Monday, September 30, 2019

Letter to Future Prime Minister of Canada from Canadians with disabilities.

Assistance in Living: not Assisted Suicide

(Link to the Press Release)

Two Canadians demand the future Prime Minister of Canada to appeal the recent Quebec ruling that allows people with years to live to prematurely end their lives.


MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA, September 30, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Two Canadians living with disabilities are appealing to the future Prime Minister of Canada during the upcoming elections to appeal the recent Quebec Superior Court judgement which allows people with disabilities who have many years to live to prematurely end their lives. This judgement highlights the dangerous expansion of euthanasia and assisted suicide that currently has killed more than 8000 Canadians from 2016-2019.

 
Lisa D'Amico
Lisa D’Amico now in her 50s was born with cerebral palsy. She is President of Victims of Medical Errors which defends the rights of people with disabilities.

 
She lives in extreme poverty with an annual income of about $12,000 CDN yearly from the government’s social programme. Often she cannot afford more than one meal a day. She cannot afford, physical and hydrotherapy that would help improve her physical condition. Moreover she is unable to significantly supplement her income by part-time work ($2400 CDN yearly) or accept donations of more than $200 CDN to improve her quality of life. She is not even allowed to accept an airplane ticket to go South in the winter. Even when given an opportunity, the government forbids her from leaving the province for more than 7 consecutive days to travel within Canada or abroad, even in winter.

 
According to Lisa “you have a situation of perfect distress for wanting to choose euthanasia."

 
Jonathan Marchand is President of Coop ASSIST (Quebec Cooperative for Independent Living).

 
Jonathan is in his 40s and has lived with a form of muscular dystrophy since the age of 15. After a bout of severe pneumonia, he was hospitalized in the intensive care unit and required an emergency tracheotomy to help him breathe. He is now ventilator dependent and needs assistance. Previously Jonathan worked as a senior computer network engineer in Quebec and overseas in Australia.

 
Jonathan has been forced to live in a government run institution against his will since 2012.
 

Nearly 70% of people with disabilities who need help like Jonathan are institutionalized in Quebec due to the lack of adequate support services in the community. This numbers around 15,000 people in Quebec and 60,000 people in Canada.
 

According to Jonathan "Many doctors offered me euthanasia, which they call "comfort care” to end my life.

Because there is no support services to live outside hospitals for people like me in Quebec, I have to choose between death or live in a hospital or a nursing home for the rest of my life."

 
According to Jonathan this situation exists despite the fact that governments can save millions of dollars to deinstitutionalize people with disabilities.

 
"I have never been offered the possibility of being able to continue my life at home with the help I need. In institutions, you lose autonomy and control over your life.

 
I never asked for help to die, I was getting better.

 
They were ready to help me commit suicide and not provide assistance for me to live. It's not a real choice. "
 

Despite this, he refuses to give up his life, his wife, family and friends.
 
According to Lisa and Jonathan, how can we talk about “assisted suicide and euthanasia” for people with disabilities when they do not even have help to live.

 
What they are asking for is not to die, but rather the support to live in the community to participate and contribute actively to society.

 
Dr Paul Saba
In the end, Dr. Paul Saba who has been a leading advocate for patients’ rights to live, states that Canada's assisted suicide and euthanasia laws have created an open door for abuse and harm for all Canadians, who will one day in their lives face health challenges that will require health and life assistance. "Our Canadian and provincial governments are more interested in legislating death than in promoting better health care and life assistance for all its people. This is extremely unfair.”

 
Information:
Lisa D'Amico T: (514) 593-2927 E: lisadamico2@gmail.com
Jonathan Marchand T: (418)-627-3757 E: jmarchand@coopassist.ca
Dr. Paul Saba T: (514)-886-3447 E: pauljsaba@gmail.com

Dr. Paul Saba
Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice
+1 514-886-3447


Two Canadians Living with Disabilities Want Assistance in Living, Not Assisted Suicide

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Canada: Euthanasia under fire after euthanasia death of depressed patient.

This article was published by Bioedge on September 29, 2019.

By Xavier Symons

Alan Nichols with his brother.
Serious concerns have been raised about the implementation of Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) legislation after a 61-year-old depressed but otherwise healthy man was euthanised in the province of British Columbia.

Alan Nichols, a former school janitor who lived alone and struggled with depression, was admitted to Chilliwack General Hospital, BC, in June after he was found dehydrated and malnourished. He was assessed for MAiD eligibility and in late July received a lethal injection.

His family said that he was not eligible for MAiD and that they begged him not to go through with the procedure.

“I didn’t think he had a sound mind at all”, Gary Nichols, the man’s brother, told CTV News.

“He didn't have a life-threatening disease. He was capable of getting around. He was capable of doing almost anything that you had to do to survive”.
Nichols’ family said they were told about his plan to receive MAiD just four days before he was euthanised.
“I was appalled by all of it and I said we want this stopped, this can’t happen. Our family doesn’t agree with this,” Nichols’ sister-in-law, Trish Nichols, told reporters.

“(The doctor) said, ‘Well, you can’t stop this. Alan is the only person who can stop this.”
The family has asked Canadian police to investigate the case.

MAiD rates in BC are significantly higher than the rest of Canada. 773 people were euthanised in the province in the period January 1st to October 31st 2018.

The controversy surrounding the Nichols’ case come in the wake of a decision by a Quebec judge earlier this month to strike down a provision in the federal MAiD legislation which restricts euthanasia to terminally ill patients.

Superior Court Justice Christine Baudouin ruled that denying suffering patients access to assisted dying is “forcing them to endure harsh physical and psychological suffering.”

“The court has no hesitation in concluding that the requirement that their death has to be reasonably foreseeable is violating the rights to liberty and security of [the plaintiffs]”, Justice Baudouin wrote.

Xavier Symons is deputy editor of BioEdge

Friday, September 27, 2019

Dutch prosecutors ask Supreme Court to clarify euthanasia rules for people with dementia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Prosecutors in the Netherlands have asked the Supreme Court to clarify the euthanasia law, after a court in the Hague expanded the euthanasia law  by acquitting a doctor who euthanized a woman with dementia who resisted the euthanasia injection.
Dutch court expands euthanasia law by acquitting doctor who euthanized a patient with dementia, without effective consent.
The case concerns the euthanasia death of a woman with dementia who resisted. The doctor attempted to sedate the woman by putting the drugs in her coffee but she continued to resist so the doctor had the family hold her down to enable the doctor to lethally inject her.

Prosecutors are not seeking a different decision but rather clarity in the law. The Dutchnew.nl reported:

In particular, officials want clarity about how doctors should deal with patients who are not in a position to confirm their wish to die. The case centres on a 74-year-old woman who had drawn up a living will some years before her admission to the nursing home and had regularly stated that she wanted to die. 
Judges in The Hague ruled that the euthanasia was carried out with proper care and that doctor, who has since retired, did not have to verify her patient’s wish to die with the patient because she was incapable of responding. In addition, the court said it supported the doctor’s decision to put a sedative in the woman’s coffee to calm her before euthanasia drugs could be administered because it had made her as comfortable as possible. The sedation took place in the full knowledge of her family.
It is disturbing that the court, in the Hague, decided that the doctor did not need to verify the wish of the woman with dementia because she was "incapable" of responding. This means that people with dementia lose the right to change their mind.

The decision of the Dutch Supreme Court will likely affect how the Canadian law evolves.

Italian Court opens a wide door to assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Italy's constitutional court opened the door to assisted suicide in its decision in the case concerning Fabiano Antoniani, known as DJ Fabo.

In June 2014, Antoniani experienced a spinal cord injury in a serious car accident. His injuries caused him to become blind and live as person with a tetraplegic condition. 


In February 2017, Marco Cappato, a member of Italy’s Radical party, drove Antoniani to Switzerland where he died by assisted suicide.

The extent of the court decision is not clear. According to the Guardian, the court decided that:

Anyone who “facilitates the suicidal intention … of a patient kept alive by life-support treatments and suffering from an irreversible pathology” should not be punished under certain conditions, the top court ruled.
This statement appears to limit the extent of the decision to people being kept alive on life-support. Further reading suggests that the decision is much wider. The Guardian article stated:
The court said that a patient’s condition must be “causing physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable”. 
Following approval of the decision by a local ethical committee, public health authorities should verify all conditions are met.
By the court using the language “causing physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable” it actually opens assisted suicide to a much wider group of people.

The statement is completely subjective, and similar to the Canadian Carter court decision. This statement is hard to define and nearly impossible to regulate.

Based on 
Antoniani's injuries and the language of the court decision, clearly the Italian court opened the door to assisted suicide based on killing people with disabilities.

I fear that the language of the decision will lead to wide open assisted suicide, unless the government tightly defines the terms and Italian doctors refuse to kill their patients.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Physically healthy depressed man died by euthanasia in BC.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Alan Nichols with his brother.
Watch video: CTV National News: Doctor-assisted death granted


Avis Favaro, the Medical correspondent with CTV News produced an excellent news story concerning the death of Alan Nichols, a 61-year-old man who was physically healthy but lived with chronic depression.

This story clearly shows how the recent Québec court decision that struck down the terminal illness criteria in the law will lead to an expansion of euthanasia, in Canada, to people who are physically healthy but experience psychological suffering.

Favaro interviews the family, and others, about the death of Alan. The news report states:
A British Columbia man who struggled with depression and showed no signs of facing an imminent demise was given a medically-assisted death despite desperate pleas from his loved ones, family members say. 
Alan Nichols was admitted to Chilliwack General Hospital in June, at age 61, after he was found dehydrated and malnourished. One month later, he died by injection. 
Days before his death, family members begged Nichols, a former school janitor who lived alone and struggled with depression, not to go through with the procedure. They still don’t know why doctors approved the life-ending procedure and insist that Nichols did not fit the government criteria of facing an “imminent death.” 
“He didn't have a life-threatening disease. He was capable of getting around. He was capable of doing almost anything that you had to do to survive,” his brother, Gary Nichols, told CTV News. “I didn’t think he had a sound mind at all.” 
The family has asked the RCMP to investigate the case.
Watch video: Trudo Lemmens of the University of Toronto says clearer criteria on whether MAID is appropriate is needed.

Favaro described Alan's health condition. She reported:
Alan Nichols was 12 when he first underwent brain surgery for a non-malignant tumour. Over time he lost his hearing in both ears and had a cochlear implant. 
But he finished school and worked much of his life. He developed depression but his family said he was doing well on medications. 
Nichols relied on his father to manage his day-to-day life. But when his father died in 2004, Nichols’ life went into a tailspin. He stopped taking the antidepressant and often became angry, said his family. 
Nichols wanted to live on his own, so his brother Wayne would visit him once a week, for groceries and banking. A neighbour would help out as well. 
But family members and the neighbour say Nichols would isolate himself. He got rid of all his furniture except for a chair and a bed. Family members said if something upset him, he would stop eating. Yet he refused to see a doctor or take his medications. 
“He would have maybe a period, a year, he would be very easy to deal with and make some decent changes. But then he would fall back into a very depressed state,” said his brother Gary Nichols. “Not going out in public, not seeing anybody, not eating properly.”
Watch video: "Who do we trust? Where do we go?"

The family was concerned about Alan and they unsuccessfully sought guardianship for his care. The family stated that Alan did not fit the criterion for euthanasia, Favaro reported:
As soon as Nichols’ family found out that he was in hospital, brothers Wayne and Gary went to see him. They say that, at first, Nichols wanted to leave hospital, but that family agreed with police that he needed medical help. 
“We thought this would be the best place for him to get back on track,” Gary said. “We would never have allowed this to happen if we knew the outcome.” 
From there, the family says, things became difficult. They say the hospital did not give them much information on Nichols’ case. Staff told the family that he was doing well but he did not want to speak with family. 
“I was always led on to believe that he was doing good,” Gary said. “They never informed me of any (medical assistance in dying) application.” 
On July 22, they received a shocking phone call from a doctor who said that, in four days’ time, Nichols was scheduled for an assisted death. According to the family, the doctor said they couldn’t provide any other information, including the medical reason for the procedure. 
“I started crying,” Gary said. “I was at work and never thought it would get to that. Just never thought he would ever be approved even if he applied for it.” 
Nichols’ sister-in-law, Trish Nichols, called the doctor to get more information. 
“I was appalled by all of it and I said we want this stopped, this can’t happen. Our family doesn’t agree with this,” she said.
“(The doctor) said, ‘Well, you can’t stop this. Alan is the only person who can stop this.”
The family tried to stop the lethal injection but the hospital said that only Alan can stop the euthanasia, even though the family insisted that Alan was not competent.
At the hospital, the family was told that two doctors had approved Nichols’ application for a medically assisted death, and that a psychologist and psychiatrist were there to assess Nichols’ competence. 
The family was not given access to those medical records. They still don’t know what grounds doctors used to approve the application. 
Nichols’ death certificate lists MAID, or medically assisted death, as his immediate cause of death. Officials also listed three “antecedent causes” connected to his death including a stroke, seizure disorder and “frailty.” 
Other “significant conditions” not directly contributing to his death include the tumour he suffered as a child and a shunt to help relieve pressure on his brain.

Under Canadian law, assisted death can only be offered to patients who are considered as having “a grievous and irremediable medical condition.” According to federal guidelines, a patient must meet four criteria.
The family urged the hospital to stop the process:
“Alan did not fit the criteria. Alan was capable of talking, he was sitting up, he was eating, he was going to the bathroom, we were laughing, he was out of bed,” Trish said. 
“I knew by looking at him that he still had living to do. He was not near the end of his life.” 
Family members pressured the hospital to postpone the procedure. They argued that, at one time, Nichols had agreed to look at moving into an assisted-living facility. 
But Nichols became angry, the family says, and at one point accused them of not being his “blood family.” 
They also say that Nichols told them, “It’s done. It’s going to happen.” 
Hospital staff said that the decision was up to Nichols. 
“We were told we couldn't stop it,” Trish said. 
“I said, listen, I want to see Alan's signature that he wants this procedure. I want to see the doctors that have signed for this. We have a right to see this information. (The doctor) said the only person that could release that information was Alan. At that point, to me, I knew things were way out of whack … How can you allow this with Alan, knowing his background of mental anguish and depression?”
Favaro interviews Michael Bach, the managing director of the Institutes for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society who reviewed the family’s report and said it raises many questions – particularly when it comes to what constitutes an “imminent death.” Bach states:
"This case exposes concerns that a number of legal experts and assisted health professionals have had since the legislation was introduced," Bach told CTV's Your Morning. 
There were 773 medically assisted deaths in B.C. from January 1 to October 31, 2018, compared to 1,211 in Ontario for the same time period. 
Bach referred to a B.C.-based advocacy group made up of doctors and lawyers who suggest "the reasonable foreseeable natural death requirement doesn't mean that you actually have to be at the end of life." 
"And so we're in a situation where we have a number of health professionals and lawyers which have been advocating for wide-open access with no clarification from the government of Canada," Bach said. 
"All of us should be concerned about this."
This is the family that EPC has been working with to attain justice. 

A UK man received a suspended sentence after killing his mother by pushing her off a balcony.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Direction, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Langley Lodge Care Home in Essex UK
Robert Knight, in the UK, plead guilty to manslaughter for killing his mother, June Knight who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

According to the BBC news, Knight was cleared of murder and received a two year suspended sentence for pushing his mother off of the balcony at the care home where she lived. The case referred to as a "mercy killing". The BBC news report stated:

Knight placed his mother on a railing before pushing her to her death on 10 December, Basildon Crown Court heard. 
He was cleared of murder and was sentenced to two years in prison suspended for two years. 
Sentencing Knight at Basildon Crown Court, Judge Samantha Leigh said: "You are someone who acted out of love and desperation. 
"You have been punished enough and you have to live with what you have done."
She added that it had been a "very sad case" and described it as a "mercy killing".
Caring not killing
Essex Police Detective, Daniel Stoten, told BBC news:

Det Ch Insp Daniel Stoten said the jury had agreed that Knight had suffered a loss of control when he killed his mother. 
He said: "I do not doubt that Robert Knight loved his mother deeply, but his actions were deplorable and they have affected many, many people."
The sentence must be appealed.

I recognize that Alzheimer's is a difficult condition, but a suspended sentence for killing a mother with Alzheimer's offers a green light to others experiencing similar situations. The message to society is that Alzheimer's makes you a second class citizen and that the court will deal leniently when these people are killed.

Everyone deserves to be cared for, not killed.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Belgian doctor charged with murder of four patients.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

CHR van Hoei Hospital
A doctor in Belgium has been charged with murder in the deaths of four patients in the palliative care department of the CHR van Hoei Hospital. 

An article published by Nieuwsblad.be stated (google translated):
The court has suspected a doctor from Tihange of four murders. The man, who worked in the palliative care department of the CHR van Hoei Hospital, is believed to have killed at least four patients with a syringe of morphine mixed with other substances. "Because they were suffering". 
The four victims fell in one weekend in 2017, when the doctor was on duty. The investigation started after an anonymous complaint that had arrived at the hospital. 
The court is also investigating four other "irregular deaths that did not proceed according to the law on euthanasia". Two cases of patients who survived the deadly syringe are also being investigated. 
The doctor, who has since been dismissed, was arrested but released under strict conditions. He must keep himself available to the judiciary.
Even though Belgium has the most tolerant euthanasia laws, they still have doctors who are killing outside of the law. It also sounds like the doctor is using a "mercy killing" defense to suggest that he had no choice because they were suffering.

The Belgian government has not dealt with the fact that a 2015 study showed that more than 1000 people died by assisted death without request in 2013. In every jurisdiction in the world, data, such as this would create great concern, but in Belgium it is simply a statistic.

Euthanasia is problematic because, what is properly defined as murder becomes a legal act when a doctor follows the protocol. The doctor who doesn't follow the protocol breaks the law. The crime is then breaking the protocol and not murder and yet from the beginning it is murder.

St. Martha's Catholic hospital will not provide euthanasia on-site.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



Last week I wrote that a campaign by Jocelyn Downie, the academic euthanasia activist at Dalhousie University, has resulted in St. Martha's hospital in Antigonish NS being forced to provide MAiD (euthanasia) within the Catholic hospital.
Catholic hospital is forced to provide MAiD (euthanasia) in Nova Scotia (Link).
Yesterday I received the press release from St Martha's hospital explaining that MAiD (better known as euthanasia) will not be provided by St. Martha's hospital but at the Antigonish Health and Wellness Centre.

The Sisters of St. Martha, state in their media release:

...The Nova Scotia Health Authority has assured us that Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) will not take place in St. Martha's Regional Hospital.
We do not own St. Martha's Regional Hospital or the building called the Antigonish Health and Wellness Centre.
We continue to uphold the Mission and Values of St. Martha's Regional Hospital for quality compassionate health care. ...
Therefore Downie has not achieved her goal of imposing euthanasia (MAiD) upon a Catholic hospital. Downie will continue to pressure religiously affiliated healthcare institutions to provide euthanasia. Downie stated in The Global News article from last week:
“Governments and health authorities have failed to insist that faith-influenced, publicly funded institutions permit MAiD within their walls,” she said. 
The battle has only just begun.

Downie began her campaign, in December 2018, to force St Martha's hospital into doing euthanasia with an article in the Chronicle Herald.

In late December, Canada's national broadcaster, CBC news, featured a program designed to pressure St Martha's hospital to euthanize their patients.

 
The most recent news articles confirm what I originally stated, that Downie targeted St. Martha's hospital as a first step in a campaign to force all religiously affiliated health care institutions into participating in MAiD.

 
The euthanasia lobby will continue to pressure religiously based healthcare institutions to provide euthanasia on their premises. Religiously based medical institutions must continue to say NO.


I urge religiously based healthcare institutions to maintain their ethics and refuse to provide euthanasia.

Webinar: Disability Rights Opposition to Assisted Suicide laws.

Announcing!
Webinar: Disability Rights Opposition
To Assisted Suicide Laws
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 
3:00-4:30 pm Eastern Time
What Will You Gain By Attending:
  • Familiarity with the key issues, arguments and common questions
  • Materials that explain, detail, and document individual cases of assisted suicide problems and abuses
  • Understanding what disability has to do with assisted suicide
Speakers:
  • Anita Cameron, Director of Minority Outreach, Not Dead Yet
  • Diane Coleman, President/CEO, Not Dead Yet
  • Marilyn Golden, Senior Policy Analyst, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
  • John Kelly, Director, Second Thoughts Massachusetts
Topics Include:
  • What is Assisted Suicide?
  • What’s disability got to do with it?
  • Deadly mix between assisted suicide & pressures to cut healthcare costs
  • Elder and disability abuse; effects on other constituencies
  • Palliative care and palliative sedation can address pain
  • Failure of so-called “safeguards”
  • Minimal data and fatally flawed oversight, no investigation of abuse
  • Suicide contagion
  • What’s happening in Canada and other countries?
  • Take action!
For More Information: mgolden@dredf.org

Saturday, September 21, 2019

BC court agrees to drop court case concerning the definition of terminal illness in Canada's euthanasia law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On September 10 I reported that the Lamb euthanasia court case) may soon be dropped based on new interpretations of Canada's euthanasia law. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition was an intervenor in the Lamb case. 

My predictions were based on the request by the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), who were representing Julia Lamb, that the BC Court agree to drop the challenge to the section of Canada's euthanasia law requiring that a person's "natural death be reasonably forseeable" before qualifying for euthanasia.

The BCCLA argued that a wider interpretation of the euthanasia law made the legal challenge unnecessary as Julia Lamb was now assessed as "qualifying" for euthanasia.

Kelly Grant, reporting for The Globe and Mail confirmed my comments in an article on September 18 explaining why the court agreed to drop the challenge to the euthanasia law. Grant wrote:

Ms. Lamb’s case, which was scheduled to go to trial in November, took an unusual turn when the federal government’s medical expert explained in a written submission that Ms. Lamb would, in fact, be eligible for an assisted death – largely because a consensus has developed in the medical community over the past three years that a patient’s death does not have to be imminent to count as reasonably foreseeable.
On September 11, the Quebec Superior Court struck down the same requirement that a person be terminally ill before they qualify for euthanasia in Canada. It is possible that the BCCLA knew that the Quebec Superior Court was likely to strike this section of the law, but I am convinced that the BCCLA wanted the case dropped because in October 2017, the Supreme Court of BC ruled that new evidence could be introduced in the Lamb trial. 

Bringing new evidence into the trial led to the case becoming complicated and expensive but it also opened the door to the court providing a tighter interpretation of the provision "natural death must be reasonably forseeable.

Since the BC court agreed to drop the Lamb case, it is incumbent on the federal government to appeal the Quebec Superior court decision to the Supreme Court of Canada, to provide clarity and definition of the law.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Catholic hospital is forced to provide MAiD (euthanasia) in Nova Scotia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


A campaign by Jocelyn Downie, the academic euthanasia activist at Dalhousie University, has resulted in St. Martha's hospital in Antigonish NS being forced to provide MAiD (euthanasia) within the Catholic hospital.

An article by Ross Lord and Alexander Quon, for Global News reported that the Nova Scotia Health Authority said:

“Assessments and provision of MAiD [medical assistance in dying] will be available in a section of St. Martha’s Regional Hospital complex at the Antigonish Health and Wellness Centre.”
The Global News article stated that the euthanasia lobby sees the St. Martha's hospital policy as the first of many euthanasia policies that they intend to impose upon Catholic or religious healthcare institutions. The article reports:
“We hope that this is the start and that Nova Scotia’s regulation, Nova Scotia’s position will be used as a model in other jurisdictions across the country. We’re certainly pushing for that,” said Jim Cowan, chair of Dying with Dignity.
Jocelyn Downie
Jocelyn Downie plans to pressure religiously affiliated healthcare institutions to provide euthanasia. The Global News article states:

“Governments and health authorities have failed to insist that faith-influenced, publicly funded institutions permit MAiD within their walls,” she said.
The reason that the euthanasia lobby focused on St. Martha's hospital is that the sisters had signed an agreement in 1996 where the hospital would maintain Catholic beliefs but be administered by a secular board. St. Martha's was considered an easier target. 
There are dozens of other Catholic hospitals and nursing homes across Canada that forbid medically assisted dying, forcing some assisted dying applicants to sign request forms off-site.
In December, Downie began her campaign to force St Martha's hospital into doing euthanasia with an article in the Chronicle Herald.

In late December, Canada's national broadcaster, CBC news, featured a program pressuring St Martha's hospital to euthanize their patients.

The most recent news article confirms what I stated, last December, that Downie targeted St. Martha's hospital as a first step in a campaign to force all religiously affiliated health care institutions into participating in MAiD.

The euthanasia lobby will now challenge other religiously based healthcare institutions. Religiously based medical institutions need to stand up and say NO. Sadly, Catholic hospitals in Canada already agreed to provide euthanasia assessments, on site. Euthanasia assessments are part of the requirement of the law for approving euthanasia. Therefore Catholic hospitals have already agreed to be directly complicit with MAiD in Canada.

I urge religious healthcare institutions to maintain their ethics and refuse to provide euthanasia.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Veterinarians have a much higher suicide rate.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Veterinarians have a much higher suicide rate and euthanasia may be a major reason for the suicide deaths.



An article in Time Magazine written by Melissa Chan looks at the question of veterinarian suicide rates. The article explains that there are several reasons for the higher suicide rate among veterinarians but it also shows how euthanasia has led some veterinarians to leave the profession or become suicidal. The article explains;
Dr. Will McCauley had just finished his shift at a small Dallas animal clinic when he went home, fed his pet pot-bellied pig and then held a loaded handgun to his head.

The 33-year-old veterinarian was wracked with student debt and worn down by the daily demands at work, which included euthanizing dogs and cats and being vilified by pet owners for not meeting their expectations. “I was tired in this miserable state of mind,” he says. “It just drained me so much.” For reasons he attributes to either fear or hope, McCauley didn’t kill himself that summer day in 2016, and he quit his job later that week and stopped practicing.

“I knew I had to make a change,” McCauley says. “I was dead on the inside.”
The job challenges that more than 70,000 veterinarians in the U.S. face have led to disproportionately high suicide rates, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 400 veterinarians died by suicide between 1979 and 2015, according to a CDC study published in January that analyzed more than 11,000 veterinarian death records in that timeframe. The study also found that female veterinarians are up to 3.5 times more likely to kill themselves than members of the general population. “It really can be classified as an epidemic in my profession,” says McCauley, who is now 36 and working for a trade association in Washington, D.C.
* Female veterinarians have a much higher suicide rate. Is euthanasia a factor?
The story of Dr Nicole McArthur further emphasizes how veterinary euthanasia is leading to suicide:
Dr. Nicole McArthur, a 46-year-old veterinarian in Rocklin, Calif., left the profession twice because of the agony she felt after killing an animal. “There was a period of time when I was essentially Dr. Death,” she says, adding that she’d sometimes have to put down three pets a day. “At the time, I was like, somebody is punishing me for something I’ve done in another life.” The dreams she had to help animals as an aspiring veterinarian quickly clashed with the harsh reality of having to take their lives even when they could have been surgically treated. She quit the field most recently in 2013 and returned in 2015. “We go through veterinary school with the idea that we’re going to save lives,” McArthur says. “To have to turn around and push a plunger is difficult.”
The suicide rate among euthanasia doctors is important now that Canada has legalized euthanasia and several US States have legalized assisted suicide.

In the future, will we be reading stories about the increasing physician suicide rates, especially physicians who are involved with (MAiD) euthanasia? 

Since physicians have a high suicide rate, the data may not be noticed until future research is done on suicide rates among physicians who do euthanasia. It is too early to do suicide research on euthanasia doctors in Canada, but research on doctors in the Netherlands and Belgium can be done now.

Dementia Advocacy Canada promotes euthanasia for people with dementia

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition


Euthanasia is abandonment.
Canada is debating expanding euthanasia to people who are not terminally ill, such as people with dementia. Recently a Québec court struck down the part of the criminal code that required that a person's "death be reasonably forseeable." The terminal illness restriction, in the law, prevented doctors and nurse practitioners from lethally injecting people who are not dying but experiencing psychological conditions, including dementia.


Dementia Advocacy Canada is also having an online Federal Forum on Dementia on Thursday September 19, 2019 (Link).

Dementia Advocacy Canada is promoting MAiD (euthanasia) for people with dementia. It is very disturbing that an organization claiming to be concerned with dementia advocacy is also promoting euthanasia. It is concerning that they link their position to a euthanasia lobby group. They stated:
Dementia Advocacy Canada affirms the rights of people living with dementia to benefit from all of Canada’s civic and legal rights including the right to choose medical assistance in dying (MAID).
Bill C-14, the current federal legislation permitting MAID, excludes most people living with dementia for three primary reasons:
1. The applicant must have, in the opinion of two accepting physicians, the cognitive capacity to understand and sign a request for MAID;
2. The applicant must be experiencing unendurable pain from a diagnosed disease or medical condition with death in the foreseeable future;
3. The applicant must be able to knowingly and willingly consent to an assisted death at the time of actual administration, which is a mandatory, minimum ten days after the initial application.
Dementia Advocacy Canada recognizes the efforts of those who endeavour to:
• Provide support to those who have chosen MAID and to their care partners.
• Educate & support those living with dementia who want to choose MAID before their window of giving informed and cogent consent is compromised.
• Legalize advance requests for those living with dementia who have clearly indicated their choice for MAID.
• Protect those with dementia from being pressured into a medically assisted death against their wishes.
• Protect those with dementia whose decision to choose MAID is not supported by family or support partners.
• Educate & support institutions responsible for training medical personnel, counselors and other community support workers about the complexities of MAID.
Source: Ron Posno, Dana Livingstone, Jule Briese
For more information please go to: www.dyingwithdignity.ca
Ron Posno, Dana Livingstone and Julie Briese are known euthanasia activists. Its hard to consider Dementia Advocacy Canada more than a front group for promoting euthanasia. It looks like DWD helped establish Dementia Advocacy Canada as a way to expand euthanasia in Canada.

The Council of Canadian Academies released a report in Demember 2018 concerning the expansion of euthanasia to psychological conditions alone. (Link to my article on the report).

I responded to the report by stating:

Considering the fact that Canada's euthanasia law is completely subjective as to whether a person's suffering is considered "intolerable" the extension of euthanasia to people with psychological conditions alone would be a disaster. It would be impossible to determine whether a person is suffering intolerably or experiencing suicidal ideation and seeking an "assisted death."
Once euthanasia is legalized, the only question remaining is who can be killed, and for what reason.

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