Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Guide to answering the Canadian MAID consultation questionnaire.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, 

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I urge EPC supporters to participate in the Canadian Department of Justice Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) consultation questionnaire

(Link to the consultation webpage).

I wrote this guide to answering the Maid consultation questionnaire because some of the questions are biased and imply support for MAID. 

Please complete the consultation questionnaire and express your opposition in the comments section. The questionnaire provides an opportunity to leave additional comments and I strongly urge you to do so.

(Link to the Consultation Questionnaire).

Section A requires your demographic information. No problem.

Section B outlines the MAID criteria in Canada. Notice how that the law was changed based on the Quebec court decision. The law now states: A person does not need to have a fatal or terminal condition to be eligible for MAID.

Section C asks the question:
​​1. Do you think the current safeguards would prevent abuse, pressure or other kinds of misuse of MAID after eligibility is broadened to people whose deaths are not reasonably foreseeable?

The answer is NO.

2. The next section asks about potential "safeguards":
a) A different reflection period (currently a 10-day reflection period) between the submission of a person’s written request for MAID and receiving MAID

(This question is not clear whether the "different reflection period" would be more than 10 days or less than 10 days. Answer this question how you want.)

​​b) MAID should be available only when the practitioner and the patient both agree that reasonable treatments and options to relieve the person’s suffering have been tried without significantly improving the person’s situation.
(This question assumes that MAID should be available).

Answer: Very Important

​​c) A mandatory psychological or psychiatric assessment to evaluate the person’s capacity to consent to receiving MAID.

Answer: Very Important

​​d) Making sure the person requesting MAID is aware of all the means available to potentially relieve their suffering, including health and social support services (for example counseling, disability support, palliative care)

Answer: Very Important

​​e) Mandatory consultation with an expert in the person’s medical condition and circumstances (for example a gerontologist, psychiatrist, or social worker), in addition to the already mandatory 2 medical assessments

Answer: Very Important

​​f) Retrospective review of MAID cases by a committee to verify that the eligibility criteria and safeguards were satisfied and in place

Answer: Very Important

​​g) Special training and tools to assist physicians and nurse practitioners to assess areas of potential vulnerability (for example mental health issues, or potential outside pressures or influences)

Answer: Very Important

​​h) An obligation for the physician and nurse practitioner to offer to discuss their patient’s situation with their family members or loved ones with the patient’s consent

Answer: Fairly Important

3. Do you have any other comments you want to share about possible safeguards for people who are eligible for MAID, but not at the end of life?

(Please comment on the lack of oversight of the law. The law allows doctors or nurse practitioners who approve a death, to also carry-out the death, to also report the death. This system allows doctors and nurse practitioners to self-report, meaning there is no oversight over the law).

Section D deals with advanced requests for MAID.

The question asks:
1. Imagine that a person makes a request for MAID, is found to be eligible, and is awaiting the procedure. A few days before the procedure, the person loses the capacity to make health care decisions, and cannot provide final consent immediately before the procedure. In your opinion, should a physician or nurse practitioner be allowed to provide MAID to a person in these circumstances?

Answer: NO

​​2. Imagine that a person is diagnosed with a medical illness that, over time, will affect their mind and take away their decision-making capacity, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The person prepares a document that says they consent to receive MAID if specific circumstances arise at a later date, after they no longer are able to consent.

​​In your opinion, should a physician or nurse practitioner be allowed to provide MAID to a person in this situation once the circumstances in their document have arisen and they otherwise meet the MAID criteria, even if they can no longer consent?

Answer: NO

​​3. Do you have any other comments you want to share about allowing MAID to be provided to a person who has an advance request but is not able to consent to MAID at the time of the procedure?

Allowing MAID (euthanasia) for someone who cannot consent denies the person the right to change their mind since only competent people have the legal right to change legal documents. Further to that, the person cannot consent to have their life ended, a decision that is irrevocable.

Section E asks for additional comments.

Please express your opposition to euthanasia (MAID).

(Link to the consultation questionnaire).

If you have any concerns, email me at:

Please read some of these articles to help with providing additional comments:
  • Historical: Canadian Senate passed euthanasia law in time for summer break (Link).
  • Canada's euthanasia deaths increased by 50% in 2018 (Link).
  • Ontario euthanasia deaths are rising quickly (Link).
  • UN Disability rights envoy urges changes to Canada's euthanasia law (Link).
  • Québec court expands euthanasia law by striking down the terminal illness requirement (Link).
  • Physically healthy depressed man died by euthanasia in BC (Link).
  • Ontario doctor experiences abuse of euthanasia law (Link).
  • Québec Fourth Interim Euthanasia Report, 13 deaths did not comply with the law (Link).
  • BC Health Minister orders Delta Hospice to do euthanasia by February 3 (Link).


Janice said...

Thank you Alex.
Let's not forget that Peter McKay left the Conservative Party just before the Supreme Court ruled on establishing an end of life status for Canada. That was when the EPC Postcards were being sent to him voicing our disagreement with the end of life proposal in Canada.
Whatever happened to all those responses sent to him? Did anyone even acknowledge all the people who sent them to McKay?
I always felt he left us voiceless and he betrayed Canada at a critical time.

Odette Boily said...

Thank you Alex for your excellent work.

"Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it."

Canadians are pleading now with the CIVIL government to give them the right to commit suicide and enable doctors and nurses to kill. Hitler did the same thing in the 1930's.

We have forgotten or are completely ignorant of the fact that CIVIL governments do not have the prerogative or power to legislate MORAL laws. Death is a MORAL matter.

When we do so, we give the CIVIL government a power which is not theirs to exercise and the possibility to abuse that power. The Creator of man is the One who gives life and takes it away. There are other ways to deal with mental illness, physical pains and depression.

Attempts to unite Moral with Civil powers are opposed to the interests of each, subversive of human rights and potentially persecuting in character; to oppose union, lawfully and honorably is not only the citizen's duty but the essence of the golden rule - to treat others as one wishes to be treated.

Odette Boily said...

Hello Alex,

The questionnaire is geared towards accepting MAID.

It does not give any option to refuse this legislation.

They only give space to give our opinion.

This should be brought up to the attention of the federal government and be rejected.


Teresa said...

The survey itself is insulting for such a life-changing societal change. It is not a Citizen's Assembly as they had in Ireland re introducing laws allowing abortion and gay marriage. It is not a referendum. It is not even an internet petition which includes the individual's name and postal code. It doesn't filter for bots. Can it be accessed from outside Canada? And yes, it can be filled in by the same person multiple times.
The survey reflects the un-serious way this most serious topic is considered by the Ministry of Justice. It would be appalling if it was relied on to indicate the views of Canadians.

Brian said...

Hi Teresa,

And yet it will be used to do exactly that!
Trudeau either doesn't understand morality, or more likely he simply doesn't care. His arrogance is matched only by his ignorance and his avarice to remain in power. Like all liberals, he is intolerant of everyone who disagrees with the liberal worldview. He will do what it takes to stay in power, even if it is against his "catholic" beliefs, and especially if it will give him support in Quebec. This survey is a sad, bad joke!

Lucy said...

I answered the questionnaire a short 15 minutes ago, just before seeing this e-mail from Euthanasia Prevention directly below it. I am happy to report that I answered EXACTLY as you have suggested in your guideline. I also followed up with an e-mail to my MP, John Williamson, who happily is a Conservative, whom I voted for consistently, and whom I had to opportunity to chat with at lunch yesterday. Thank you for everything you do for this cause!

Edward said...

I see that my comments were not posted. Censorship works fine as it was working in Poland during communist era.I tried to support Odette Boily's comments and added my opinion about recent Liberal changes in Canada. All happens very fast. God save Canada.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Your previous comment wasn't posted Edward because you didn't attach your name to it. I won't publish anonymous comments because then I have to publish all anonymous comments and some people make rude or terrible comments and hide behind the anonymous banner.

Dora said...

Thank you for this information. I just submitted the questionnaire and hardly answered any of the questions because they are biased and assume that the person filling in the questionnaire is in favour of MAID.

I did offer the following comments:

The only acceptable safeguard is to NOT offer MAID. We should provide care, not killing.

This questionnaire is extremely biased and assumes that the person responding is in favour of MAID (which I am not in favour of). No one should be eligible for MAID because GOD is the author of life, and each human life has intrinsic value and should be revered and protected from conception to natural death. It is always gravely wrong to commit suicide, or to help another person do so. As a basic human right, we are to provide empathy and care, not killing.

Mark Kahabka said...

Thanks for posting the guide to the survey, Alex. Very helpful. Even in a very discouraging situation, we still have to try.

Belinda Carrico said...

Thank you for the guide, Alex. May good people stand up for truth and justice. Freedom requires defense.

Lynda said...

Thanks for the guidance on answering the survey. It was very helpful!

Pro-life girl said...

I answered according your provided guidelines, thank you.
Also I took inspiration from the article about the Ontario doctor: "there is no physician able to completely cure anxiety or depression in 10 days"
I also wrote things like "If you allow MAID, at least make sure that there is no abuses." "It's very easy to use euthanasia as an excuse to get rid of persons that caregivers or institutions do not want to attend" and "Does Canada protect its citizens or kill them?"
I didn't mention God because clearly He is not important for them. Rather I focused on other kind of issues, trying to make them think.

Anne said...

Under no circumstances should MAID be allowed. Maid is not Health Care.
I am a nurse and know that Palliative care works and is Humane and best for all the family.

Ben said...

Thank you so much. While I never supported MAID, I feel that I never gave the issue as much thought as it deserves. Reading your instructions and filling the questionnaire has been very insightful.

Pat Bowie said...

Once again, thank you for your dedication, hard work and advice. It was very disheartening answering this supposed consultation document. I have had experience with how surveys, polls and consultation forms may be devised/directed towards desired responses, or not: this was meant to not only endorse but expand MAID, with a few almost meaningless "safeguards", and as you rightly pointed out, lack of truly meaningful safeguards or accountability,
I feel we are betraying our most vulnerable people, whether their ailments are mental or physical, because they are becoming less valued any more in our society.
As you've said, it should be "Care, not kill".
There was little room to add comments, but I did my best,
Pat Bowie

Owen said...

Euthanasia is a kind of humane practice for patients. Of course, it's better to follow the wishes of patients themselves. If it's a vegetable, it needs the consent of their families. Sometimes it isn't very easy to do so. I've seen some patients who carry a pill box with a reminder function to facilitate taking medicine. Sometimes it's very panicky to forget to bring a pill box. It's painful to watch.

Lynne said...

"Vegetable" is still a person, made in the image of God, with a heart and soul, whom God loves as His creation. Which negates the 'kindness' of this form of killing.

Did you know the first murder is recorded in Genesis? Just by the way...

Jerry said...

I hope there is no pain in the world. Everyone can live a healthy and happy life.

Steven said...

In 2020, the whole world is facing suffering. I hope everyone can be confident and will be better.