Thursday, December 10, 2009

New group misrepresenting Canada's euthanasia law.

I received a call from Stephen Drake, the research director for Not Dead Yet, a disability rights group. Drake asked me whether I knew the group Dignity in Death? I answered no. In fact when I went to the website there was no information about who they actually are, but it did tell me that they either do not understand Canadian law or that they are deliberately misrepresenting the law for their political purpose. Link to Not Dead Yet:

The website states:
Dignity in Death offers information on voluntary euthanasia and the ethical issues that surround assisted suicide. In Canada, voluntary euthanasia is legal and may be used to end the lives of those who are suffering and terminally ill. However, assisted suicide is illegal

Since when was voluntary euthanasia legal in Canada. Euthanasia is to directly and intentionally take the life of a person for reasons of mercy. It is prosecuted under section 222 (homicide) of the criminal code. Voluntary euthanasia is when one person directly and intentionally takes the life of another person, to alleviate suffering, only after the clear informed and competent request by the person who died.

It is not euthanasia to withdraw, withhold or refuse life-sustaining medical treatment. When life-sustaining medical treatment is withdrawn or refused, if the person dies, the death is the result of the medical condition. That is clearly not euthanasia. If you give me a lethal injection (euthanasia) I die from a direct and intentional lethal dose.

If is not euthanasia to properly use large doses of analgesics (morphine) to kill pain. When large doses of analgesics are properly used to kill pain, it may (unlikely) result in death. The death would be unintentional. When you give a lethal injection (euthanasia). The person dies from a direct and intentional lethal dose.

Physicians may abuse the use of morphine by intentionally and directly causing the death of a person. It is euthanasia when the physician unnecessarily abuses morphine with the intention of causing the death of the person.

It is particularly concerning while the Canadian parliament is debating Bill C-384, the bill that would legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada, that a new group would become established based on false information.

If there is nothing wrong with euthanasia or assisted suicide, why does the Dignity in Death group need to lie about Canadian law and why does Dignity in Death not have an address or identify the leaders of the group?

Dignity in Death seems to be following the example of other suicide promotion sites/groups who misrepresent the law to deliberately create confusion. Canadians deserve truth not propaganda.


Greywizard said...

No, of course euthanasia is not legal in Canada, except when it is. And it is legal when it's passive euthanasia. It's a bit precious, after all, to make a distinction between withdrawing, refusing, or withholding medical treatment - or nutrition and hyrdration (which you left out), or administering large doses of opiates, on the one hand, and actually helping the person die with nembutal or some other drug.

Only religious casuistry can make a distinction here. Indeed, there is just as much danger of abuse in the former cases as in the latter. I wish you would stop pretending. Putting the word 'unlikely' in parenthesis, doesn't help to make the law of double effect work, you know. If you know what is likely to happen - and if you're a doctor, you should - then that is part of your intention, guard your intentions ever so closely. And the whole point here is not what will or will not result in death, but what will or will not control pain. That's the operative condition, and controlling pain while causing death is what the law or principle of double effect is all about.

And that's all that the website, not organisation, is saying. They are saying that passive euthanasia, that is withdrawl, refusal, withholding of treatment, food and water, etc., is legal, and it is. You choose not to call it euthanasia at all. That's your choice. However, the term 'passive euthanasia' is widely used in the literature on assisted dying. You don't have the right to regulate the English language, despite your continuing efforts to define Canadian law.

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Alex Schadenberg said...

Greywizard has confirmed three things.
1. Greywizard doesn't understand the Canadian Criminal Code or Common Law court decisions.
2. is a website and does not represent a group.
3. Greywizard prefers to attack the writer as being religious rather than prove my arguements as being wrong.

Whether I am religious or not is not the issue, the issue is that Euthanasia is when one person directly and intentionally causes the death of another person based on "mercy." It is viewed as part of section 222 (homicide) of the criminal code

Greywizard's website speaks about people who suffered because they continued to receive medical treatment. They could have refused medical treatment.

Greywizard suggests that euthanasia is the same as withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment. If Greywizard is refering to withdrawing fluids from a person who is not otherwise dying and directly and intentionally causing that persons death by dehydration, then Greywizard is right. It is becoming common to eliminate people with cognitive disabilities or injuries by intentionally and directly causing their death by dehydration. I fail to understand how this is a compassionate or dignified death.

Greywizard isn't refering to these cases only. Greywizard appears to be saying that there is no difference between killing and letting die.

This is a ridiculous idea that brain-washed bio-ethicists seem to think is true.

If you lethally inject me, I die from a lethal injection. If you withdraw life-sustaining MEDICAL TREATMENT, if I die, I die from my medical condition. These are very different. Lethal injection always causes death in a direct and intentional manner and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment may result in me dying a natural death.

Big difference.

The suicide lobby wants to confuse you to convince society that we are already euthanizing people everyday, so we should just legalize it and regulate it.

This is a double false arguement.

What we need to do in society is care for people. If Greywizard wants to eliminate suffering then Greywizard should be promoting the improvement of care for people with disabilities, people with chronic and painful conditions.

Once society has become committed to caring for its most vulnerable citizens, then very few will ever seek or request lethal injection

Ironsides said...

"What we need to do in society is care for people. If Greywizard wants to eliminate suffering then Greywizard should be promoting the improvement of care for people with disabilities, people with chronic and painful conditions.

Once society has become committed to caring for its most vulnerable citizens, then very few will ever seek or request lethal injection".

Alex, in this above comment by you about Greywizard's comment, this is one of the most crucial elements for the necessary change in people's attitudes. Without this change in people's attitudes, the Death Cult will only continue to dominate the stage.

I'm around ALS patients, and have known several who have died through the past nine years I've lived here. For two years I've gotten to know the most recent guy down the hall.

Only a couple of weeks ago did I learn that ALS patients suffer pain at times, when they are being moved and positioned. He can't talk anymore, but has control of a computer which uses assisted technology so he can type what he needs to say, by moving his head.

If this legal twister and his Death Cult invested the amount of financial resources they control, to engineer a value for life that they engineer for getting rid of people, and treating them like garbage until they are dead, this friend down the hall wouldn't be getting yelled at by nurses, his trache suctioned by nurses who do it like vacuuming a living room rug, and then writing reports to administration that he was the most disruptive patient they had.

Unlike most patients, this guy used to be an architect for city engineering. So, he fired away letters to the Patients' Committee, and to the chief physician.

In twenty years, I've experienced a culture change in attitudes of many newer hospital workers since I first became a patient in the 1990's. The Sue Rodriguez and Robert Latimer events kick-started the decline toward animalistic behaviour by more and more nurses and their assistants in recent years.

This guy, Greywizard doesn't waste time in wielding their latest weapon, religion, to hang a big guilt-complex noose around anybody's throat who opposes legalized killings.

The Death Cult have a website on a government website, which I wrote something on a few months ago. It's supposedly some master-piece of historical knowledge of euthanasia throughout the milleniums, and who would dare question the authenticity of such academic research but a BadBoy???

In Canada they are so upset that "religious laws" they claim are "outdated" are what has defeated KILL-BILLS here. Just blame it on those Christians.

If they dared to pull something like that on the Muslims, their Death Cult offices and homes would become a war-zone. But, they can blame and accuse Christians of anything they want to, and get away with it.

If all they can do is accuse the Criminal Code of being "outdated religious laws", I think they are just outdated themselves--not the Canadian laws! So, officer Ironsides is always happy to suggest that unhappy Canadian foreigners can hand in their citizenship papers, and go home.

Any Canadian-born complainers also can immigrate to more up-to-date countries, where KILL-BILLS are the way to happiness.--LOL!

I think a national debate on euthanasia is a waste of time. I don't think it should be put on the table. No law is needed, because the laws they have gotten passed only protect criminals from prosecution.

Do you have any cases you know of which did go to trial, anywhere they have their laws?--I'm talking about Holland, Switzerland, Oregon and Washington state? Has even one involuntary killing been taken to court, since their laws went into effect to legalize voluntary assisted-suicide?

If not, I rest my case, that euthanasia/assisted-suicide laws only protected the executioners!--Not the victims! Therefore, I'm totally against any such debate.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Ironsides is a witness to the care many Canadians, like himself, receive. Whenever I receive a comment from Ironsides, I take it to heart because he knows the truth from personal experience.

Ironsides has witnessed the growth of negative attitudes towards people with disabilities and other vulnerable people.

He refers to those who promote euthanasia as the death cult. I think he is right. If you read the newsletters and postings from the death cult, and then compare them to other cultish writings, voila they appear to be the same.

Finally, changing the laws will only protect the killers. We need to protect people like Ironsides.

We need to heed the warnings of Ironsides.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Ironsides is right about his concerns that the doctors who kill someone involuntarily in the Netherlands, Belgium or other jurisdictions where it is legal are rarely charged and never prosecuted.

Therefore the concept that we need to legalize killing in order to regulate it is ridiculous.

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Ironsides said...

Alex, today I received an email from someone about this older post.

That's amazing! People still stuble across these older posts. It makes it worth posting, when we know people are reading.

I want to say "thankyou" to the reader.--And to you for publishing it.

Take care!