Thursday, January 3, 2019

CBC news promotes expansion of Canada's euthanasia law

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

CBC news really can't help themselves. Last week CBC produced a one-sided report pressuring St Martha's hospital in Nova Scotia to participate in euthanasia and today CBC is promoting the expansion of euthanasia in Canada to children, incompetent people and for psychiatric conditions alone.

On December 12, the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) released three reports concerning: euthanasia for children, euthanasia for incompetent people who previously asked for euthanasia, and euthanasia for people with psychiatric conditions alone.

My concern is not with CBC reporting on the euthanasia but rather the one-sided report. CBC will claim that they offered both sides by quoting representatives from the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Catholics and Evangelicals have valid positions but CBC wants people to think that only religious people oppose killing children, incompetent people or people with mental illness.

CBC interviewed a representative of the euthanasia lobby who focus on the Audrey Parker campaign to extend euthanasia to incompetent people who made an advanced request. Parker died on November 1 stating that she wanted to live longer but feared losing her right to die if she became incompetent.

The CCA report recognized the problem with euthanasia based on advanced request by stating:
Allowing ARs for MAID could provide comfort and relieve anxiety and distress at end of life for people who want to receive MAID, but are concerned about losing decision-making capacity prior to the procedure. However, removing a requirement for express consent immediately prior to the MAID procedure raises the possibility that a person might receive MAID against their wishes.
CBC then focuses on Child euthanasia by interviewing Dr Dawn Davies who led the working group on euthanasia for "mature minors" who stated:
evidence shows that some minors could capably make the decision to end their own lives, while others could not — a situation common in youth health care across the board. 
"That's where practitioners need to be careful and focus their attention and really scrutinize the young person's capacity to make a decision,"
The concept of child euthanasia is very unpopular in Canada.
The CBC article moved onto the issue of psychiatric euthanasia by emphasizing that people have decision making capacity for unless it is determined otherwise. But euthanasia is not based on decision making capacity alone, but rather it requires that a person's natural death must be forseeable.

As I stated in my article on the CCA report was negative to the concept of euthanasia for psychiatric conditions alone. Dr Kwame McKenzie told CBC news:
much more study and research must be done before Parliament makes any change to the law. Information from other jurisdictions can't be compared to Canada, which is a distinct culture with different health services and its own set of values. 
"It's not clear that we have ways of measuring peoples' capacity to make decisions that are robust enough so that we wouldn't make mistakes one way or the other,"
The CCA report was strongly negative to the idea of euthanasia for psychiatric reasons alone and it recognized that if Canada were to expand our euthanasia law in this manner that Canada would have the most liberal euthanasia in the world.

CBC has promoted euthanasia for a long-time, so now that it is legal it doesn't surprise me that they would be promoting the expansion of the euthanasia law.

For more information on the CCA euthanasia reports please consult the following links:

1 comment:

Paul Anderson said...

Yes, definitely the CBC has been actively promoting expanded access to MAiD. I've commented on the one-sided presentation in the articles on the CBC News website a number of times. I've also written directly to one of the authors of this series of what really amount to propaganda articles. Not surprisingly, I have received no reply.

The pro-euthanasia lobby seems determined to frame the issue as being one of personal autonomy and freedom of citizens versus narrow minded "religious groups". I get the sense that the pro-euthanasia folks are putting a lot of energy into promoting and maintaining this misperception. I have repeatedly challenged CBC to invite groups such as EPC, The Physicians' Alliance Against Euthanasia or Toujours Vivant / Not Dead Yet to contribute articles explaining the non-religious opposition to MAiD, but CBC of course isn't interested.

I wonder whether the CRTC would be interested in CBC's partisan reporting on this issue.