Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Ontario doctor charged with 4 counts of first degree murder. Canada needs to re-evaluate its euthanasia law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Brian Nadler (36) a doctor who practised medicine in Hawkesbury Ontario, was charged with one count of first degree murder in July 2021 and was charged today with three more counts of first degree murder.

According to a CBC News report:
Nadler was originally charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of 89-year-old Albert Poidinger of Pointe-Claire, Que. Poidinger was a patient at the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital, which is located between Ottawa and Montreal.

The three most recent alleged victims are 80-year-old Claire Briere of Rigaud, Que., 79-year-old Lorraine Lalande of Hawkesbury and 93-year-old Judith Lungulescu of East Hawkesbury Township.
The Nadler case, and other cases of medical killings, should cause the Canadian government to re-evaluate its euthanasia (MAiD) law.

Canada's euthanasia law employs imprecise "safeguards" to regulate "MAiD." A person must request death but the safeguards only require a physician or nurse practitioner to be of the opinion that the person fits the criteria of the law.

When parliament passed Bill C-7 in March 2021, they eliminated the 10-day reflection period for terminally ill people, meaning a person can ask to die and be killed on the same day. Bill C-7 eliminated the requirement that a person be competent at the time of death and it permitted euthanasia for mental illness alone (with a 2-year-moratorium to provide time to develop regulations). The committee that was charged with developing regulations has suggested that no new regulations are needed for euthanasia for mental illness alone.

Further to that, a parliamentary committee is currently debating permitting euthanasia by advanced directive and euthanasia for children.

Why should Nadler's alleged deaths lead to changes to Canada's MAiD law?

With the loosening of regulations, combined with the imprecise language of the law, it will become very difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate between alleged acts of intentionally overdosing patients and killing patients outright by euthanasia based on the opinion that person fits the criteria of the law.

Nadler's lawyer, Brian Greenspan, told CBC news that:
Nadler will be "vigorously defended" by the law firm.

"All four patients died of COVID-19 and Dr. Nadler provided excellent palliative care. When the facts are fully presented, we are confident that he will be vindicated,"
The question is, based on the language of Canada's MAiD law, whether it is possible to differentiate between intentional medical murder and legal euthanasia.

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