Friday, January 14, 2022

Assisted suicide becomes a wider option in Canada.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Halifax Examiner published an article on January 13 by Yvette d'Entremont concerning new options for assisted suicide in Nova Scotia and Canada. The article outlines how nearly every (MAiD) assisted death is done by euthanasia (lethal injection) in Canada. A lethal drug cocktail has now been approved to enable an "oral option" otherwise known as assisted suicide.

d'Entremont reported Jocelyn Downie, Canada's leading pro-euthanasia academic, as stating:
“Ultimately it’s grounded in the twin values that should be behind our MAID decisions, which is respect for autonomy, so the capacity for self-determination, for charting the course of your own life and death, and then the alleviation of suffering,” Downie said in an interview.

“This is just another element in respecting autonomy. It’s providing another pathway for people to realize their goal of alleviating their suffering on their own terms. It’s not the kind of development that we’ve seen in the past few years. It’s not seismic. But I think it’s consistent and it’s a completion.”
Memorial University medical ethics professor Daryl Pullman who published an Impact Ethics piece last November comparing the number of MAID deaths in Canada in 2020 to the “dramatically lower” number that occurred in California under its assisted suicide law. d'Entremont reported Pullman as stating:
…Given the significant number of patients in California who meet the criteria for an assisted death, who receive the lethal prescription, but then never follow through, for some simply knowing they have the option seems sufficient,” Pullman wrote.

“The decision not to follow through with ending one’s life is also a matter of autonomous choice. But it is a choice that seems all too rare in the Canadian context, and we should worry that some who initiate the MAiD process might then feel compelled to follow through.”

My anecdotal experience from talking with friends and family members of people who have died by (MAiD) euthanasia in Canada is that there is pressure to complete the act. I refer to it as getting on the euthanasia train. There are very few places where the train stops in Canada.

Concerning the radical difference between the number of assisted deaths in California as compared to Canada, Pullman states: 

“Doesn’t this disturb anybody that these numbers are so blatantly different,”
Pullman expresses further concern about the expansion of Canada's law to permit euthanasia for mental illness alone. d'Entremont reports:
“The Canadian Parliament seems more interested right now in waxing the runners on the sleigh than in actually trying to assess whether or not the hill we’re going down is pretty steep. We seem to be rushing headlong for a precipice here,” Pullman said.

“We’re medicalizing suicide in Canada, effectively, so that people who, for whatever reason, judge their life to be unacceptable they can, under this legislation, get medical assistance in ending their life and that’s a little bit disturbing.”
The approved protocal for assisted suicide (oral option) requires that an IV be inserted first in case the assisted suicide drug cocktail doesn't work.

Downie disagreed with Pullman, but that is not surprising because she has radically promoted euthanasia for years.

The article concludes by stating that according to Nova Scotia Health, since 2018, of the 1,389 patients, 29 (2.1%) who were referred for MAID have paused or withdrawn their MAID requests.

When only 2.1% of the people in Nova Scotia who ask for euthanasia change their mind, clearly the mantra's of choice and autonomy ring hollow.

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