Friday, July 24, 2020

EPC works to prevent euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In the past 3 days I have dealt with 3 assisted death cases. The first case concerned an American woman, who was a quadriplegic but not terminally ill, who has died. The second case concerns a Canadian man with significant disabilities who needs near total care, at this moment, to live independently. He never considered euthanasia (MAiD) in the past, but due to the prospect of living without at least the minimal level of care has led him to consider an assisted death. The third case is a Canadian with a chronic but not terminal condition, who is seeking death.

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The first case was an American woman who lived with significant disabilities and clinical depression. She became sick with pneumonia and was experiencing suicidal thoughts when she was convinced by a doctor to request assisted suicide. This had not been something that she had previously considered. This woman, who was at an emotional low point, died by an assisted death based on the suggestion of the physician.

Her partner contacted us because he wants to prevent similar assisted deaths.

The second case is an example of a person who does not want an assisted death, but feels that it is the only option. He could go to a nursing home, but in the past he lived in a nursing home and it didn't work out. He wants to live in his apartment and receive the care that he needs, but the home care requires approval. This man's situation is similar to Roger Foley, the London Ontario man who was offered MAiD euthanasia rather than self-directed home care.

This is not the first time that I have been contacted by a person with a similar concern. In June 2019 a disabled man who was feeling pressured to ask for euthanasia contacted us about his concerns. So much for the free choice slogan.

The third case concerns a man who is seeking an assisted death, but who lives with a chronic condition and is not otherwise dying. His wife is upset that the man is seeking an assisted death and was shocked when a known euthanasia doctor determined that he qualified, even though another doctor assessment stated that he didn't qualify because he isn't sick.

If the federal government passes Bill C-7 cases like this will qualify for assisted death. Bill C-7 removes the requirement that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable to qualify for assisted death. Therefore, people who are not terminally ill could die by euthanasia. Bill C-7 creates a two track law. A person whose "natural death is reasonably foreseeable" would have no waiting period while a person whose "natural death is not reasonably foreseeable," such as this man, would have a 90 day waiting period before being killed by lethal injection. *The legislation does not define the phrase "natural death is reasonably foreseeable."

No matter what you think about euthanasia (MAiD) Bill C-7 must be defeated and the government must do a proper review of Canada's euthanasia law.

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

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