Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bill C-384 received its first-hour of debate on March 16th (again)

The first-hour of debate (again) on Bill C-384, the bill that is sponsored by Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l'Île, BQ) to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada took place, yesterday on March 16, 2010.

Bill C-384 was introduced at first-reading on May 13, 2009. It had its first-hour of debate on October 2, 2009 and it was scheduled for its second-hour of debate for November 16, 2009. Lalonde then traded-backwards in the order of precedence three times to delay the second-hour of debate and vote on Bill C-384. Then Prime-Minister Harper prorogued parliament. Since C-384 had not been voted-on at second reading, therefore prorogation returned C-384 to requiring a first and second-hour of debate before it could be voted-on at Second Reading.

Lalonde’s strategy: Create confusion concerning Bill C-384, euthanasia and assisted suicide and pressure Members of Parliament (MP) to pass the bill at second reading and amendment it in committee.

Lalonde began her speech in parliament by annunciating her strategy to pressure MP’s to support Bill C-384 at second-reading and to amend it in committee. Lalonde stated:

“I think that studying my bill in committee and passing it after consideration and amendments would at last rid us of the criminal nature of physician-assisted dying by euthanasia or assisted suicide.”

Bill C-384 is fatally flawed. There is nothing redeeming or worth amending in the bill.

*Bill C-384 legalizes lethal injection for people who suffer chronic physical and mental pain even when the condition is treatable.

*Bill C-384 is not limited to competent people. It legalizes lethal injection for people who “appear to be lucid”. You are not required to be lucid only to appear to be lucid.

Lalonde then begins her second strategy which is to create confusion about what euthanasia and assisted suicide is and what Bill C-384 does. Lalonde states:

“In a context where any act aimed at shortening life is considered murder punishable by criminal sanctions, it is rather difficult to have an open and frank discussion on all the care that would be appropriate at the end of life.”

“The Canadian legal framework, the Criminal Code, stipulates that any action to end another person’s life constitutes murder and is therefore subject to criminal sanctions.”

Lalonde’s comments are false and misleading.

Euthanasia is when a person (usually a physician) directly and intentionally causes the death of another person, based on suffering. Euthanasia is usually done by lethal injection.

Assisted Suicide is when a person aids, abets or counsels a person to commit suicide. Assisted suicide is usually done by writing a prescription for a lethal dose.

Lalonde's statements relate to the false comments by the Quebec College of Physicians who argue that euthanasia needs to be legalized to protect doctors who use sedation techniques and large doses of morphine, acts that they claim are the same as euthanasia.

The proper use of morphine and other analgesics is not euthanasia. The proper use of analgesics will relieve a person of pain and if the rare and unintended consequence is the death of the person, then it is clearly not euthanasia but rather the reality that death is a natural end for the human person. The abuse of the use of analgesics may be euthanasia and should never be confused with the effective and proper use of morphine.

The proper use of sedation techniques are not euthanasia, but rather a good form of palliative care. When a person is properly sedated to relieve them of pain, this is not euthanasia, but the abuse of the use of sedation techniques may be euthanasia.

I am concerned that false and misleading comments concerning the proper use of sedation and analgesics to effectively control pain may lead some physicians to hesitate from using large doses of analgesics or hesitate from sedating a person who is experiencing painful symptoms. This would be a tragic.

Lalonde also asked the question: “What will the parliament of Canada do?” if the Quebec government commission that is seeking information on euthanasia and assisted suicide, introduces a motion in the Quebec legislature to legalize euthanasia?

Lalonde promotes the myth that her bill is strict and limited. She stated:
“My bill has a specific objective. It deals only with people capable of making decisions for themselves who are living in conditions of suffering that cannot be alleviated.“

“My bill is specific and limited”

Bill C-384 is wide open and uncontrollable.

It allows euthanasia (lethal injection) and assisted suicide (lethal prescription) for people who are experiencing physical or mental pain or terminally ill, who have accepted or rejected effective treatments, and who appear to be lucid.

Bill C-384 is not limited to terminally ill people. It allows euthanasia for someone who is experiencing chronic physical or mental pain, who have rejected effective treatment, even if that effective treatment was for chronic depression, and who appear to be lucid.

Bill C-384 would allow someone who lives with treatable chronic depression to be killed by lethal injection.

This is a bill that specifically targets people with disabilities who live with chronic conditions.

C-384 is a recipe for elder abuse. A person only needs to appear to be lucid and the bill does not require a witness at the time of death to ensure that the person who died, actually consented.

Lalonde is creating confusion about what euthanasia and assisted suicide is and what Bill C-384 does. She is pressuring MP’s to vote for Bill C-384 at second reading, even if they don’t actually support the bill, to allow the bill to be debated and amended in the justice committee.

Lalonde is constantly repeating a lie with the hope that the lie becomes accepted as a fact.

Bill C-384 needs to be defeated at second reading. Tell your MP to vote against Bill C-384.


Pauline from Coquitlam, BC said...

You would think after the third attempt at writing up a bill, Madame Lalonde would finally get it right. I listened to the debate on Tuesday and the woman made absolutely no sense at all, in that she had no statistics to back up any of her remarks. It is my belief the loopholes in her so-called one and half page bill are intentional, and it would be a national disaster if it ever made it to committee. We have only to read up on what is happening in Europe and the USA regarding euthanasia and assisted suicide to realize the cat and mouse game she is playing with this bill to get it passed. Offering lethal injection to terminally ill patients in our aging Canadian society alone would exterminate a large portion of Canadians, thus cutting medical costs and end-of-life palliative care. That's one way of bringing down the deficit. Then we can work on the next groups on the food chain to go, the disabled and the depressed. Go Canada Go!!!

Edellen said...

Hello, I listened to the March 16th debate too and, although I do not perceive Ms. Lalonde as exactly scheming to decieve her fellow MP's and the Canadian voting population, I agree that her private members bill is so flawed that no non-partisan would consider supporting such a poorly constructed piece of legislation. In fact, during the debate, not even the NDP delegate could agree that our country is presently ready to accept euthanasia ( assisted suicide aside). As was said, this bill would require us to consider 're-constituting' our criminal code. ( my paraphrase ) Even Ms. Lalonde's same research sources as to the rationale for suicider patients proported that about 23% of those consenting to lethal injections were due to pain and suffering concerns. Of course, everyone is sympathetic and wants to be compassionate with the type of graphic pain she reports in her presentation. " The type of pain that stabs to the follicles of your hair" however, as the Conservative MP suggested, that means we need to improve and increase our hospices and palliative care practise not introduce a cheaper means of eliminating our health care costs. Not surprisingly the majority 75%ers described in a compilation of studies, did not want to continue their life being a burden on themselves, loved ones or society according to the Bill C-384 opposing speakers. This bill, in addition to its muddled, vague and unclear language relies on the notion that such patients are able and willing to provide informed and responsible consent. Which is nearly an impossibility given the nature of the situation. To say it would cause a split in the medical profession, which is already teetering on the edge over other such culture of life versus death issues, is a mild understatement. No politician in his/her right mind and constituency representation would consider supporting this " ticking Timex". In fact we need to hit 911 and dispatch the bomb squad asap before it causes our country any more real and lasting damage.

Ironsides said...

Alex, after reading the email the other night, I wrote an opinion about the transcript.

The next day, I tried to do a poll here of nurses and PA's (nurse assistants), but didn't really pen-and-paper stats. The few answers I got before I just dropped it showed that many people can't understand poll questions.

My question was very simple:

Q: Do you believe that Canada needs a law on euthanasia/assisted-suicide?

Most answers were "yes".

Two answered "that's private", although they would not say that if somebody else conducted the poll.

One said "no".

One PA who originally sayd "yes", changed their mind, when I asked if people here don't die with dignity. When I further asked them if they think people are being forced to stay alive longer than they want to, they said "no". They went on to say, after I asked if this hospital's palliative-care is not doing good enough for patients--"no"! It's just that they feel patients need to have an option of euthanasia/assisted-suicide.

Then I further had to clarify that the question was not if you think patients should have the option available; the question was, do you believe a law is needed?

With a clearer understanding, the PA and one nurse absolutely oppose a law being passed.

This I'm posting here, Alex, because you and Margaret Dore plus legilators need to understand that this hospital is appreciated by most people, in how they handle palliative-care.

The people who answered "that's private" were being deliberately snobby about it, for which I told them flat-out, "it's an obvious yes"!

This makes this continuous campaign of legalizing DEATH--dangerous! First of all, this illustrates the level of comprehension many nurses and PA's have about ethical health-care. Even though many of these people are working in hospitals with considerate and caring doctors and nurses, their peers and co-workers think there is still a need for a law on euthanasia/assisted-suicide.

Alex, I think if there was mandatory education seminars for nurses and PA's to be taught what is going on, and to realize there is a difference between having an option, and needing a law for an option, I'm persuaded that you will have a checkmate on the chess-board! The show of support for passing a law in this country will drastically shrink.

The way alot of hospital workers think is pretty universal, and their level of comprehension is equally universal.

I really believe that you and Margaret Dore might want to organize sessions to do in hospitals, and to capitalize on the hospitals which are doing well, and their staffs are not populated by euthanasia pushers.

You might want to ask hospital care-givers if the nonstop campaign the Duty-to-Die movement are on, has an adverse effect on their job? You could ask if they feel that their patients are not happy with the care they receive before they die?

I think this strategy is important, because I doubt that dying patients have cursed the nurses and PA's for the care they received when dying.

Even my wife left the workers with a good feeling, that she was thankful for how they helped her in the last few days.

Some workers made my wife's life miserable with their attitudes many times. However, in her last stage, after her liver and kidneys shutdown, she was very nice to those who cared for her.

Realistically, I feel that most hospital care-givers who support a law right now, will change their minds when you ask how many of their own patients who died, cursed them because they were forced to live too long.

Please email a reply to this at: !