they slowly murdered over three agonizing weeks.

It's deceitful lie to say die by medical assistance in dying is "comfortable." I can only imagine the horrible pain my mother endured in a medically induced coma. Nothing by mouth and dying of thirst. My nightmares never end.

God will judge every person who participates in the medical murder of the innocent and the vulnerable.