Friday, June 3, 2016

Covenant Health in Alberta will not participate in euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last February, Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton stated clearly that Covenant Health will not participate in acts of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

A few days ago, CBC news reported that Alberta's Associate health minister stated that:
physicians and other health-care workers will not be forced to take part in this procedure if it goes against their beliefs. She said procedures are being set up to move patients, if necessary.

"We're working to set out a framework of protocols and processes to ensure that if a patient in a facility where medical assistance in dying is not available, that there will be a process in place for transfer of care likely through Alberta Health Services,"
Payne stated that this framework for transferring patients will be in place by June 6.

Covenant Health has proven that protecting Conscience rights requires a clear and united position by health care professionals and institutions. Thank you Covenant Health.


gadfly said...

Let's hope the pro euts don't decide to make a whiny case out of this. My rejoinder to them if that happens would be: "Are you going to personally kill the patient, then?" If we live in a democracy, and if we have freedom of choice, and if we have autonomy, then we must admit and allow those who object to not only verbally object: they must be able to refuse participation. It's sad to say, but this is appropriate. Let's hope other health organizations get the courage to stand also.

Voice of Gone Ballistic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tony Burns said...

Archbishop Smith's lack of empathy is shameful.

Tony Burns said...

In response to AK Rhodes gottcha question "Are you going to personally kill the patient, then?" the answer is yes, if I had the proper training and followed the guidelines.

Jule Koch said...

Tony Burns - do you mean that Archbishop Smith's refusal to inject people with poison is a lack of empathy?

Tony Burns said...

Julie Koch, the archbishop's refusal to respect the legal request of someone who finds their situation unbearable and whose only relief will come with death and who would rather let them suffer longer shows a lack of empathy for the patient.

Inject with poison? Is that how you think it might work? Does the archbishop forbid the use of chemo-therapy at Covenant Health Centre?

New Catholic said...

There are way too many Tony Burns' in the world!!

Tony Burns said...

Jule Koch, Apologies for the typo of your name.

New Catholic, Did you have something to contribute to this conversation? Would you care to explain what you mean by your unsupported personal attack? I'd like the opportunity to respond.

All you could know about me from this thread is that I support a person's right to choose. My comments here started with the Archbishop telling everyone at the Covenant Health Centre that he will decide for them. Shame.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Tony:

Killing another person is not compassionate or merciful, but rather having power over the life of the other. Bill C-14 will give doctors and nurse practitioners the right to decide who lives and who dies. The law gives them the power to end your life.

As for Covenant Health, they also have the right to decide if they want to participate in killing or not. They have decided not to participate in killing. They are not telling you what to do, they are telling you what they will not do.

New Catholic said...

Tony Burns: Alex said it all. There are too many people that think they have the right to take another's life, hence too many TONY BURNS. Covenant Health is not going to participate which currently they have the right to do. If THAT right is challenged by people like you, it is wrong.

Tony Burns said...

Dear Alex:

We disagree on the compassion of shortening the suffering of one who requests help. Refusing shows a lack of compassion in my book but I support the right of an individual to do so.

If you object to having power over life and death then how do you justify the Archbishop's decision as not being an exercise of power over life and death? By refusing to participate he is exercising that power. The law gives the patient the right to request a shortening of their suffering. It does not give blanket authority to kill at will.

I respect the Archbishop's personal choice to not help. I assume he is not medically qualified to participate and if that's true I would not want him to participate. If a qualified practitioner refuses I equally respect their choice although I see a lack of compassion.

The Archbishop however feels he has the right to deny the choice of others. That includes not only those who request an end to their suffering but also any compassionate practitioner at Covenant Health whose deeply held belief is that they should alleviate suffering if asked. Shame on him.

You argue as though Covenant Health is a person and has the rights of a person. Sorry, that's just plain wrong. This is not about Covenant Health but about the Archbishop's sense of entitlement and privilege.

Tony Burns said...

Dear New Catholic,

I see by the time stamp on your response that you had not seen my response to Alex. I hope you have seen it now and that it helped clarify some things.

In direct response to your comment:

Where is your compassion? We are talking about people who are suffering unbearably and who have requested assistance to maintain some level of dignity and peace. It seems your response is to let them suffer.

You couch your position against compassionate response to a sincere request in terms that imply this acknowledgement of suffering gives blanket permission to mass murderers. "There are too many people who think they have the right to take another's life ..." I encourage you to avoid the fear mongerers.

How would you respond to this hypothetical situation?

A loved one is suffering unbearable pain that cannot be acceptably ameliorated by medication and is expected to die shortly. They know all this and beg you to shorten this suffering by bringing death, the only solution and the inevitable outcome, closer.

Do you say "No. I prefer that your suffering continue" or do you lovingly, with tears in your eyes and sorrow in your heart grant their last wish? If the former how do you justify your decision?

This is not ruthless people thinking they have the right to take a life but rather compassionate people performing and act of mercy that under other circumstances they would never consider.

New Catholic said...

Tony Burns: I suspect you are more a Catholic hater than actually caring about who or why they refuse to provide the "service". And you have obviously been convinced that this law will have no abuses or loopholes. That sir is PLAIN WRONG to quote your words.

Tony Burns said...

Because the comments here are moderated it makes it sometimes look like one is responding to a comment that appears directly above it. By not knowing the when the comment was approved it is hard to see the real relationships. While it could be assumed that New Catholic's response time stamped 10:57 is a response to my 2:34 comment it is not possible as neither of these appeared on the site at midnight June 10.

With that in mind New Catholic, I await your reaction to my June 10 2:34 PM posting.

New Catholic said...

Tony Burns: My 10:57 comment was in response to your 2:34 comment. I have been around five personal deaths which were all dealt with in a compassionate manner by all personnel involved. NONE of them involved KILLING. You have been sucked in by the hype that thousands of people want to be killed when dying and obviously refuse to accept the fact a law like this, written the way it is, has many potential loopholes for abuse. If you believe our government is worried about protecting life and will have any oversight to this new killing law, you live in a dream world. Discussing this with people with your mindset is as difficult as nailing Jello on a wall.

Tony Burns said...

Dear New Catholic,

I wish I had made a note or taken a screen capture at the time. My memory is that I looked at this site close to midnight on June 10 and neither my comment from 2:34 PM nor yours from 10:57 were available. Around 8 AM June 11 I received a notice via email that both our posts were available and Gmail said the notification was 4 hours old. I remember thinking that Alex must have been up late but maybe the notification process is automated at some level. In any case, how could you respond at 10:57 to a comment I could not see at midnight? Do you have special access to the blog? If so full disclosure would be nice.

On to the matters at hand. I did not know “that thousands of people want to be killed”. If you have a citation for that I'd love to see it but in any case the number is irrelevant to this discussion. This whole issue is about the right to choose. My position is that everyone should be given that right.

If there is any “hype” around this issue it is from the conspiracy theorists who claim this is just a way to get rid of unwanted people. Let me assure you that if that ever turned out to be true those of us who are pro-choice will be screaming as loud as any of the anti-choice crowd. Getting rid of unwanted people goes against pro-choice in the strongest sense.

Of the five personal deaths you have been around how many of those asked that their suffering be brought to an end via assisted dying? If none asked then your experience is meaningless in the context of this discussion. If any did and their wish was not carried out because it was against the law then the new law is here to allow a compassionate response to that request.

You maintain that there is a possibility of abuse and that is true of any legislation. I would not support or condone any sort of abuse and will condemn any and all who may do that. Just as I hope you would. I also feel that the legislators should do what they can to try to foresee and thwart possible abuse. To expect a perfect law on any issue is unrealistic but the legislators must do the best they can. Do you have a position on this issue other than denying all choice?

I respect, support and will fight for your right to choose to accept whatever suffering comes your way in the end but I hope that you will not suffer and therefore not have to make that decision.

I hope I have a peaceful death with minimal suffering too but I do want the right to ask for assistance to die peacefully should my suffering be intolerable and I object to you or anyone else telling me I cannot choose. What is it that makes you feel you have that right over my life?

Finally, you have accused me of hating Catholics, I don't, the only time Catholic was mentioned other than in your id was by you. I in no way thought of this as Catholic in any sense. You have more than once wished that my kind be eliminated from the face of the earth. You have built a strawman, named it Tony Burns and viciously attacked it. Let's let the readers decide if there is any hate in these comments.

I have treated you with respect and patience. It would be nice if you could do the same. Take a page from Alex' book. He respectfully disagreed with me and I responded in kind.

If you want to continue discussing this as adults I look forward to it.