Saturday, December 7, 2013

Caution needed on euthanasia.

Toronto Sun columnists got it right on December 5, 2013 when they published the article: Caution needed on euthanasia on Bill 52, the bill that would decriminalize euthanasia in Quebec.

The Toronto Sun columnists examined life experience that people have with death and dying and then point out that a group of physicians in Quebec oppose the euthanasia bill in Quebec. The article states:

But when doctors question the bill, it must give us pause. Even the secular among us must ask why they are opposed. 
These are palliative care doctors who deal with dying patients. They are wary of administering lethal injections that constitute active euthanasia.
Dr. Gerald van Gurp told the CBC that a patient’s stress from pain can almost always be relieved and those who request euthanasia often only do so in a state of “turmoil”.
The article then focusses on the concerns that decriminalizing euthanasia creates. The article states:
Euthanasia also offers no scope for regrets: We cannot change our decision to die once we have taken that step. ... 
The federal government will certainly review the Quebec bill but perhaps it should also put more funds into better palliative care. 
Patients who need to be kept alive through life support already have the option of being disconnected from their machines. 
One of my relatives requested to be taken off life support because his death was imminent and his condition was worsening. 
However, this is different from lethal injection, a form of active intervention. That requires a more rigorous debate. 
The Quebec bill is one step closer to being passed. Many will claim the province is going down a slippery slope. 
Perhaps the euthanasia debate needs to be replaced by a debate on how to provide better palliative care for patients faced with end-of-life decisions. 
The complex ethics surrounding euthanasia make it one of the most contentious issues in all of human affairs. 
On assisted suicide, governments ought to err on the side of caution rather than radical new policies.
Quebec bill 52 uses deceptive and vague language, ensuring that its "safeguards" are in fact an illusion. Bill 52 would give doctors the right to kill their patients by lethal injection. Bill 52 is not safe.

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