Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Canadian MAID (euthanasia) online consultation questionnaire was a sham and the data is unreliable.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On January 14, I wrote an article urging EPC supporters to participate in the Canadian Department of Justice Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) consultation questionnaire. In my article I stated:
The language of the consultation questionnaire is not great, nonetheless, the questionnaire does allow you to leave further comments.
Alex Schadenberg
On January 15, I published a guide to answering the Canadian MAID euthanasia questionnaire. I am pleased to report that more than 18,000 different people used the guide.

The online consultation is now closed and the Department of Justice has stated that 280,000 Canadians participated in the online consultation. 

Here is my experience with the process.

The online consultation questionnaire was a sham.

Many of the questions implied an outcome. It is a sham to ask people to complete a questionnaire when some of the questions are designed to provide a predetermined outcome.

For instance, Question 2 asked about safeguards. Question 2a asked:

A different reflection period (currently a 10-day reflection period) between the submission of a person’s written request for MAID and receiving MAID.
The answers to this question lacked meaning because they didn't indicate whether it is important to maintain the waiting period, increase the waiting period or remove the waiting period. In other words, the data is useless.

The other (Question 2) safeguard questions assume that the participant supports MAID.

Once again, the only good part of the consultation questionnaire is that it provided a box (500 characters) that enabled the participant to offer their concerns or thoughts.

The online consultation questionnaire was fraudulent.

After encouraging our supporters to participate in the consultation questionnaire, I began to receive emails stating that the website kicked them out as they completed the questionnaire. I simply urged these people to try again.

The second complaint was far more of an issue. Several of our supporters indicated that the consultation website enabled them to complete the questionnaire more than once. One person contacted me stating that he had completed the questionnaire more than 50 times from the same computer.

I did not encourage this nor did I tell others about this problem. I only encouraged our supporters to participate in the questionnaire that was questionable to begin with. 

If one of my supporters completed the questionnaire more than 50 times, how many euthanasia supporters did the same?

The Department of Justice stated that 280,000 people completed the questionnaire. Since the website did not prevent people from participating multiple times they have no idea how many people actually participated and the data collected in the online consultation is unreliable.

If the government wanted to do a proper consultation it would have asked clear questions that were written in a neutral manner and enabled people, who oppose killing, to answer in that manner. 

Since some of the questions implied support for euthanasia many of our supporters refused to participate.

Question 2a concerning the 10 day "reflection period" lacked meaning and is therefore null and void. Based on the online questionnaire, the government cannot conclude that the questionnaire provided data for a policy to: maintain, extend, or remove the waiting period.

EPC asked our supporters to participate in the online consultation questionnaire.

Other than the odd story, the media and the government have ignored the failures of Canada's euthanasia law, even though there are several key problems and abuses of the law.

If you have any comments or concerns, email me at: alex@epcc.ca

For further information please read some of these articles:

  • Historical: Canadian Senate passed euthanasia law in time for summer break (Link).
  • Approximately 5000 Canadians died by assisted death in 2019 and 13,000 assisted deaths since legalization (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).


sestroc said...

This makes sense. I thought it was problematic from the start, that it was so vague. So now what?... I squeezed as much into the comments boxes as I could, with abbreviations and omitted "little words". Would they be taken seriously?...(rhetorical. I bet they won't.) Is there any way to publicize the unreliability of this questionnaire? ...

E Perry said...

If they really wanted the opinions of all Canadians, they would have sent the survey to every individual by mail. Some people we know did not know about it.
Not everyone has access to the internet. Some live in areas where there is no access, as well as the poor and a lot of elderly who can't afford it or can't use it, and those in hospitals or care homes, many of whom are or will be targeted for euthanasia.
In the survey comments,(if they read them),I wrote how those who built and fought for this country would be looking upon us now with disdain at the selfishness and cowardice especially of our leaders today, when they went through so much hardship in their time, and still took care of their disabled, sick and dying!

E Perry said...

Thank you for keeping us informed and all you do!
Prayers and Blessngs

Anonymous said...

thanks Alex,
I had a hard time filling out the questionnair but decided that only where I was certain I filled something in. I left most of it empty but in the end wrote that I didn't agree with the MAiD proposal. They do have my comment!!!

Janice said...

From past exercises, we are all aware this wasn't going to be anything other than to be an exercise to falsely demonstrate they are being 'inclusive'. What needs is to have the results of those questionnaires released showing the statistics on the questions and how they were answered; but that won't happen.
At least it has allowed those who participated the feeling of having at least tried to do something.
This decision should have been part of the election process and not another CBC news announcement that this is the way it's going to be, like it or not.

Judy Keating said...

I filled out the form which appeared to be accepted. I left place of origin blank as I am from the United States.

Fr David said...

I made two comments in answering the questionaire. First, I said that doctors administering MAID should be audited. Second,I said that while the Government promised a five year period of reflection and study, they did not use the Notwithstanding clause on the Quebec lower court ruling, which would have provided the five year period promised.

Obviously the Government cannot wait to widen MAID, whatever they piously promised.

Fr David Graham Scott
Orthodox priest, St Catharines, ON

Janice said...

@Father David Scott:
It is so nice to hear your comments, Father David. It means a great deal for us to know our Priests are speaking up. Just so you know, we are praying for all Priests during this tumultuous and trying time, for you carry an very heavy cross on our behalf.
God love you.

Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

Yes, I got frustrated in answering the questionnaire because of the assumed answer (that everyone supports MAID). The pre-assumed answers didn't allow me to answer honestly or as I really thought about the issues. :(