Monday, September 14, 2020

A euthanasia (MAiD) story. Who decides?

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Why has assisted death become common so quickly in Canada?

I was visiting a friend, this weekend, who told me the story of how his neighbour died by (MAiD) euthanasia earlier this year.

He told me that he and his wife were helping their neighbour, who had cancer, by bringing him to the hospital for treatments and the doctors for appointments.

The man was considering a new round of treatment, but his family doctor urged him to "ask" for MAiD (euthanasia). The cancer had spread quickly and he was losing hope so he agreed to die by lethal injection. In case your wondering, finding a second doctor or nurse practitioner to agree is not difficult.

My friend then spoke about how the doctor, and his neighbour, kept the euthanasia decision a secret. His wife asked, how does my husband know that he is dying on that day? She became aware of the decision in the last minute. 

If there is nothing wrong with killing by euthanasia, then why keep it a secret?

She sat at his side holding his hand while he was injected and died. My friend looked at me and said, his wife was upset.

My friend did not question that his neighbour qualified for MAiD, he questioned the process that led to his neighbours death.

According to my friend, this man was not suffering, even though he probably feared possible future suffering.

This man was speaking to his doctor about another course of treatment, not euthanasia. I understand that the doctor thought that further treatment was futile, but why did killing become the answer? Was it compassionate?

Why didn't the doctor assure the man that he could be kept comfortable? Why was euthanasia brought up rather than caring options?

This appears to be a case of a doctor who has normalized killing within his medical practice. He has done it before and doing it again only rationalizes, for him that his other acts of euthanasia were good.

Killing justifies killing and normalizes the act.

Caring normalizes caring.

Killing is not caring. Killing is not dignified.

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