Friday, June 30, 2023

Roll back the euthanasia mandates now!

By Gordon Friesen
President, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Healthcare has long been the 300 lb. gorilla on the Canadian political stage. History has shown that there are few expenses that people will not incur to extend their lives. The tax revenues raised for this purpose are positively staggering: nearly a third of all government spending, and 18% of GDP.

Unsurprisingly, this enormous treasure is aggressively courted by all sorts of political actors (presenting their own pet projects as "healthcare") while actual medical care, itself, is shortchanged in the process. Waiting times, rationing, corridor medicine, these have become the hallmarks of Canada's healthcare system.

Imagine then the administrative enthusiasm which has been fueled by the notion that death (euthanasia) might now be provided as medical care!

(Please note that I am not talking about death-by-choice as a condition of personal self-determination. That is another question entirely. The subject now is euthanasia, prescribed as a cure for all that ails us, by doctors --and sundry other professionals-- working as agents for a State monopoly, whose interests are entirely different from our own.)

No. This is not only about "the most vulnerable", nor the disabled, nor even about the conscience rights of objecting doctors. Those are all real concerns, of course, but what we see in Canada today is no longer limited to any one special interest, or to any coalition of interests. What we are experiencing now is a complete shift of medical practice --a shift of the mission of the entire medical industry-- towards a model of utilitarian veterinary herd-management, where cost-intensive, non-productive members are being euthanized, in order to avoid the expense of maintaining their survival in a dependent state.

No. This is most definitely not about a free individual choice of death (which could be accommodated in any number of ways without vandalizing mainstream medicine). And the proof of that claim can be stated in just one word: mandates.

A liberty to choose death (and even to seek assistance in ending one's life) does not logically entail sweeping, invasive, government mandates --such as those enacted in Canada right now-- forcing virtually every health care institution, and every home-care program, to include the practice and promotion of euthanasia.

Nor can taxpayers have it both ways.

A medical environment where the doctors and support staff have been trained to see the death of expensive patients as an optimal clinical outcome, is not a place where typical non-suicidal patients can be properly treated. Euthanasia mandates do not support choice! On the contrary. They make it impossible for the non-suicidal majority to exercise their own choice of life-sustaining care!

Most of us, I believe, are not paying exorbitant healthcare-justified taxes in the hopes that the money will be stolen --for all sorts of peripheral agendas. And we are certainly not paying those taxes in the hopes that we will one day be put down like a horse or a dog! We wish to be cared for in our time of need, by professionals who believe that medicine can sustain life, well beyond any utilitarian calculation of cost-benefit. That is what we are paying for, and that is what we must demand, from the politicians and public servants who are entrusted with our money.

Once again: rolling back mandates does not involve a lack of choice! Absolutely not. Mandates are the opposite of choice! We must urgently act to nip these anti-freedom, anti-human, utilitarian death mandates, in the bud.

Otherwise, when you or your dear one falls ill: you might as well just take them to the vet.

Suicide deaths have increased in Victoria Australia since assisted death was legalized

This speech was given in the Victoria Australia Parliament on June 21, 2023.

Hon. Damien Tudehope
The Hon. DAMIEN TUDEHOPE (21:31): It is four years ago tomorrow that euthanasia became legal in Victoria. It was claimed during the parliamentary debate that this would prevent 50 suicides each year. Not only has there been no such decline, but there were 62 more suicides in Victoria in 2022 than in 2017, when this claim was made. The suicide rate among those aged over 65 years increased in Victoria between 2019 and 2022 by 42 per cent—five times the increase in New South Wales. It is over a year since this House voted 23‑15 to create an exemption to the laws on murder, and on aiding and counselling suicide, to allow the supply and administration of a lethal substance to a person for the purpose of causing his or her death.

The misnamed Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2022 will come into effect on 28 November 2023. NSW Health is busily preparing for this State-sanctioned killing by setting up pharmacy services to supply the deadly drugs and a "care navigator service" to connect people with medical practitioners willing to end their lives. Expressions of interest for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board have closed and appointments are expected to be made shortly. The members of this board are being given the ultimate power over the lives of vulnerable people. Under the Act, only the board can issue a voluntary assisted dying substance authority—a VADSA—the legal authorisation for a specified medical practitioner to terminate the life of a named person with a specific lethal substance. Who can want this power over the lives of others so much as to seek appointment to this death board? We will see.

It is clear from the Victorian data that State-approved suicide for some evidently leads to more suicide overall. As the first State to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide, Victoria included some restrictions to win over the final votes needed for the legislation to pass, including a default practice of self-administration, with practitioner administration permitted only when self-administration was not possible. There was also a complete prohibition on medical practitioners suggesting voluntary assisted dying before a patient initiated a request for information on it. Western Australia abandoned those restrictions, with predictable results: In the first year, 190 people had their lives ended—147 by administration of a lethal poison by a medical practitioner and 43 by self-administration of a lethal poison. Those deaths accounted for 1.14 per cent of all deaths in Western Australia, nearly double the rate of 0.58 per cent in Victoria in its third full year of legalisation.

If the same impact is seen in New South Wales, around 2,175 deaths can be anticipated under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act in its first year of operation. Rather than offering death by lethal substance to vulnerable people, we should be saying, "We respect you, we value you, we love you and we will wrap around you all those services that see out your dying days in a proper and dignified manner."

Euthanasia promoter urges disabled people to die by suicide

Meghan Schrader is an autistic person who is an instructor at E4 Texas at the University of Texas (Austin) and an EPC-USA board member.

By Meghan Schrader

Meghan Schrader

I spend too much time on Twitter. It’s kind of a vice; given the cesspool that Twitter can be, I probably should get a better hobby.

But, then again, Twitter is an important socialization tool for many people with disabilities, and it provides an opportunity to connect with other people who have disabilities. Opposition to assisted suicide runs deep in the disability justice community, and if one hangs out on what activists call #DisabilityTwitter often like I do, one will probably observe tweets expressing opposition to assisted suicide about once or twice a month, even if one doesn’t follow accounts focused on that issue specifically.

That means that one also becomes apprised of what assisted suicide advocates are doing on Twitter as well, and Twitter provides an opportunity to dialogue with them if one is so inclined.

One of the most honest American proponents that one can dialogue with on Twitter is Thaddeus Mason Pope. Some United States proponents say, with various degrees of sincerity, that what they call “aid in dying” has nothing to do with disabled people and that of course they don’t support killing disabled people, but not him. He’s out, he’s proud, and he wants disabled people everywhere to know that if we would like to die by suicide, he would like to help make that happen. It’s really gross, and really disturbing that society has allowed people like that to have a platform.

Hence, on June 15, 2023, I tweeted to Pope: 

“You run around all day screaming, ‘It’s good for disabled people to die by suicide; it is!’

Do you honestly believe that your advocacy isn’t contributing to suicide contagion among people with disabilities?” 

Pope tweeted back, 

“Good for people with disabilities if they themselves determine that this is in their own best interest.” 

I tweeted, 

“So the suicides of people with disabilities are good?” 

He wrote, 

“Yes. If that is what THEY want.”
One has to admire Pope’s honesty. But, there’s something really ugly about his logic. His tweets carry the message:
“Nothing matters but me.” Those tweets communicate, “I’m so educated, important and enlightened that I’m above the rules-moral rules about not encouraging others to harm themselves don’t apply to me.” His tweets say, “F-k any disabled Twitter users who might be living with suicidal ideation and could be triggered by my tweets.”
A second thing that Pope acknowledged on Twitter that day was that he knows disabled people will be coerced, forced, traumatized or otherwise harmed by assisted suicide, but he’s ok with that.

In regard to the potential for mistakes in the application of physician assisted suicide, Pope tweeted, 

“Yes yes. So many medical errors. Even about death determination. Even about MAID. We never demand perfection before implementing healthcare.” 

I tweeted, 

“Your logic is deeply disgusting. It establishes that you know that some people will die in accidents related to physician assisted suicide, but you're determined to do it anyway.” 

He wrote, 

“Yes. Just like we allow advance directives, surrogate decisions, withdrawal of life sustaining treatment - and they are all subject to errors too.”
DNRs are in fact weaponized against disabled people. However, there’s an important distinction between a DNR and assisted suicide:
DNRs don’t kill people outright, so there’s a chance that a disabled person subjected to a compulsory DNR could survive and fight back.

Someone who dies in a “MAiD accident” has no opportunity to recover or resist the death being forced on them. All chances of survival are lost.
So, Pope isn’t content to promote disabled people’s suicides. No, no-he wants some of us to become homicide victims, so that privileged academics like himself can plan their deaths. The human rights of the coerced, traumatized or forced people don’t matter to Thaddeus Pope and his friends.

Unfortunately, people like Pope are deriving a political benefit from living in a culture where suicide is viewed as being acceptable if an individual has disabilities. A peer reviewed study by researcher Emily Lund establishes that people are more likely to consider suicide acceptable if the suicide victim has an impairment. (Link to article).

Thaddeus Mason Pope’s tweets are an example of how assisted suicide is linked to oppression, demoralization and violence toward people with disabilities. It’s 2023; disabled people should have been experiencing a much fairer world by now, in several aspects of life.

Instead, the disabled community is reaping the consequences of a society that is so apathetic toward disabled people’s basic needs that it can’t even be bothered to provide us with suicide prevention. We are dirt.

In regard to the disabled community being treated like dirt, statements like Pope’s make it clear that all self-respecting suicide prevention advocates and organizations really need to do some honest and humble reflection on their silence regarding assisted suicide. Not saying anything while people like Pope shamelessly sell suicide to the disabled community communicates that suicide prevention is for ablebodied, neurotypical people. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention strongly opposed extending assisted suicide to the disabled community in 2021, but their opposition came too late to prevent the law change.

Indeed, the American Association of Suicidology’s 2017 statement about “medical aid in dying” being different from suicide had tragic consequences for the disabled community. Regrettably the board had somehow fallen under the influence of assisted suicide advocate, academic Margaret Battin, and its statement about PAS has repeatedly been used to justify PAS in all sorts of different contexts. The 2019 Truchon court decision in Québec which extended euthanasia to people with disabilities, cited the AAS’s statement to support its judgment that “MAiD” for disabled people was not suicide.

The AAS had made that statement in the context of physician assisted suicide for people with terminal illnesses, but in the end, the organization’s intentions did not matter. Its statement that some suicides weren’t suicides was used to cause multiple disabled Canadian’s suicides.

To its credit, the AAS became apprised of the genie it had let out of the bottle, and it retracted its statement about PAS not being suicide in 2023. Now the assisted suicide movement has no scientific basis for its assertions that PAS is not suicide. (Link to article)

But, simply retracting that statement does not go far enough. Given the right to die movement’s tolerance for expansionists (Compassion and Choice’s president appeared on Dr. Phil with Thaddeus Mason Pope in 2022), suicide prevention organizations have no reasonable basis to assume that the right to die movement isn’t undermining suicide prevention for people with disabilities.

Now is the time for mainstream suicide prevention organizations to speak up, before people like Pope gain even more influence over America’s medical system.

Not taking steps to resist the assisted suicide movement leaves resistance to Pope et al’s suicide baiting to all of us autistic crazy people on Twitter.

In the meanwhile, disabled people have no obligation to accept subjugation in respect to suicide prevention or anything else.

Privileged, educated control freaks like Pope aren’t entitled to off a few disabled people, and routinely tell us to kill ourselves, so that they can plan their deaths. We are people; not insects that people like Pope can blithely grind into the dirt.

How the Ontario government hides the cost of MAiD (euthanasia)

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Several months ago I was asked how much the Ontario government was paying for MAiD (euthanasia) deaths. After making several inquiries, I learned that the billing codes for MAiD were palliative care billing codes. It is very difficult to find out exactly how much the Ontario government is paying for euthanasia.

A recent blog article by Patricia Maloney uncovers more information about the cost of MAiD in Ontario. She writes:

My recent FOI request to the Ontario Ministry of Health:

"Can you then please provide me with the fee codes that doctors are being told to use for MAID services...I would like to see whatever guide/memo/documentation that exists to inform doctors to appropriately bill for MAID services."

I received a Quick Reference Guide called OHIP Payments for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). (You won't find this document on the internet. I looked.)

Good grief--the Ontario government is telling doctors to use Palliative Care billing codes when they kill their patients:

"Procedural Planning and Case Management - K023 Palliative Care Support

• Discussions with other health care providers (e.g., physicians, pharmacist, coroner, CCAC) involved in management of the patient’s MAID

• Minimum of 20 minutes (cumulative) in a day of procedural planning/case management activity

• Medical record must indicate the name(s) of health care providers and the start and stop times

Provision of Medical Assistance in Dying - K023 Palliative Care Support

• Travel time for picking up and returning drugs used for the procedure

• Time spent with patient and family obtaining final consent

• Drug administration

• Pronouncement and certification of death

• Counselling of relatives

• Meeting reporting requirements

• Notification of the coroner’s office

• A maximum of two physicians are eligible to be paid K023 for the provision of medical assistance in dying.

K023 claims for procedural planning, case management, the provision of MAID and travel to patient’s home should be flagged to indicate patient encounter is for the provision of MAID. For these services, patient does not need to be palliative. (But they are using a code for palliative care and it doesn't have to be palliative care?)

Then this:

"If administration of the fatal dose of medication is by intravenous (IV), then G379 can be billed for insertion of the IV." (The charade continues.)

And this:

"A945 Special palliative care consultation is billed and time requirements are met (e.g., K023 is eligible for payment with A945 when duration of the consult exceeds 50 minutes)."

If you look at the Schedule of Benefits Physician Services Under the Health Insurance Act, nowhere does it say to use any of these codes for MAID. In fact MAID is never even mentioned at all in this 990 page document. Clearly a separate (hidden) document had to be created to guide doctors on how to bill OHIP when they euthanize their patients. At least Quebec and Alberta don't hide their costs to kill patients. 

So this is really a double cover up: 1) no accurate costs of the dollars spent to kill patients, and 2) inflate the dollars spent on Palliative Care.

The adjective wicked comes to mind.

My investigation found the British Columbia MAiD billing codes online which were also palliative care billing codes.

When the government announces that they have increased funding for palliative care, the reality is in 2022 they paid for more than 3900 euthanasia deaths within the palliative care provincial budget. It appears that they are both hiding the cost of MAiD and faking an increase in palliative care funding.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Organ donation procedure violates the dead donor rule

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On October 20, 2022, I wrote an article entitled: New Organ transplant procedure violates the dead donor rule where I explain why Normothermic Regional Perfusion organ donation violates the dead donor rule. 

On June 2, 2023 the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article by Troug et al, explaining how Normothermic Regional Perfusion works, why there are ethical objections to it, yet heralding this new organ donation technique as possibly  "The Next Frontier in Organ Donation".

Robert Troug, the lead author of this article, is a long-time proponent of dropping the dead donor rule for organ donation. (Article 1) (Article 2) (Article 3)

The article explains how Normothermic Regional Perfusion is done:
The donation after circulatory death–normothermic regional perfusion method differs from standard donation after circulatory death in that perfusion to the organs is restored in situ before they are removed. In normothermic regional perfusion, immediately after death is declared, surgeons perform a sternotomy, place cannulas into the right atrium and the descending aorta, clamp the brachiocephalic arteries to occlude blood flow to the brain, and use an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to initiate warm perfusion to all of the organs. Once ECMO perfusion is established, the perfused organs typically start to regain function inside the donor’s body: the heart beats, the liver makes bile and clears lactate, the kidneys produce urine, and the donor may even be weaned off ECMO. This procedure allows time for the organs to be monitored and optimized before removal and transplant.
This means that once the heart stops beating for 5 minutes and the person is declared dead, the organ donation team will then block the blood flow to the brain and restart the heart to enable normal organ function. 

These people are being intentionally made 'brain dead' in order to be used as organ donors.

Troug states that those who support Normothermic Regional Perfusion believe that they are fulfilling the circulatory death protocol, with the only difference being that after the person is declared dead, the heart is restarted to ensure that the organs remain healthy.

Troug explains that those who oppose Normothermic Regional Perfusion argue that the only reason the person is not resuscitated in the first place is that the person has agreed to be an organ donor. Troug explains:
Critics insist that restoring circulation with ECMO does indeed reverse the very criteria by which the patient was declared to be dead and that once supported on ECMO, patients no longer fulfill the circulatory criteria for death. Proponents disagree, noting that cerebral circulation had ceased for 5 minutes during the hands-off period and was prevented from being restored by the clamping of the brachiocephalic vessels, inevitably leading to a state of brain death. Yet this response has been criticized because (1) it seems to switch the criteria by which death is determined from circulatory to neurological, and (2) the determination of death by neurological criteria requires a number of specific examinations and tests that cannot be completed within the timeframe of donation after circulatory death-normothermic regional perfusion.
Troug opposes the dead donor rule and he supports Normothermic Regional Perfusion. Troug does repeat the concerns with the new organ donation technique, but he states:
The donation after circulatory death–normothermic regional perfusion procedure offers an unprecedented opportunity to improve both the number and quality of organs procured from donation after circulatory death. Faced with a growing waiting list, a commitment to saving as many lives as possible, and increasing scrutiny and regulatory pressures, many in the transplant community are eager to embrace normothermic regional perfusion.
Normothermic Regional Perfusion bi-passes the dead donor rule by allowing an organ donor to die, even though the person may have been able to live, in order to harvest healthy organs. It is not that death first occurs, rather death is made to occur, for the purpose of organ donation.

The dead donor rule is being circumvented in order to provide more organs for donation.

Canadian Medical Journal Offers Guidelines for Euthanasia/Organ-Harvesting Non-Terminally Ill Patients

This article was published by National Review online on June 28, 2023.

Wesley Smith
By Wesley J Smith

A new Canadian Medical Association Journal article updates recommendations for doctors to apply when euthanizing and organ harvesting non-terminally ill patients. The article was published in the wake of Canadian law now allowing patients who are not dying to ask for euthanasia — called “Track 2” patients in the article. (Track 1 patients, those whose deaths are “reasonably foreseeable,” have even more relaxed policies than Track 2.)

Due to space considerations, I will focus primarily on Track-2 patients — what a dehumanizing term to describe patients soon to be administered a lethal jab — which include the chronically ill, people with disabilities, the frail elderly, and starting next year, the mentally ill. From, “Deceased Organ and Tissue Donation After Medical Assistance in Dying” (my emphasis):
All Track 2 patients who are potentially eligible for organ donation should be approached for first-person consent for donation after MAiD once MAiD eligibility has been confirmed, regardless of when their eligibility for MAiD is confirmed within the 90-day assessment period. (New recommendation)
This means that the death doctor is to contact the organ-donation association, which, in turn, will contact the suicidal patient and ask for his or her organs (which already happens in Ontario). Note: The patient is not offered suicide prevention but is offered the option of becoming an organ donor.

The recommendations also suggest allowing a patient to direct the donation:
Organ donation organizations and transplantation programs should develop a policy on directed deceased donation for patients pursuing MAiD, in alignment with the directed donation principles and practices that are in place for living donation in their jurisdiction. (New recommendation) . . .

Directed donation should not proceed if there is indication of monetary exchange or similar valuable consideration or coercion involved in the decision to pursue directed donation.

The intended recipient in a directed deceased donation case should be a family member or “close friend” — an individual with whom the donor or donor’s family has had a long-standing emotional relationship . . .

The intended recipient must be on the current transplant waiting list or meet criteria for the same . . .

Transplantation will proceed only if the donor organ is medically compatible with the intended recipient.
Think about this. The need for a transplant by medically compatible loved one could become the motive for asking for euthanasia. This applies to the non–terminally ill Track 2 as well as Track 1 patients.

Consent to donate is required:
Track 2 patients must provide first-person consent immediately before the MAiD procedure. As such, first-person consent should be obtained before transfer and admission to hospital for donation. (New recommendation)
To be a donor, the patient must be killed in the hospital. So, consent to donate is given before transferring to the hospital where the homicide and organ harvesting will take place. Again, no last chance for suicide prevention.

And, the article grouses that waiting for the patient to initiate organ donation conversations means “missed opportunities:”
Given the variation in practices relating to both MAiD and donation after MAiD across Canada, some jurisdictions may be unable to apply the updated guidance. Specifically, in jurisdictions reliant on patient initiation of donation after MAiD, lack of awareness of the option may result in missed opportunities. Jurisdictions without central coordination of MAiD may experience similar challenges. There are also jurisdictional variations in the education, training and support provided to coordinators who facilitate donation after MAiD.
Euthanasia dehumanizes people deemed killable under the law. Once accepted for death by medicalized homicide, the patient is diminshed — in at least some sense — to a natural resource ripe for the harvest.

Canadian medicine has become an ethics horror. Those with eyes to see, let them see.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Dutch people are being euthanized for having autism

By James Schadenberg

The Associated Press published an article on June 28 (Link) about a worrying trend in the Netherlands where people with disabilities such as autism are being killed through euthanasia on the basis that they claim they cannot lead normal lives:

Tine Nys died by euthanasia based on autism

Several people with autism and intellectual disabilities have been legally euthanized in the Netherlands in recent years because they said they could not lead normal lives, researchers have found.

The cases included five people younger than 30 who cited autism as either the only reason or a major contributing factor for euthanasia, setting an uneasy precedent that some experts say stretches the limits of what the law originally intended.

In 2002, the Netherlands became the first country to allow doctors to kill patients at their request if they met strict requirements, including having an incurable illness causing “unbearable” physical or mental suffering.

These findings were uncovered in a study by Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a palliative care specialist at Britain’s Kingston University. By reviewing 900 case files from the years 2012-2021, which were publically posted by the Dutch government’s euthanasia review committee, they noted that 39 of these case files involved autistic and/or intellectually disabled individuals, with over half of them being younger than 50.

As Irene Tuffrey-Wijne points out, this sends a disturbing message that death is a solution to feelings of loneliness and social alienation:

Many of the patients cited different combinations of mental problems, physical ailments, diseases or aging-related difficulties as reasons for seeking euthanasia. Thirty included being lonely as one the causes of their unbearable pain. Eight said the only causes of their suffering were factors linked to their intellectual disability or autism — social isolation, a lack of coping strategies or an inability to adjust their thinking.

“There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering,” Tuffrey-Wijne said. “But is society really OK with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them and it’s just better to be dead?”
The article illustrates some of the cases of autistic people who were approved of euthanasia that the researchers were looking at:
Among the eight patients cited by researchers were an autistic man in his 20s. His record said “the patient had felt unhappy since childhood,” was regularly bullied and “longed for social contacts but was unable to connect with others.” The man, who was not named, chose euthanasia after deciding that “having to live on this way for years was an abomination.”

The records also included an autistic woman in her 30s who also had borderline personality disorder. She was offered a spot in a supported living center, but her doctors said she could not maintain relationships and deemed contact with others “too difficult.”

In one-third of cases, Dutch doctors concluded autism and intellectual disabilities were untreatable and that there was “no prospect of improvement,” the researchers wrote.
This research has been met by experts condemning this aspect of the Netherlands’ euthanasia regime:
Simon Baron-Cohen, director of Cambridge University’s Autism Research Centre, said it was “abhorrent” that people with autism were being euthanized without being offered further support.

He noted that many autistic people struggle with depression, which could compromise their ability to make a lawful request to die. He also said an autistic person asking to die might not grasp the complexity of the situation.

Dr. Bram Sizoo, a Dutch psychiatrist, was disturbed that young people with autism viewed euthanasia as a viable solution.

“Some of them are almost excited at the prospect of death,” Sizoo said. “They think this will be the end of their problems and the end of their family’s problems.”

A representative of the Royal Dutch Medical Association said it was up to doctors to decide if someone meets the criteria for euthanasia. The group said many cases involving patients with autism were “highly complex” and that “age itself is not a decisive factor to determine whether a person suffers unbearably.”

Kasper Raus, an ethicist and public health professor at Belgium’s Ghent University, said the kinds of people seeking euthanasia in both the Netherlands and Belgium have shifted in the past two decades. When euthanasia was legalized, he said, the debate was about people with cancer, not people with autism.
Another expert quoted in the article wonders whether this could be happening in Canada as well:

Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia, wonders if the same thing is happening in Canada, which arguably has the world’s most permissive euthanasia laws and which doesn’t keep the kinds of records that the Netherlands does.

“Helping people with autism and intellectual disabilities to die is essentially eugenics,” Stainton said.
Much of the underlying philosophy of the “right-to-die” movement is that death is preferable to suffering. The research done by Irene Tuffrey-Wijne shows where this philosophy leads. These people needed someone to talk to, someone to spend time with, and societal acceptance. They needed love and acceptance but were given death instead.

Tim Stainton is right to point out that because the Netherlands keeps records of controversial euthanasia cases and Canada does not, we cannot know if people who have mental disabilities like autism are at a similar risk of being killed by Canada’s euthanasia regime. Even if we did keep such records, it would be up to the doctors to make these records in the first place. Canada, as well as the Netherlands, needs to move away from a system where doctors self-report details surrounding euthanasia cases so that we can have more accountability in the system.

Further reading:

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Euthanasia lobby pressures BC government to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia (MAiD)

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

*Sign the EPC petition: Catholic hospitals must not be forced to provide (MAiD) euthanasia (Petition Link).

St Paul's hospital Vancouver.
The euthanasia lobby group, Dying With Dignity, is lobbying the British Columbia (BC) government to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia.

The euthanasia lobby is using the story of Samantha O'Neill (34), who died on April 4 by euthanasia (MAiD) after being transferred from St Paul's hospital in Vancouver to St. John’s Hospice (run by Vancouver Coastal Health).

Katie DeRosa reported for The Vancouver Sun on June 23 that Dying With Dignity and O'Neill's family initiated a campaign to pressure the BC government to force Catholic hospitals to kill their patients by euthanasia. DeRosa reported:

O’Neill’s family and Dying with Dignity Canada say it’s unacceptable that a taxpayer-funded hospital like St. Paul’s — which is getting a $2 billion replacement in 2027 — forces dying patients to leave its facility to get MAID.

Dying with Dignity’s CEO Helen Long told DeRosa:

such policies will remain in place unless there’s a successful court challenge.

Shannon Paterson published a report on CTV news on June 27 stating:

Daphne Gilbert, a constitutional law professor at the University of Ottawa, expects a Charter challenge will be filed.

“The Catholic Church does not fund health care, they don’t put money into the health-care system through these institutions. It’s not like this is a shared funding agreement. All of the money is coming from the taxpayers,” said Gilbert.

*Sign the EPC petition: Catholic hospitals must not be forced to provide (MAiD) euthanasia (Petition Link).

Alex Muir, the Chair of the euthanasia lobby Metro Vancouver chapter of Dying With Dignity wrote in a letter to the editor in the Vancouver Sun that:

Katie DeRosa’s story about Samantha O’Neill’s horrific forced transfer from St. Paul’s Hospital to access medical assistance in dying (MAID) highlights the need to stop these transfers.

... The province has the power and the financial leverage to change this, but lacks the political will due to Providence’s prominence in our publicly funded health care system. Shame all around.
This is not the first time that Dying With Dignity (a registered charity) has lobbied the BC government to force Catholic hospitals to kill their patients by euthanasia.

I published an article on March 8, 2022 entitled: Canada's euthanasia lobby demands that religious medical facilities kill. The euthanasia lobby wants to stop the transfer of people who have requested euthanasia by forcing denominational medical institutions to do euthanasia.

The Canadian Press reported:
Dying With Dignity says the service is being restricted because of an agreement that allows facilities covered by the Denominational Health Association to collect taxpayer dollars but refuse to perform services they oppose on religious or moral grounds.

Alex Muir, chair of the Metro Vancouver chapter of Dying With Dignity, says upholding the agreement denies eligible people their constitutionally protected right to access a medically assisted death.The British Columbia government is already forcing provincially funded medical institutions that are not affiliated with a denomination to provide (MAiD) euthanasia.
In February 2021 the Delta Hospice Society was defunded by the BC Ministry of Health because they refused to kill their patients.

The first attempt to force a religious medical institution to participate in euthanasia was in 2019 when the euthanasia lobby pressured the Nova Scotia government to order St Martha's Hospital in Antigonish NS to provide euthanasia. The Nova Scotia government succumbed to the pressure and ordered St Martha's Hospital to provide euthanasia. Consequently, the Antigonish Health and Wellness Centre, which is not owned by St Martha's hospital, agreed to provide euthanasia.


Another Canadian seeks euthanasia based on poverty

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by Jack Hauen that was published on June 26 by Newmarket Today concerns people in Ontario who are receiving Ontario Works (Ontario's name for welfare) or ODSP (disability support) and living in poverty.

The article focuses on the remarks by Ontario Premier Doug Ford concerning people who are receiving Ontario Works and the article interviews two people receiving government assistance.

Hauen interviews Mitchell Tremblay who says:

Once, after a job interview, "the employer called me and said ... 'They're calling me and asking me, how long were you here? Did you look presentable?'" said Mitchell Tremblay, who was on OW for seven years before being allowed to access ODSP, which he has used since. He spoke to The Trillium via a WiFi calling app since he can't afford a phone or plan.
Tremblay describes living in a slum house with rats in the wall, cockroaches throughout and only having access to a shared shower. Hauen then reports:

Tremblay said he's applying for medical assistance in dying (MAiD) next year due to the "horrible conditions" he's facing as a result of his assistance rates.
Rose Finlay
Recently Rose Finlay, a Canadian quadriplegic woman, was approved for death by euthanasia, with a 90 day waiting period, but was told that she must wait 6 - 8 months to receive ODSP (disability support).

Tremblay and Finlay are two of the many stories of people with disabilities who seek a death by euthanasia because they are living in poverty in Canada.

Further reading:

Congress should ban Quality of Life healthcare rationing

This article was published by National Review online on June 27, 2023

Wesley Smith
By Wesley Smith

Health-care costs are soaring, in part because the medical field is increasingly being put into harness to facilitate lifestyle and self-fulfillment desires. So the pressure is on to ration health care. If we are not careful, rationing could be wielded in an invidious manner against the very sick, elderly, disabled, and those seen as nonproductive.

A prime rationing approach in this regard is known as the “quality-adjusted life year” (QALY) scheme. It works, very roughly, like this: Let’s say John is hit in the prime of life with a serious illness and that medicine A would likely give him two more years with a good quality of life as an able-bodied man. The cost would be $100,000. That would be worth, roughly two QALYs (less if he is elderly, but let’s not get too complicated here).

Now assume that his paralyzed twin brother Mark contracts the same illness. Just as with John, medicine A would give Mark two years of life at his current level as a man with a serious disability. Because Mark is paralyzed, the rationing bureaucrats might deem his two years of actual life worth only 0.5 QALY.

Then, the cost/benefit is measured, determining whether the cost of medicine A is worth the number of QALYs it would provide. Under this approach, John would be more likely than Mark to receive the treatment because the $100,000 would give him two QALYs, versus Mark’s 0.5 QALY — even though their actual lives would be extended an equal amount of real time for an identical price.

The above (simplified) description illustrates the potential for discrimination under a QALY system — which is why the disability-rights community adamantly opposes the QALY scheme and wants Congress to outlaw it in federal programs. This isn’t paranoia. As a detailed report published by the National Council on Disabilities published in 2019 noted, patients with disabilities in countries that have adopted the QALY rationing system have witnessed “coverage denials and loss of access to care.”

QALY rationing was banned under the Affordable Care Act; the ban was necessary to get it passed but opposed (naturally) by the New England Journal of Medicine. Now, the Protecting Health Care for All Patients Act (H.R. 485) has been put in the hopper to prohibit “the use of quality-adjusted life years and similar measures in coverage and payment determinations under Federal health care programs.”

Once again, the medical and bioethics establishments are opposed. In “Congress’ Misguided Plan to Ban QALYs,” a recent opinion piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the bioethicist co-authors worry that banning QALYs will harm the ability of the government to negotiate drug prices. But I think their real concern is this:

The idea that negotiating prices using QALYs will restrict access to care relies on the unrealistic premise that people can afford all health care services, no matter the cost. In the US, high costs routinely inhibit patient access to necessary health care services. One in 4 people in the United States do not take their medications as prescribed because of the cost. Annual insurance premiums for a family now exceed the cost of a new car.

If members of Congress are truly concerned about access to health care, they should encourage government and private payers to use all the tools they can to negotiate fair and affordable prices for the health services they cover.

Well, then stop expanding the elective procedures that have to be covered because it makes people “feel” more fulfilled. Allow more free-market remedies to harness the power of competition to reduce prices. Increase the scope of Health Savings Accounts.

But formal rationing? Not on a bet. Why? Because rationing is inherently political, meaning that decisions about who will be denied access to efficacious treatment will depend on who wields political power in society. In the current environment, that means expensive surgeries and other medical interventions deemed to further woke goals of equity and social justice will never be curtailed. But I would oppose rationing if the country’s power was held by social conservatives. Rationing leads to the powerless being denied access to care that the well-connected can attain.

Unless QALY rationing is prohibited, people with disabilities, the frail elderly, and chronically and terminally ill people could well see their medical options curtailed based on what bean counters, “experts,” and public-opinion surveys think about the quality of their lives. That’s unacceptable. Pass H.R. 485.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear on National Review Online and are reposted with permission.