Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Netherlands Health Minister Proposes Protocol for euthanasia of children under 12.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The DutchNews.nl reported today that Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuipers announced the intention to extend euthanasia to children, but without changing the law. Kuipers intends to extend the Groningen Protocol, which currently applies to babies, to include children under the age of 12.

An article by Peter McLaren Kennedy for EuroWeekly stated:

The proposed protocol contains seven criteria for euthanasia for those between one and 12. Doctors will have to be convinced the child’s suffering is unbearable and there is no possibility of a cure or a treatment to alleviate the pain.

The diagnosis would have to be fully discussed with the child’s parents as well as the possibility of euthanasia, for which both parents will have to give their permission.

Doctors will also discuss the procedure with the child in a way the child will understand and will only proceed if the child is in no way opposed to it.

In addition, doctors will have to consult at least one independent doctor who will be required to evaluate if all the criteria have been met before euthanasia can take place.

The concept is currently out to consultation with Kuipers to present the final concept in October, when he will also announce when the protocol will come into force.

In October 2020, Netherlands Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced that the government would amend or permit child euthanasia. According to the DutchNews.nl:

De Jonge added that current laws would not need to be amended. Rather, doctors would be exempted from prosecution for carrying out an approved euthanasia on a child.
At that time, an effective campaign opposing child euthanasia was established by a group of Netherlands citizens and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition ran a petition with more than 100,000 people opposing child euthanasia. The Netherlands government did not extend euthanasia to children.

This latest announcement may set a very dangerous precedent. The Groningen Protocol permits euthanasia of newborns who are experiencing current or possible future suffering. If you use the same definitions for children under 12, there will be many euthanasia deaths of children who may have treatable conditions. Further to that, there are many medical conditions that possibly lead to future suffering.

As much as I oppose euthanasia in general, it would be more honest if
the Netherlands parliament debated and passed clear legal guidelines rather than avoid the contentious debate and approve a killing protocol that will enable doctors and parents to make lethal decisions in a back room.

health minister Ernst Kuipers

Read more at DutchNews.nl:

health minister Ernst Kuipers has said in a briefing to MPs.

Read more at DutchNews.nl:

Monday, June 27, 2022

Spain: 180 euthanasia deaths in the first year of the law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Spain's Minister of Health Carolina Darias announced last Friday that there were 180 euthanasia deaths in the first year since legalization.

The SUR news in English stated:
During the event, which included a screening of the short 'El viaje a Islandia', by César Vallejo de Castro, the Minister stressed that when patients request euthanasia, the medical teams make sure that they fulfil all the criteria, are fully aware of what they are asking and are exercising their right without coming under pressure from anyone else.
'El viaje a Islandia' is a short film that promotes euthanasia. Therefore the Minister of Health decided to promote more euthanasia rather than simply announce the first year data.

Spain operates its law in a tighter manner than Canada. In Spain every euthanasia death is approved by a committee rather than the decision being made by to two pro-euthanasia medical practitioners, as is done in Canada.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Judge rejects challenge to legalize euthanasia within California assisted suicide law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A California federal judge rejected a case designed to permit euthanasia within California's assisted suicide act. Lonny Shavelson, a doctor that solely focuses on assisted suicide and Sandra Morris, who lives with ALS, argued that the state's assisted suicide law discriminated against people who had difficulty self-ingesting the lethal assisted suicide drugs and to remedy the situation the state needed to permit euthanasia (lethal injection) in those cases. (Link to the decision)

A federal judge said he cannot allow an Americans with Disabilities Act carveout to California’s assisted suicide law that would let doctors assist people too weak or disabled to ingest end-of-life medication, finding that such a provision would “fundamentally alter” the law from conferring the ability to take your own life to having a doctor do it for you.
Dinzeo stated that Justice Chhabria rejected Shavelson's challenge. Dinzeo wrote:
Chhabria ruled the case could not proceed on the theory that it violates the ADA because the accommodation they seek would cross the boundary created by the End of Life Option Act, “from the ability to end your own life to the ability to have someone else end it for you.”

Chhabria wrote, “Such an accommodation would ‘compromise' the essential nature of the act, and would therefore fundamentally alter the program.’”

The judge said the law’s self-administration requirement is the “final safeguard” to ensure the act remains voluntary.

“A person seeking to end their life pursuant to the act can opt out at any point — after requesting or receiving the prescription, after the drugs are in their hand, after the feeding tube has been installed, after saying goodbye,” he wrote. “The accommodation that the plaintiffs seek would significantly undermine these protections by opening a window during which there would be no way of knowing whether the patient had changed their mind.”

On September 13, 2021 I wrote that the federal judge must reject the challenge to the state assisted suicide act based on the following rationale: 
  1. There is no right to assisted suicide; therefore, there is no legal requirement to amend the perceived inequality within the state-assisted suicide law.
  2. The Supreme Court, in Glucksberg, recognized that there is no right to assisted suicide and it recognized that one state interest in prohibiting assisted suicide was the prevention of euthanasia. This court case specifically seeks to permit euthanasia.
  3. Permitting euthanasia is not an extension of the state-assisted suicide law, but rather, it requires the court to legislate a new law, that being the legalization of euthanasia, which is a form of homicide.

Link to my previous articles about this court case (Link 1) (Link 2).

Euthanasia panel member quit: "Proposals don't adequately protect Canadians with mental illness.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr. Jeffrey Kirby
Toronto Star political reporter Jacques Gallant reported on June 22nd that Dr. Jeffrey Kirby resigned from the expert panel on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for people with mental illnesses because the recommendations were not stringent enough. In fact, the Final Report of the Expert Panel on MAiD and Mental illness provides no clear guidelines.

Kirby told Gallant:

"More people will end up being approved for MAID and having MAID performed than is warranted, is the simplest way of saying it."
Gallant reported that Kirby resigned after learning that the Final Report would not include dissenting opinions. He said:
"In my view, the government needs to pay attention and learn from all the input they’re getting, and I would be concerned if it goes forward with just those soft recommendations," Kirby said in an interview with the Star. "If that’s all they incorporate, I will be legitimately concerned about it. "

"I just don’t think there’s enough safety there."

Gallant further reported that Kirby was upset with the committee process:

Kirby also wrote of "challenges" working on the panel, including "prolonged intervals of time" between the first meeting and the tabling of the report, when he said the panel did not meet. "There was such limited time to deal with such an important topic with so many dimensions." 
Gallant reported that another panel member, Ellen Cohen, resigned in December. According to her biography in the report, Cohen has lived experience with mental illness and has worked for 30 years in community mental health.

The language of the Expert Panel report appears to improve Canada's MAiD law, while in reality its recommendations include no clear guidelines.

The euthanasia law only requires that a physician or nurse be of the opinion that a person fits the criteria of the law. The Report of the Expert Panel on MAiD for Mental illness does not provide any assurances that people who are living with suicidal ideation will not die by euthanasia.

Canada has now expanded the killing to people with mental illness alone and this "Expert Panel" suggests that the killing be done without clear guidelines.

20 year-old BC Man with undiagnosed condition scheduled to die by euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Sign the petition: Eric Coulam: We urge you to Never Give Up the fight to live! (Link).
Eric Coulam with his grandmother
The story of Eric Coulam, a 20 year-old living in Fort St John BC, who has been approved for MAiD (euthanasia) even though he has an undiagnosed condition is very upsetting.

As reported by Jessica Mundie for the National Post:
In 2013, shortly after Coulam lost his mother to suicide, his health began to decline. It started with a stomach ache, said Suski, but it progressed to something much worse.

Coulam has been living with an undiagnosed gastrointestinal condition which has led to multiple hospital stays, liver and kidney disease, and severe chronic pain. He has visited countless doctors and endured many months in hospitals but has yet to get a diagnosis.

After struggling for almost a decade, Coulam, who now lives in Fort St. John, B.C., has decided to get medical assistance in dying, known also as MAID. He is 20 years old.
Coulam's approval to die by euthanasia is one of the many horrific parts of this story. It appears that he was also medically mismanaged. Mundie reported:
In an interview with a local Fort St. John news site, Coulam discussed his health journey. He said he visited a doctor who performed a scope to investigate his intestine. The doctor encountered a blockage, but Coulam said they did not tell him to take any medications or phone a gastrointestinal doctor.

A couple of days later, he went back for another scope and doctors encountered the same issue.

Eventually, after continuing to eat, his stomach ruptured as the food could not pass through his intestines. The rupture caused fluid in his intestines to enter his bloodstream, leading him to enter septic shock and go into a coma for around two weeks.
Sign the petition: Eric Coulam: We urge you to Never Give Up the fight to live! (Link).
This is a tragic story. Coulam has a grandmother who dearly loves him and told the national post:
“I lost his mom,” she said, through tears. “And now I’ll be losing him.
Legalizing euthanasia (MAiD) has led to so many horrific stories. As a human being I am emotionally affected by this story.

If I had contact with Eric I would urge him and his grandmother to live as near as possible. Her comments were very heartfelt and truly loving.

I urge Eric to continue to live and I challenge him to not give up, even if his goal is solely oriented to finding an answer to his health problems, rather than being killed.

Euthanasia's Cruel Compassion

The following article was published by the Epoch Times on June 22, 2022.

Wesley Smith
By Wesley J Smith

Frederico Carboni made international news recently when he died in Italy’s first legal assisted suicide. Carboni was not terminally ill. He was paralyzed from an auto accident. He wanted suicide because he had no autonomy, saying in an interview, “I am like a boat adrift in the ocean.”

How tragic. Quadriplegia need not be the end of all good things. People who have experienced such catastrophic accidents often pick up the pieces and get on with life—when they receive life-affirming care and are not merely “warehoused” in a nursing home.

But too often people with disabilities are denied that compassion, which pushes them toward euthanasia or suicide out of desperation. One such woman is Rosie Ashcraft, who lives in British Columbia. Ashcraft has an agonizing neuromuscular condition. She wants surgery to stabilize her neck and make the pain more bearable. But in Canada’s sclerotic socialized medical system, she has been unable to obtain an appointment with a neurosurgeon for four years—and coming to the United States for the care would cost more than $100,000. In desperation, she says she is seriously considering being killed by a doctor rather than continue in pain without hope of amelioration. One suspects that she would not have to wait four years for that doctor’s appointment.

Alas, Ashcraft isn’t alone in being so abandoned. During COVID-19, a 90-year-old Canadian woman named Nancy Russell chose to be euthanized because she was distraught at the idea of being kept isolated from relatives during a spike in cases, worrying that she would experience the profound loneliness and health decline she had during an earlier nursing home lockdown. In an especially bitter irony, her relatives were allowed to be with her when she was lethally injected—but would have been excluded from her company had she chosen to go on living.

Right about now, some readers might be saying, “Well, if I were paralyzed or in unremitting pain, I would want to die too.” And therein lies the insidious trap. Because killing rather than caring for people with the most serious and painful disabilities can quickly become the default setting.

That was certainly the concern of my good friend Mark O’Brien. Mark contracted polio in 1955 when he was six. He was completely paralyzed and spent the 44 years that remained of his life in an iron lung.

Some might say that it would be better to be dead than be ensconced in a machine to breathe. To be sure, Mark’s life wasn’t easy, and he sometimes got depressed. But he refused to fall prey to despondency. Indeed, Mark’s true yearning was for full inclusion in a society too often indifferent to the common humanity of its disabled members. In fact, he insisted on it.

Toward that end, he became a disability rights activist and helped pioneer the independent living movement that allows people with disabilities to be at the cause of their lives instead of the effect of their disability. Independent living allowed Mark to reside in his own apartment cared for by an aide whom he hired—and could fire. So empowered, Mark graduated from U.C. Berkeley. He became a published poet, journalist, and essayist. He was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary, “Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O’Brien.”

Mark was also an adamant campaigner against assisted suicide, which he viewed to be an explicitly anti-disabilities policy. He bitterly criticized euthanasia advocate Jack Kevorkian as a killer of disabled people, and he bluntly described the message pitched by the assisted suicide movement as “Get rid of these people. I don’t care how. Just get them out of my sight.”

Shortly before he died from post-polio syndrome, I interviewed Mark for one of my books. Mentioning all that he had accomplished, I asked whether he would change anything. He answered vehemently, “I sure as hell wouldn’t have had polio!”

No one would want that. But life is what you make of it. By this and any measurement, Mark triumphed. His funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, including at least one girlfriend of whom I knew. And yet, in Canada and many other countries—perhaps even in California when he became so weak to be determined terminal—Mark would have qualified for facilitated death, and many would have thought that by so allowing, they were doing him a favor. Boy, would he have ever given them an earful!

Then, there was my late friend Robert Salamanca, who died of ALS. I met Bob as his hospice volunteer. A vigorous exerciser and former amateur boxer, Bob told me that he wanted to commit suicide after being diagnosed with the progressively disabling illness. This was when Kevorkian was—to much media acclaim—helping people with disabilities and terminal conditions kill themselves. Bob caught that message and wanted to die at Kevorkian’s hands. But unlike some do today, Bob’s family refused to be part of any such plan.

And was Bob ever glad they did! As he described it to me, “I came out of the fog.” Bob spent his remaining time watching his children grow, investing successfully online, and collecting art. But if assisted suicide had been legal in California at the time of his greatest despair, he might not have lived long enough to do those things.

Before he died peacefully in his sleep, Bob authored an op/ed column for the Feb. 19, 1997, San Francisco Chronicle titled, “I Don’t Want a Choice to Die,” in which he wrote in part: “Euthanasia advocates believe they are doing people like me a favor. They are not. The negative emotions toward the terminally ill and disabled generated by their advocacy is actually at the expense of the ‘dying’ and their families and friends. We often feel disheartened and without self-assurance because of a false picture of what it is like to die created by these enthusiasts who prey on the misinformed.”

In other words, the euthanasia movement message of exclusion made Bob’s life more difficult, not better. Bob wrote that, instead of people supporting facilitated death, “What we, the terminally ill, need is exactly the opposite—to realize how important our lives are. And our loved ones, friends, and, indeed, society need to help us feel that we are loved and appreciated unconditionally.”

He concluded: “In my view, the pro-euthanasia followers’ posture is a great threat to the foundation upon which all life is based, and that is hope. I exhort everyone: Life is worth living, and life is worth receiving. I know. I live it every day.”

The media continually promote the euthanasia/assisted suicide movement as “compassionate.” If so, it’s a cruel compassion. As Bob put it, “Reporting in the media too often makes us feel like token presences, burdens who are better off dead.”

So, the next time assisted suicide is presented in a positive light, remember Carboni, Ashcraft, Russell, O’Brien, Salamanca, and many others like them. Rather than putting so much emphasis on helping people die, let’s instead focus on providing the kind of care that could help those in extremis go on living. Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Time

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Swiss Medical Association backs restrictions on assisted suicide

This article was published by Bioedge on June 21, 2022.

By Michael Cook is the editor of Bioedge.

The Swiss Medical Association has clarified its attitude toward assisted suicide – and it is very restrictive in the face of growing pressures for liberalisation. Assisted suicide has been legal for decades in Switzerland, but since the 1990s, Switzerland has become a haven for foreigners seeking to die.

The guidelines issued last month declare that “assisted suicide for healthy persons is not medically and ethically justifiable”. As such, healthy persons who want to end their lives must prove that their suffering is “unbearable”, and that “other options have been unsuccessful or are rejected by the patient as unreasonable”.

Patients should also have at least two meetings with a doctor– at least two weeks apart –before the final decision to ensure that their desire is “well-considered and enduring”.

The guidelines underscore that the doctor is free to refuse to cooperate:
The true role of physicians in the management of dying and death, however, involves relieving symptoms and supporting the patient. Their responsibilities do not include offering assisted suicide, nor are they obliged to perform it. Assisted suicide is not a medical action to which patients could claim to be entitled, even if it is a legally permissible activity.
The guidelines bring the medical association into line with the ethical guidelines issued in 2018 by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences. While not legally binding, they will form part of an ethical code for Swiss doctors.

The guidelines were criticised by the major Swiss assisted suicide organisations. In a joint statement, they complained that the guidelines would make it more difficult to provide help to those who want to end their lives. They say that a requirement that a doctor decide on the “severity” of a patient’s condition infringes an individual’s right to define his suffering.

Will the stand of the Swiss Medical Association change how assisted suicide works in Switzerland? Perhaps not.

Dr Philip Nitschke, an Australian activist who is involved in a Swiss assisted suicide clinic, sneered on Twitter: “Swiss Med Assn doesn’t like it when doctors don’t control the process…but luckily, the Med Assn doesn’t make the law…and until they do, healthy people can indeed get help to die in Switzerland.”

More articles on this topic:


Monday, June 20, 2022

Disabled man is the first Italian to die by assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Italian assisted suicide campaigners
On June 16, the first Italian assisted suicide death took place. Federico Carboni, originally known as "Mario," died by assisted suicide. All of the precedent-setting assisted suicide cases in Italy have concerned people with disabilities.

As reported by Mercopress.com:
Carboni, 44, worked as a truck driver until 2010 when he had an accident that left him quadriplegic, after which he sought to be allowed to die. As per current Italian law, aiding suicide carries a penalty of between 5 to 12 years in prison.

In September 2019 the Italian Constitutional Court opened the door to assisted suicide. At the time, I was concerned with the language of the decision. An article in the Guardian reported that the court appeared to limit the extent of the decision to people being kept alive on life-support, but the language of the decision was much wider. An article in the Guardian stated:

The court said that a patient’s condition must be “causing physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable”.

Since the decision used the phrase “causing physical and psychological suffering that he or she considers intolerable,” and since the court did not define the parameters of the statement, I was concerned that assisted suicide would primarily apply to people with disabilities.

When studying the assisted suicide debate in Italy, you will notice that the cases have all concerned people with disabilities.

An Italian court acquitted assisted suicide activists Marco Cappato and Mina Welby in the assisted suicide death of Davide Trentini, who died in the April 2017 at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. Trentini was living with multiple sclerosis.

In December 2020, a Milan court acquitted Italian assisted suicide activist, Marco Cappato in the assisted suicide death of Fabiano Antoniani (known as DJ Fabo), who died in February 2017 at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland. Antoniani was living with a Spinal Cord injury.

Now that Carboni, known as Mario, has died by assisted suicide, the pressure to legalize assisted suicide will intensify in Italy.

Clearly, the assisted suicide lobby in Italy is promoting assisted suicide as a response to living with a disability.

A story of a truly dignified death in Switzerland

A letter from a friend and supporter in Switzerland. Reprinted with permission.

De Visu/Shutterstock.com
In our family our Mom, Rita, died in February 2022. She was 94 years old.

In September 2021 she went for three weeks to a home for elderly people. She was not happy there, so we found a lady who came to her home, to stay with her, to eat lunch with her, to play cards.

In January 2022 she had a brain stripe and I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital, she answered to me: No, I prefer to die at home and soon after, she went to heaven.

You know it was incredible. After the brain stripe she recovered a little bit and wanted to have a feast-meal with us. We had red wine and french fries.

And the last week before she died, I visited the neighbours house to ask them if they wanted to come, to say goodbye. 

A young couple came with their two kids. I told them that my mom liked to sing and that we could sing now at her bed to say goodbye. And we sang a child’s song. It was so beautiful to see how God arranged everything. It was an empowering experience. I am so grateful!

Now, I wish you a good summertime.

Liebe Grüsse für Alex und alle deine Lieben. A big hug from Zurich

Margrit

Friday, June 17, 2022

Analysis from a local fly on the wall: Quebec euthanasia Bill 38

This article was written before the Québec government decided to delay Bill 38. Nonetheless, the article is important because Bill 38 will likely return after the October 22 Quebec election.

--a predictable exercise in expanding the footprint of euthanasia

Gordon Friesen
By Gordon Friesen, EPC Board Member

Just as Canadian lawmakers decided that our original euthanasia law Bill C-14 (2016) needed to be revised, so also, lawmakers in Quebec reacted to the resulting law Bill C-7 (2021) by beginning a process to amend their own legislation (Quebec Bill 52, 2014). This process began with a Special Commission (also 2021). And the recommendations of that Commission have now been presented in Quebec Bill 38.

Experience around the world has shown that such legal evolution of euthanasia laws usually move in one direction. To revise is to expand. And in this respect, the current Quebec initiative is no different; several expansions are made.

Most important, of course, is the principle of euthanasia for patients who are not actually dying, and for patients incapable of consent through authorization by advance directive (more on this later). But there are also stricter rules on who must permit and who must collaborate with the practice.

For instance, several palliative care homes currently refuse to provide euthanasia. In the original law, it was merely stipulated that such homes had to inform potential clients as to which end-of-life services they would provide. In the revised version, it is stated that ALL such facilities MUST provide euthanasia (in the absence of special authorization from the Ministry).

In addition, we find a modification to the basic definition of a nurse's duties (in the Nurses Act, 2O2O, clause 36) it stated where "...providing nursing and medical care ... to maintain and restore the health of a person ... to prevent illness, AND PROVIDING PALLIATIVE CARE" has been changed to "AND PROVIDE APPROPRIATE SYMPTOM RELIEF”. This substitution both diminishes the full meaning of Palliative Care, and suggests that the killing of patients --defined as mere "symptom relief"-- should be a standard expectation of all nurses.

There is also a clause referring to ALL members, of all care teams, in all long term treatment facilities, which I like to think of as the "Stool Pigeon Clause":

“29.12. If a patient who has made an advance request appears to be experiencing the suffering described in the request... A health professional who is a member of the care team responsible for the patient ... must, on finding that the patient appears to be experiencing such suffering, notify "a competent professional" (where "competent professional" is code for "euthanasia provider").

This apparently signifies that everybody working with a given patient (having made an advance euthanasia request) is now duty bound to report that person to a potential euthanasia provider when he or she has crossed the defined threshold.

Lastly, in the original law, only doctors were authorized (or obliged) to provide euthanasia. In Bill 38, however, the term "competent professional" is substituted (3.1), to include also "a specialized nurse practitioner, provided the latter is acting as a specialized nurse practitioner practising in a centre operated by a public institution.”

One must not fall into the trap, therefore, of believing that only willing individuals will be euthanasia providers. On the contrary. As defined “competent professionals”, all doctors and eligible nurse practitioners (and certainly those working in the relevant institutions) are liable to find themselves confronted with requests to evaluate, certify, and perform. In fact, under the universal euthanasia regime we now have in Quebec, it seems impossible that such professionals may much longer escape euthanasia-compliance.

And in any case, although there still exists a right to refuse participation, that right does not go so far as to avoid finding a more willing replacement.

(Section 50) “Such professionals must nevertheless ensure that continuity of care is provided to the patient, in accordance with their code of ethics and the patient’s wishes”

1) More people will be eligible, that is: people not at the end of life; and people incapable of consenting to any care (through the use of advance requests).

2) The nature of nursing and the expectation of newly formed nurses has changed to include euthanasia, implicitly defined as "symptom relief".

3) Palliative Care facilities can no longer simply choose to forgo euthanasia (even by giving up public funds). They will need special authorization from the Ministry.

4) All health professionals working in facilities housing patients who have made advance requests for euthanasia, will be obliged to monitor and report them (to the nearest "competent professional") when those patients have crossed their defined thresholds.

5) All "competent professionals" (including nurse practitioners as well as doctors) will have specific obligations to evaluate, certify, and euthanize both capable patients making current requests, and incapable patients who now respond to the conditions of previously registered advance requests.

6) No refusal of these functions is possible without timely collaboration in finding a replacement.

(Moreover, the inevitable case remains to be litigated as to what must happen when no other willing "competent professional" can be found, due to geographical or other constraints.)

In short, it defies imagination that conscientious objection will not soon be relegated to a "grand-fathered" status, whereas, in many institutional settings: newly formed doctors and nurses will be expected to demonstrate euthanasia-compliance as a simple condition of employment.

--And yet there is more than meets the eye

Most interestingly, however, Bill 38 has revealed itself to be more controversial than was at first believed. For in the last three weeks, two embarrassing episodes have occurred: 

  • First, there was a clause involving eligibility for neuromuscular disorders, such as quadriplegia and cerebral palsy, which was withdrawn in order to ensure quick passage of the Bill (May 25, 2022). 
  • Second, although it had been confidently predicted that Bill 38 would receive the unanimous assent required to pass rapidly before the Summer Recess (June 10), that too has proved to be impossible (even without the aforementioned clause). Therefore the Bill has been pushed back to the next session.

The reasons for these set-backs are extremely interesting. For they touch on certain inherent contradictions between the Federal vision of euthanasia, and that of Quebec. Moreover, they suggest practical strategies for combating both.

However, these things cannot be explained in a short space. They will, therefore, provide the subject for a separate article.

Gordon Friesen, Montreal

http://www.euthanasiediscussion.net/ (français)
http://euthanasiadiscussion.com/ (english site in development)
http://hopeandfree.com/ (personal philosophical musings)