Friday, July 10, 2020

Assisted Suicide and White Priviledge

This article was published by National Review online on July 10, 2020

Wesley Smith
By Wesley J Smith

Over the years, I have repeatedly noted that the assisted-suicide movement is a “Marin County” movement — well-off, well-tailored white people who never have to worry about being denied quality care and believe themselves entitled to be made dead no matter who else might get hurt.

Assisted-suicide statistics in California validate my criticism. People of color rarely commit assisted suicide. From the Public News Service story:
The new report from the state also found big disparities in who actually uses the law. The patients are 87% white. 
Just over 1% are Black. Four percent are Hispanic. And 6.4% percent are Asian American. 
Patricia González-Portillo, national Latino communications and constituency director with Compassion & Choices, says the low number of Latino patients may be the result of this group, in particular, ending up in religious hospitals that don’t allow their doctors to participate in medical aid-in-dying.
That’s only one percent more than last year, despite efforts by the suicide promoters at Compassion and Choices — formerly, more honestly, called the Hemlock Society — to raise the numbers.

As for the Catholic-hospital excuse; baloney. Most terminally ill people don’t die in hospitals, but in community-based settings; and moreover, hospice is provided at home. Latinos, African Americans, and Asians just aren’t into suicide. That should be celebrated!

Believing there can never be enough assisted suicides, the story notes that C & C continues to run “public service” advertising to increase the number of such suicides by of people of color.

Here’s hoping they consider the source and switch the ads off. African Americans and Latinos need greater access to quality health care, not more lethal prescriptions.

Euthanasia campaigners exploit COVID-19 fears.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alistair Thompson wrote an excellent article - Euthanasia campaigners exploit Covid fears that was published by The Conservative Woman. Thompson is challenging the push by the euthanasia lobby to exploit the COVID-19 crisis to expand or legalize medicalized killing.

Thompson begins by commenting on his home country, the UK:

LAST month in the Times Lord Finkelstein, a well-known advocate for assisted suicide and euthanasia, fired the starting pistol in the latest round of the campaign to allow doctors to help to kill their patients.

In other newspapers, the timing of the campaign was justified due to the presence of Covid-19 in the UK and the anxiety and fear this has caused.
Thompson then comments on the experience with legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide.
In Oregon and Washington, the models put forward by campaigners, a majority of those opting to end their lives cite fear of being a burden, and others talk about financial concerns, while the list of conditions that qualify for the lethal cocktail of barbiturates continues to grow. At the same time, experts have warned that allowing assisted suicide might be normalising suicide in the general population. Suicide rates are a third higher in Oregon than the US national average. Put another way, more than six times as many people die by suicide in Oregon annually than by homicide.

It’s not rosy in the Netherlands or Belgium either. Laws supposedly limited to mentally competent terminally ill adults, have been extended to include non-mentally competent adults and children, profoundly disabled people, even those with psychiatric problems such as depression and anorexia.
Thompson then comments on the Netherlands euthanasia case of an incompetent woman.
Earlier this year we saw the acquittal of Dutch medic Marinou Arends, who euthanised a 74-year-old dementia patient who said ‘No’ on three separate occasions when asked if she wanted to die. In a recent interview, far from showing contrition, the doctor urged other clinicians to ‘just do it’, and shockingly the Supreme Court of the Netherlands has ruled that such deaths are permissible under Dutch law.
Thompson then looks at the Canadian experience with euthanasia.
In Canada, a court struck down the requirement that a person be terminally ill to qualify for euthanasia. This followed the case of Alan Nichols, a former school caretaker who was physically healthy but struggled with depression. His life was ended by lethal injection in July 2019. In another case, Roger Foley was repeatedly offered the drugs to kill himself while being denied the social care to live a dignified life due to the cost.
Thompson then comments on pressures to legalize assisted suicide as a way to increase the availability of healthy organs for donation and to save money in the health care system. He continues by pointing out that legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide has been considered and rejected at least 30 times in the UK since 2003.

Thompson concludes by emphasizing the need to care for people not kill them. He states:

This is why as a society we must collectively reject attempts to try and subvert and exploit this awful pandemic that has already claimed more than 44,000 lives, a disproportionate number of whom were elderly or from the BAME community, and reject any attempt to change the law. The concern over deaths from Covid-19 in care homes has shown that the British public still think that we should provide proper health care for those who are elderly or disabled, rather than allowing the medical profession to succumb to the temptation of the ‘quick’ and ‘cheaper’ option of assisting the deaths of patients. What sort of society would that lead to? We only need to look across the North Sea to the Netherlands and Belgium to see, and the picture there is not appealing.
Thompson is pointing out the same things that I have been writing about, that the death lobby has used the COVID-19 pandemic to promote euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

An independent investigation must be done after 6300 New York COVID-19 patients were sent to nursing homes.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

New York Governor Cuomo
An independent investigation into the order by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, that COVID-19 patients be sent to nursing homes must be conducted.


On May 13 I reported that Governor Cuomo, had rescinded a policy forcing nursing homes to accept Covid-19 positive patients.

I stated that a policy forcing nursing homes to accept residents infected with a deadly virus that spreads was a policy that would lead to many deaths.

On May 22, Bernard Condon, Jennifer Peltz and Jim Mustian reported for the Associated Press (AP) that more than 4500 COVID-19 patients were sent to New York nursing homes.
 

On July 7, Marina Villeneuve and Jennifer Peltz reported an update for AP stating that 6300 COVID-19 positive patients were sent to nursing homes in New York. The AP report stated:
New York hospitals released more than 6,300 recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes during the height of the pandemic under a controversial, now-scrapped policy, state officials said Monday, but they argued it was not to blame for one of the nation’s highest nursing home death tolls.
According to the AP article, state officials blamed infected home care staff who were unaware of having COVID-19 for the widespread infections and deaths in nursing homes and not the policy of sending infected patients to nursing homes.

The AP article reported that the policy of sending COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes was based on a fear that hospitals would be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. The AP report stated:

To date, more than 6,400 deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in New York’s nursing home and long-term care-facilities.

Cuomo, a Democrat, reversed the directive under pressure on May 10, but he has argued for weeks that infected home workers, not released COVID-19 patients, were to blame for a coronavirus spread through nursing homes that he compared to “fire through dry grass.”
Logic dictates that sending COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes must have been a key reason for the spread of COVID-19 in New York nursing homes. 

It is likely that staff became infected with COVID-19 after being in contact with infected residents. Thousands of New York nursing home resident deaths may be connected to the misguided policy of Governor Cuomo. 

Based on the number of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes requires an independent investigation into the order by Governor Cuomo that possibly led to thousands of nursing home resident deaths.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Assisted suicide website led to daughter's suicide death.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition



On May 22, 2019; Jackie Bieber found her daughter Shawn Shatto on her bedroom floor unresponsive and cold. She attempted CPR but in vain. 

Initially she did not realize that Shawn had died by a suicide. What she would soon learn was that her daughter, who had been dealing with depression and anxiety, was provided lethal directions and encouraged to die by suicide through an assisted suicide website.

An article written by Jennifer Passmore, published by Moms.com explains:

Shawn had been dealing with depression and anxiety for years, and had been seeing a therapist and took medication. Originally, Bieber didn't think her daughter took her own life. That is, until she had found several disturbing things on her daughter's cell phone, including messages from a website that teaches people how to commit suicide.
Shatto's aunt, Elizabeth Hoffman said, "They were cheering her on to the finish line of a suicide." On the post, various people were telling her what kind of drugs to mix in order to kill herself. Then they had the audacity to wish her 'good luck' and 'safe travels.' Bieber believes if it was not for that website, her daughter may still be alive today.
Jackie responded by wanting to protect people like her daughter by working to get Shawn's Law (House Bill 1827) passed. Passmore states:
Ever since the day Shawn took her life, Jackie has been advocating for "Shawn's Law," which "strengthens penalties against anyone who assists in a suicide, but especially anyone who is under the age of 18 or has a mental disability." Bieber would like to see Shawn's Law signed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. She doesn't want anyone to feel as lost and hopeless as her daughter did the day she died.
So far, Shawn's Law has passed the House, and is now in the Senate. If you are interested in helping in getting this law passed, you can call your local senator and ask them to vote in favor of the law.
Shawn's law is a proactive way to protect people from assisted suicide and websites that instruct and encourage suicide. 

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition urges the Pennsylvania Senate to pass Shawn's law and Governor Wolf to sign it into law.

Shawn Shatto is not the first person who was struggling with depression and anxiety to come across an assisted suicide website that provided instructions and encouraged suicide.

Don't believe the assisted suicide lobby when they say that suicide and assisted suicide are different, when the assisted suicide lobby is also involved with peddling suicide.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Contact your Member of Parliament. Opposing Canada's euthanasia (MAiD) Bill C-7

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

 

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is urging you, our supporter, to contact your Member of Parliament during the summer and explain why you oppose Bill C-7, the bill that will expand euthanasia (MAiD) in Canada.

Current Members of Parliament (Link).

Sign the online petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

What do you need to know?

In September 2019, Justice Baudouin, struck down the requirement in Canada's euthanasia law that a person's natural death be reasonably foreseeable and gave the federal government six months to amend the euthanasia law in line with the Truchon court decision. The government did not appeal the decision.

At that time, I wrote that striking down the "terminal illness" requirement in the law opened the door to euthanasia for psychiatric conditions (Link).

On February 17, Justice Minister, Hon David Lametti asked Justice Baudouin for a four month extension to amend Canada's euthanasia law. Justice Baudouin granted the extension, giving the government until July 11 to implement the Truchon decision.


On February 24, the federal government introduced Bill C-7 in response to the Quebec Truchon court decision. Bill C-7 implements the Truchon decision but it also goes much further.


Based on the COVID-19 pandemic, Justice Minister Lametti requested another extension and Justice Baudouin of the Quebec Superior Court granted the request and extended the time-frame to implement the Truchon court decision until December 18.
 
There are several areas that we can focus on to stop Bill C-7.

  1. The government claims that they must change the law based on the Truchon court decision. In fact, whether they pass Bill C-7 by December 18 or not, the Truchon decision will become law. They will suggest that Truchon only applies to Quebec, but there is not a prosecutor in Canada who will prosecute a doctor based on the Truchon decision.
  2. The government appears to believe that the online consultation that was completed in January fulfills their legislated obligation of providing a 5-year-consultation starting in June 2020. The government is required to do a full, proper and open consultation, which the online consultation did not fulfill, and it should do so before amending Canada's euthanasia law. 
  3. We need to focus on what Bill C-7 does and what it falsely claims to do.
What does Bill C-7 do? Among other changes:
  1. Bill C-7 removes the legal requirement that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order to qualify for assisted death. Therefore, people who are not terminally ill can die by euthanasia. The Quebec court decision only required this amendment to the law, but Bill C-7 went further.
  2. Bill C-7 permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to lethally inject a person who is incapable of consenting, if that person was previously approved for assisted death. This contravenes the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision which stated that only competent people could die by euthanasia.
  3. Bill C-7 waives the ten-day waiting period if a person's natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable. Thus a person could request death by euthanasia on a "bad day" and die the same day. Studies prove that the “will to live” fluctuates.
  4. Bill C-7 creates a two track law. A person whose natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable has no waiting period while a person whose natural death is not deemed to be reasonably foreseeable would have a 90 day waiting period before being killed by lethal injection. Remember, the legislation does not define the meaning of the phrase natural death is reasonably foreseeable.
  5. Bill C-7 falsely claims to prevent euthanasia for people with mental illness. The euthanasia law permits MAiD for people who are physically or psychologically suffering that is intolerable to the person and that cannot be relieved in a way that the person considers acceptable. However, mental illness, which is not defined in the law, is considered a form of psychological suffering.
When speaking to your MP we suggest that you emphasize the following:
  • Bill C-7 allows MAiD when someone is incapable of consenting, if that person was previously approved for assisted death. This takes away the right to change your mind.
  • Bill C-7 waives the ten-day waiting period if a person's natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable.
  • Bill C-7 falsely claims to prevent euthanasia for people with mental illness. Because the legislation does not define the term - psychological suffering - therefore the legislation fails to prevent euthanasia for people with mental illness.
Bill C-7 is dangerous, it is poorly written and sections of the bill will be challenged in court.

No matter what you think about euthanasia (MAiD) Bill C-7 must be defeated.


Current Members of Parliament (Link).

Sign the online petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link). 


More Articles on Bill C-7:

Monday, July 6, 2020

Living with end-of-life possibilities: Why she opposes euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

New Zealand is debating the legalization of euthanasia as they approach a September 19th euthanasia referendum during the election. New Zealand's parliament passed a euthanasia bill in November 2019 by a vote of 69 to 51. In order to obtain the necessary votes to pass the bill the government agreed to a referendum on the bill.



Serena Jones
An article by Serena Jones published by Newsroom tells her story. 
Jones is a New Zealand business woman and mother who has been fighting cancer for many years. Jones expresses her concern with the legalization of euthanasia based on her personal experience. The article explains:
Seven years ago I was told I had a 25 percent chance of living five years without the cancer returning; two years ago I was given 12 months to live. Plainly the upcoming End of Life Choice referendum concerns me, others like me, and all those involved in my care. 
I’ve just put the phone down after my phone consultation. My results are excellent. No new disease showing up in my body and the tumour much the same as it was on the last scan. I’m back ‘under observation’ (meaning a doctor check-in every six weeks and CT scan every three months). It’s an upward-swing of the pendulum, another reprieve – delivered with care, grace, attentiveness, in the best possible way. 
...Two years on, and inconceivable as it seems to me, I’m facing the end of my life. We’re coming up to a referendum on this very topic. I’d like to add something personal to the conversation.
Jones explains that she first reacted to her cancer diagnosis by being frightened, angry and incredulous, her next reaction was to face it head-on. Jones writes:
My initial prognosis was 12 months. It wasn’t long before my oncologist was ‘keeping me alive till Christmas’. Since then my family and I have lived through two Christmases. Clearly, in my case at least, there’s deep uncertainty here. The defining clause in the Act relies on this. I’ll be able to ask for an assisted death.
She then writes about the relationship she has had with many of her doctors who have cared for her and worked with her as she battled the disease. She refers to the doctor patient relationship as gold dust. She then comments on the position of New Zealand physicians:
Many hundreds of Kiwi doctors want no part in assisted suicide, and believe that physician-assisted death is unethical and interferes with the doctor-patient relationship to the extent that it crosses a societal line. It seems to me we’re risking a great deal here.
Jones comments on the excellent care that exists and New Zealand and the need to maintain this commitment to care. She concludes by stating:
Let’s understand that dying is an intrinsic part of life. Let’s talk about what end-of-life care actually is and strengthen, extend and improve what we already have in our palliative care. Such care is a commitment, one we need to make. Euthanasia is an avoidance of this commitment.
Thank you Serena for advocating for excellent care rather than killing.

The deadly Quality of Life ethic

This article was published by First Things on July 6, 2020

Wesley Smith
By Wesley J Smith

Something evil happened recently in Austin. Michael Hickson, a forty-six-year-old African-American man with quadriplegia and a serious brain injury, was refused treatment at St. David’s Hospital South Austin while ill with COVID-19. The hospital withheld his tube-supplied food and water despite the objections of his wife, Melissa—and even though Michael might have survived the illness with the medical care generally provided COVID patients. Michael died on June 11 because his doctors did not believe he had a sufficient “quality of life” to justify curative treatment, and that because of his disabilities, saving his life was “futile.”

Michael Hickson
Here’s the backstory: In 2017, Michael experienced brain injury after cardiac arrest. He was quadriplegic and had seizures. But he was conscious and, according to Melissa, able to do math calculations and answer trivia questions. Wasn’t his life as precious as everybody else’s? Not according to Michael's doctors. When Michael became sick with coronavirus, his doctor informed Melissa that treatment would not improve the quality of his life (meaning, he would remain quadriplegic and cognitively disabled if he survived), so the medical team “and the state,” through a court-appointed guardian, had decided all treatment except hospice comfort care should end.

Melissa was unable legally to save her husband’s life by insisting that he receive proper care. Having been appointed Michael’s temporary guardian, she was in a legal struggle with Michael’s sister over his custody, a dispute that predated Michael’s hospitalization. Family Eldercare, a nonprofit agency, had been appointed interim guardian until a final decision could be made about permanent guardianship. Doctors convinced Family Eldercare to approve Michael’s transfer to hospice care even though he was breathing on his own. Michael died of pneumonia after six days on hospice, the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration having no doubt weakened his body’s ability to fight disease. Even without pneumonia, Michael would have soon died of dehydration.

Please note that this wasn’t a case of triage, a sad necessity required by a lack of resources in a time of pandemic emergency. Nor was it a situation of doctor said/wife said. Melissa recorded her conversation with the unnamed physician and posted it on YouTube so we can all hear for ourselves what families in these circumstances too often experience when dealing with the healthcare needs of disabled and elderly patients.

Here’s the substance of the conversation from the YouTube transcript, with my commentary.
Doctor: At this point, the decision is, do we want to be extremely aggressive with his care or do we feel like this will be futile? And the big question of futility is one that we always question. The issue is: Will this help him improve the quality of life, will this help him improve anything, will it ultimately change the outcome? And the thought is the answer is no to all of those.

Melissa: What would make you say no to all of those?

Doctor: As of right now the quality of life, he doesn’t have much of one.

Melissa: What do you mean? Because he was paralyzed with a brain injury, he doesn’t have a quality of life?

Doctor: Correct
The doctor did not base his decision on the seriousness of Michael’s illness, but on his continuing disability. This is a classic example of applying the invidious “quality of life” ethic, which deems people with disabilities, the elderly, the chronically ill, and the dying to have a lower moral worth than the healthy, able-bodied, and young; this ethic sometimes translates into denying the weak and vulnerable medical care that others would receive readily.

Back to the conversation:
Melissa: Who gets to make that decision whether somebody’s quality of life, if they have a disability that their quality of life is not good?

Doctor: Well, it’s definitely not me. I don’t make that decision. However, will it affect his quality, will it improve his quality of life, and the answer is no.

Melissa: Why wouldn’t it? Being able to live isn’t improving the quality of life?

Doctor: There’s no improvement with being intubated, with a bunch of lines and tubes in your body and being on a ventilator for more than two weeks. Each of our people here have COVID and they are in respiratory failure. They’ve been here for more than two weeks.
A bit later, the doctor says that the decision is not Melissa’s to make.
Melissa: So the fact that you are killing someone doesn’t make sense in your mind?

Doctor: We don’t think it’s killing. Because I don’t know when or if he will die. But at this point I don’t think it would be humane or compassionate to put a breathing tube in this man and do the lines and the tubes and all that stuff because I don’t think it will benefit him.

Melissa: And I totally agree with you on the intubation part of it. I don’t want him intubated. But I also don’t think you should just sit him somewhere to be comfortable until he finally just drifts away. That to me is futile too. That’s saying you’re not trying to save someone’s life. You’re just watching them go. The ship is sailing. I mean that just doesn’t make any sense to me to not try. I don’t get that part. I don’t like that part.
Melissa is not asking for intubation. She is not asking for “everything possible” to be done. Rather, she wants proper care for Michael, which would presumably have included medicines and tube-supplied food and water.

The doctor becomes increasingly tired of the conversation:
Doctor: But what I’m going to tell you is that this is the decision between the medical community and the state.

Melissa: And the state. Forget about his wife and his family and his five kids.

Doctor: I have nothing to do with that.
The recording ends there.

What can we learn from this? First, people should sign advance directives naming legal surrogates who will make medical decisions for them in the event of incapacity. Michael had apparently not done that. Had Melissa been Michael’s legal surrogate, it is very possible he would be alive today, because she would not have consented to his transfer from acute care to hospice.

Second, the quality of life ethic is deadly. When doctors fail to recognize life itself as a good, and only deem as “good” those lives they perceive to be of sufficient quality, the weak and vulnerable are put at material risk.

Finally, our societal attitudes need adjusting. Rather than upholding a quality of life ethic, we should insist that society generally—and medicine specifically—adhere to the sanctity/equality of life ethic, according to which everyone is considered equally valuable and worthy of living and care. This ethic would not force people to accept medical treatment they do not want. But it would keep the most weak and vulnerable among us, people like Michael Hickson, from being pushed out of the lifeboat by doctors who can’t imagine why anyone with quadriplegia and cognitive incapacities should go on living.

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. His latest book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Portugal euthanasia bill is unconstitutional

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In February I reported that Portuguese parliament may soon legalize doctors killing their patients by euthanasia. On February 20, the Portuguese Parliament voted on five proposals to legalize euthanasia. All of the proposals passed, even though two years ago, similar proposals were defeated.

The Portuguese government was preparing to propose a single bill until parliament dissolved due to the COVID-19 crisis. After parliament returned the government announced that they would resume the euthanasia debate.

Jorge Miranda
According to Génèthique news, the Portuguese Medical Association is not only against euthanasia but they informed the government that doctors will not be permitted to participate on the euthanasia commission (the commission to approve euthanasia). Meanwhile a group of 15 law professors, including Professor Jorge Miranda, known as the father of Portugal's Constitution, stated that the euthanasia bills are unconstitutional. At the same time, groups opposing euthanasia have collected more than 95,000 signatures calling for a referendum on euthanasia.

The Portugal government recently announced that the euthanasia debate will not resume until at least August.

The Portuguese government has been pushing to legalize euthanasia. Portugal needs to commit to improving care not approving killing.

French doctor loses medical license for euthanasia of patient.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr Nicholas Bonnemaison
On Monday, June 29 the State Council confirmed the decision of the national disciplinary chamber of the Order of physicians in France, upheld the removal of the medical license of Dr Nicolas Bonnemaison for intentionally breaking the law by lethally injecting a patient.

In October 2015, Bonnemaison was found guilty and given a two year suspended sentence for deliberately killing an 86 year-old woman. He was originally prosecuted for seven counts of intentionally killing patients, but the court acquitted him on the six other charges.

According to The Local Bonnemaison also lost his medical license:

Bonnemaison, who has been struck off the medical register, was accused of "poisoning particularly vulnerable people" -- five women and two men who died between March 2010 and July 2011 soon after being admitted to the hospital in the southwestern city of Bayonne where he worked.
In April 2019 The European Court of Human Rights ruled, in an appeal by Nicolas Bonnemaison, a French doctor who was convicted in 2015 in the death of a patient and acquitted in the alleged deaths of six other patients, cannot be reinstated in his medical practice. 

Bonnemaison was convicted of intentionally killing his patient by lethal injection.

ADAPT of Texas Demands Investigation into Michael Hickson’s Death


Not Dead Yet (NDY) Press Release
Michael Hickson
ADAPT of Texas has issued an Independence Day announcement that disability advocates are holding a vigil at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center to support the family of Michael Hickson, a 46-year old Black man with disabilities who died after being denied COVID-19 treatment. Not Dead Yet applauds ADAPT of Texas’ demand for “A full and immediate investigation of the death of Michael Hickson by state and federal officials including the role of the medical community,” and a meeting with Charles Laird, CEO of the St. David’s facility.
Mr. Hickson’s wife and widow, Melissa Hickson, has recorded a compelling video concerning the hospital’s denial of care for her husband based on negative quality of life judgments about his disability.
Mrs. Hickson has also provided other recordings of her husband’s recovery and statements made to her by a St. David’s doctor expressing blatant and unlawful discrimination. Links to these recordings are includes in an earlier NDY article.
ADAPT’s July 4th Press Advisory and Statement of Demands follow below.
*****PRESS ADVISORY ******
SUBJECT:  Disability Independence and Life Itself Challenged because of COVID 19 rationing. Michael Hickson’s death Outrages ADAPT of Texas
For information:
Nicky – 512 736 4814
Sophia – 512 924 8449
Attached are the demands of ADAPT of Texas.
Currently Texas has no guidance on the rationing of healthcare.
People with disabilities are NOT DISPOSABLE.
Our chant: LIFE WORTHY OF LIFE
1100 South IH 35 * Austin, Texas 78704 * www.adaptoftexas.org

Recently a quadriplegic Michael Hickson died under circumstances that may have resulted from rationing services because of his disability and being tested positive with COVID 19.
This has outraged the ADAPT of Texas Community.
WE DEMAND:
  1. A full and immediate investigation into the death of Michael Hickson by state and federal officials including the role of the medical community;
  1. Charles Laird, CEO of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center meet with members of the ADAPT of Texas Community. 
July 4, 2020
LIFE WORTHY OF LIFE
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARE NOT DISPOSIBLE

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Quebec court grants extension to government to pass euthanasia Bill C-7. Bill C-7 must be rejected.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
More than 33,000 Canadians have signed the petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

Last week Justice Baudouin of the Quebec Superior Court granted the request by Canada's federal government to extend the time-frame to December 18 to implement a new euthanasia law.

On June 11, Canada's federal Attorney General David Lametti filed a motion in the Quebec Superior Court asking to extend until Dec. 18, 2020, the Quebec Superior Court’s suspension of its constitutional declaration last September.
Article: Five reasons to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide (Link).
Lametti told the Quebec court that the government did not pass euthanasia bill C-7 because of the unprecedented challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government needs to reject Bill C-7 and begin the promised 5-year review of the euthanasia law with an open view to what is actually happening rather than expanding the euthanasia law.

In September 2019, Justice Baudouin, struck down the requirement in Canada's euthanasia law that a person's natural death be reasonably foreseeable. The Quebec court gave the federal government six months to amend the euthanasia law in line with their decision. The federal government did not appeal the decision.

At that time, I reported that striking down the "terminal illness" requirement in the law opened the door to euthanasia for psychiatric conditions  (Link).

On February 17, Canada's Justice Minister, David Lametti asked the Quebec Superior Court for a four month extension to amend Canada's euthanasia law. Justice Baudouin agreed to give the government until July 11 to expand Canada's euthanasia law.

On February 24, the federal government introduced Bill C-7 in response to the Quebec Truchon court decision.


What does Bill C-7 do?

1. Bill C-7 removes the requirement in the law that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order to qualify for assisted death. Therefore, people who are not terminally ill can die by euthanasia. The Quebec court decision only required this amendment to the law, but Bill C-7 went further.

2. Bill C-7 permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to lethally inject a person who is incapable of consenting, if that person was previously approved for assisted death. This contravenes the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision which stated that only competent people could die by euthanasia.

3. Bill C-7 waives the ten-day waiting period if a person's natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable. Thus a person could request death by euthanasia on a "bad day" and die the same day. Studies prove that the “will to live” fluctuates.

4. Bill C-7 creates a two track law. A person whose natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable has no waiting period while a person whose natural death is not deemed to be reasonably foreseeable would have a 90 day waiting period before being killed by lethal injection.

5. As stated earlier, Bill C-7 falsely claims to prevent euthanasia for people with mental illness. The euthanasia law permits MAiD for people who are physically or psychologically suffering that is intolerable to the person and that cannot be relieved in a way that the person considers acceptable. However, mental illness, which is not defined in the law, is considered a form of psychological suffering.

Bill C-7 goes much further than the Quebec Superior Court Truchon decision. The government needs to reject Bill C-7 and begin the promised 5-year review of the euthanasia law.