Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Canadian Palliative Care Doctor speaks out against legalizing euthanasia in New Zealand

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Dr Leonie Herx
Dr Leonie Herx, the President of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, spoke out against the legalization of euthanasia in a debate, yesterday, concerning the End of Life Choices bill that is being debated in New Zealand.

A report by Don Satherley published by Newshub reports that Herx urged New Zealander not to legalize euthanasia. Her arguement was based on her experience with euthanasia in Canada. Satherley reports:

Euthanasia has been legal in Canada since 2016, where it's known as medical aid in dying, or MAID. Since then about 8000 have chosen to end their lives this way, Dr Herx says, making up around 1.5 percent of all deaths.
Herx explained that expanding euthanasia is already being pushed. Satherley reported:
"We've had a Superior Court Justice who's said the reasonably foreseeable death clause does not apply - so prognosis is not to be a factor. So anyone with chronic disease, osteoarthritis for example, have been given permission to be euthanised. The Government mandated a taskforce to look at extending the criteria to including mental health."

The Canadian law currently states that their natural death has to be "reasonably foreseeable", ruling out conditions like osteoarthritis and mental health.

It also states they have to be at least 18, but Dr Herx suspects that's about to change.

"The largest children's hospital in Canada - the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children - has already published their guidelines on how euthanasia will occur for mature minors. It includes if the child says they don't want the parent to know, the parent will be informed the child has died after they've received euthanasia."

Dr Herx also says there is discussion on whether to allow advance directives for euthanasia, eg. a person pre-approving their death if they're one day diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia and no longer considered sound of mind.
Dr Herx explained that Canadians did not expect to have this experience with euthanasia.
"These are the types of problems that I don't think anyone expected in Canada. It seems you could put a nice fence around it, but once you let the genie out of the bottle, unfortunately you can't put it back in."

"The reality on the ground is very different than this rosy picture that has been portrayed... Learn from Canada's mistakes."
Dr Herx has been working in palliative care for more than 10 years and has become one of Canada's leading palliative care physicians.


Unknown said...

Thank you for speaking out Dr, Herx

Els said...

Thank you for speaking out against euthanasia Dr Herx, I'm a retired nurse who cared for many palliative patients that died with loving care and dignity when it was their time. I am speechless that they are considering that children may be able a decision about being euthanized without involving the parents! As a parent and now grandparent a can't imagine how devastating that news would be!

Kay Olson said...

Thank you, Dr. Herx.

Mary said...

As Canadians we need to wake up to what this government is willing to do to expand the 'rights' under the MAiD agenda. Dr. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the USA predicted this slippery slope starting with abortion.
We need to start speaking out as Christians and other faith communities to say we will not tolerate this erosion of the value placed on human life. In our country the life of animals is valued more than humans.
This needs to be an issue in the next election.
As an aging Canadian I can only imagine what the next step is when I become old and infirm and am perceived as being a drag on health care dollars.
We need to be very afraid ! And we need to speak out !

Wieslawa Derlatka said...

Thanks for speaking about horror of MAID. I am very disappointed with majority of Canadian physicians which can"t and wont take the stand against MAID

M DEAKIN said...


Annie Law said...

I agree with each of the comments above, and I thank God for caring medical professionals such as Dr. Herx who will speak out and refuse to become involved in this death culture of today. The Toronto Childrens' Hospital used to be the safest place for children but now it is has become the most dangerous place for parents to to send their children. Once the taking of any life is legalized, such as abortion, it never stops there. Once people surrender their God-given conscience to the governments they become seared and killing becomes easy, and the babies, the elderly, the mentally ill, the disabled, and so on become expendable. No one can trust the doctors, nurses, around them or even the hospitals anymore. Many have already had a loved one die in the hospital before their time with Morphine added to their IV drip without their permission or their families. Many have died in Nursing Homes by starvation/dehydration because they signed a paper saying they did not want extreme measures taken to keep them alive if their heart already stopped, or to be put on life support. Feeding and giving of water is not "extreme measures!" We all need to let our voices be heard in letters, or on social media, or both. We are living in a cold Death Culture where you can no longer know for certain which doctors or nurses in hospitals or NH can be trusted to genuinely care about you and which ones cannot wait to kill you.

Unknown said...

Trish Mennitti says:
Thank you for speaking out about this issue. I too am terribly troubled about the ease of euthanasia, especially when offered to a person who sees no other option. While recently going over my son's estate, I realized he chose euthanasia because he ran out of funds from the CSIL program, which chronically underfunded his care. He was sick, tired of fighting, and saw no other way, despite our pleas to try other approaches. My heart is breaking.

JR said...

I would have many comments, but I will limit myself to the area of the 10 day waiting period. We would much prefer not to have to waive that period, but unfortunately, patients often wait too long before starting the process and then realize at the end that they need it in a hurry, but unfortunately for us, the process is a little complicated and often the procedure has to be brought forward. The majority of procedures are done on terminal cancers and advanced neurological complications like ALS. Often, these patients are down to fluids only and would die within a week or so, or loose capacity to consent. The abbreviation of the waiting period has to be agreed to by the two physicians and documented on the record. The coroner always check those facts afterward.
As far as the so-called slippery slope, the slipperiness has always been determined from the beginning of the law being implemented. The Judge mandated that advanced directives, mature minors and psychiatric illnesses would have to be reviewed within five years. We are there. I am adamant that advanced directives should be implemented and mature minors also. As far as psychiatric illnesses, I am happy to bow out and let expert psychiatric specialists look after it.