Thursday, August 31, 2023

Québec: Natural death is being replaced by assisted death.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Article: Québec Commission on End-of-Life Care warns that some euthanasia deaths do not comply with the law (Link).
Scott Norvell in writing for the New York Sun on August 15, 2023, comments on how in Canada natural death is being replaced by an assisted death. Norvell comments on the letter from Dr Michel Bureau, who is the President of the Quebec Commission on End-of-Life Care who recently told Québec physicians to stop killing people by euthanasia for conditions that are "outside of the law." Bureau stated that, by the end of 2023, it is likely that 7% of all deaths in Québec will be by euthanasia. Norvell quotes Bureau as stating:
“We see, more and more, that the cases receiving medical aid in dying are approaching the limits of the law,” the head of the commission, Michel Bureau, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “We’re now no longer dealing with an exceptional treatment, but a treatment that is very frequent.”

If current rates continue, more than one in 14 deaths in Quebec will be doctor-assisted by the end of the year. Dr. Bureau notes that the rate is higher than any other place that allows the practice — 4.5 times the rate of Switzerland and three times as high as in Belgium. The rate is twice as high as in neighboring Ontario, he said.
Norvell further explains:
In Quebec, doctor-assisted deaths accounted for 4.7 percent of all deaths in 2021. In 2022, that number rose to 6.1 percent, according to provincial statistics, and at the current pace, it will reach more than 7 percent by the end of the year, Dr. Bureau told the CBC. Doctors in the province, he said, are under increasing pressure from elderly patients who say they are ready to die, but their conditions do not qualify them for the suicide route.
Norvell ends the article by quoting Bureau as stating:
“It’s no longer just terminal cancer, there are all kinds of illnesses — and that’s very good, but it requires a lot of rigor from doctors to ensure they stay within the limits of the law,” Dr. Bureau said. “Medical aid in dying is not there to replace natural death.”
Bureau has been a strong proponent of euthanasia and has become critical of the implementation of the law. During the Québec euthanasia debate the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition pointed out that the law was designed to be abused, and like Belgium, euthanasia would not only grow quickly but there would be deaths outside of the law. Sadly this has happened. 

More articles on this topic:

19-year-old British woman with rare medical condition denied dialysis against her consent.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A 19-year-old British woman with a rare genetic condition is being withdrawn from dialysis treatment against her will and the option to travel to Canada for experimental treatment.

The young woman, known as ST, has a rare genetic mitochondrial depletion syndrome requiring constant hospital attention – but she is conscious and able to communicate. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK wants to withdraw her dialysis treatment and place her into palliative care.

This is not an issue of euthanasia but this is an issue of the right of a competent person to consent to treatment.

An article by Inderdeep Bains that was published in the Daily Mail on August 30, 2023 reported:
The teen, described as a 'fighter' by those who know her, had been studying for A-levels when her condition deteriorated after contracting Covid last August.

She has spent the past year in intensive care where she has regular dialysis treatment, is fed through a gastrostomy tube and is using a ventilator to breathe.

The trust wants to move her to palliative treatment – in which dialysis would be withdrawn and there would be no attempt to resuscitate her if she needed to be.

But the teen and her family are desperate to do everything they can to extend her life, including joining clinical trials for nucleoside therapy. They say her condition causes muscle weakness, loss of hearing and kidney damage –making her dependant on the dialysis and intensive care – but it does not affect her brain.

Hospital doctors argue that her refusal to accept imminent death is a sign of 'delusion'.

Mrs Justice Roberts acknowledged that ST, who watched proceedings from hospital, communicates reasonably well and displays an 'overwhelming desire to live'.

But she has now ruled that the decision over her treatment should be made by a court.

She said: 'ST is unable to make a decision for herself in relation to her future medical treatment, including the proposed move to palliative care, because she does not believe the information she has been given by her doctors.
In other words, ST will lose her right to consent to treatment because she wants  everything possible done to restore her health. It is true that clinical trials are often a long-shot, but Justice Roberts has decided that she does not have the right to try.

Bains reported that family as stating:

'This has been a year of continuous torture for the family...

'We are shocked to be told by the judge that our daughter does not have the capacity to make decisions for herself after all the experts have said that she does.'
I am concerned with the lack of respect shown for the right to consent to treatment and for denying the wishes of this young adult woman. It may be that ST will not survive, however denying her dialysis and the right to have hope is wrong.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Assisted suicide lobby launches lawsuit to allow assisted suicide tourism in New Jersey.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The assisted suicide lobby launched a lawsuit on Tuesday, August 29 to force the state of New Jersey to drop its assisted suicide residency requirement. The lawsuit claims that the New Jersey assisted suicide law is unconstitutional because it denies equal treatment.

If the residency requirement in the New Jersey assisted suicide law is withdrawn, the assisted suicide lobby will establish an assisted suicide clinic in New Jersey to assist the suicides of people in the neighboring states that have not legalized assisted suicide.

New Jersey is not far from: New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and New Hampshire --- states that have not legalized assisted suicide.

The Compassion and Choices media release stated:
Compassion & Choices filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday afternoon on behalf of cancer patients in Delaware and Pennsylvania and two New Jersey doctors asserting the residency mandate in New Jersey’s medical aid-in-dying law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal treatment. The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey, to prohibit state officials and the Camden County prosecutor from enforcing this unconstitutional provision of the law. The lawsuit complaint is posted at:

...The plaintiffs assert that the law’s residency requirement violates three clauses in the U.S. Constitution, specifically the:
  • 1. Privileges and Immunities Clause by limiting the availability of medical aid in dying to residents of New Jersey. 
  • 2. Dormant Commerce Clause by restricting interstate commerce, including medical care. 
  • 3. Equal Protection Clause by failing to provide residents and nonresidents equal protection under federal law.
On October 2021, the assisted suicide lobby group, Compassion and Choices, and Dr Nicholas Gideonse, an assisted suicide doctor, launched a court case challenging the Oregon assisted suicide residency requirement. Instead of defending the residency requirement, the Oregon Government, on March 29, 2022 agreed to remove the residency requirement.

A February 2023 article by James Reinl for the Daily Mail reported that Dr Nicholas Gideonse has opened the first assisted suicide clinic in Oregon to prescribe lethal assisted suicide drugs for death tourists. At least one person from Texas and an east coast resident has died by assisted suicide in Oregon.

On August 26, 2022, Compassion and Choices launched a lawsuit on behalf of a Connecticut woman and a Vermont doctor challenging Vermont's assisted suicide residency requirement.

Lisa Rathke reported on March 14, 2023 for the Associated Press that Vermont's attorney general's office reached an agreement with the assisted suicide lobby and dropped the Vermont assisted suicide residency requirement.

The assisted suicide lobby failed to legalize assisted suicide in any more states since 2021. By dropping the state assisted suicide residency requirements the assisted suicide lobby is creating suicide tourist states. 

New Jersey neighbors several highly populated states that have not legalized assisted suicide. If New Jersey drops its residency requirement, the assisted suicide lobby will establish an assisted suicide clinic in New Jersey to service the killing across the Northeast United States.

Increase in euthanasia deaths in Victoria Australia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Annual report of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board in Victoria, Australia was released indicating that the number of euthanasia and assisted suicide deaths in Victoria Australia (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023) increased by 11% to 306 assisted deaths and the number of applications for assisted death increased by 6%.

There are significant differences between the Canadian (MAiD) euthanasia law and the Victoria Australia euthanasia and assisted suicide law which have led to a much higher percentage of assisted deaths in Canada as compared to Victoria Australia.

Both jurisdictions legalized euthanasia (physician administered homicide) and assisted suicide (self-administered) but in Canada nearly all of the deaths are euthanasia while in Victoria Australia, in the latest report, 84% of the deaths were assisted suicide and 16% were euthanasia.

In Canada the person approved to be killed does not need to be terminally ill, he/she only need to have an "irremediable medical condition." In Victoria, Australia the person who is approved for an assisted death needs to have an incurable disease with at least a six month prognosis for death.

In Canada the person is approved for euthanasia when two doctors (or nurse practitioners) agree that the person fits the criteria of the law. In Victoria, Australia a permit must be issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services after the application has been submitted.

In Canada the person who is approved for euthanasia is not required to try effective treatments for their physical or psychological condition whereas in Victoria the person is required to try effective treatments.

There are more differences between the Canadian (MAiD) euthanasia law and Victoria, Australia's euthanasia and assisted suicide law, nonetheless, the killing or prescribing of lethal drugs that causes 306 people in Victoria, Australia to die is not a form of freedom but rather an abandonment of people at their time of need.

Guernsey Deputy said that assisted suicide will save money.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Deputy Lester Queripel
Guernsey Deputy, Lester Queripel, told the Health & Social Care Committee that the States’ financial problems provide an ideal opportunity to revisit the issue of assisted suicide.

The Guernsey Press reported on August 30 Queripel saying that:

‘no stone should be left unturned’ as committees battle to save millions of pounds a year in spending. And he urged HSC to accept that ‘considerable savings could be realised if assisted dying was to be introduced here in the island’.

‘Those savings obviously wouldn’t just be exclusively financial, because islanders with terminal illnesses could be saved from months of unnecessary excruciating pain and suffering if they were permitted to end their own life whenever they choose to,’ he said.

The Guernsey Press reported that Queripel asked the health service:

In written questions to HSC, Deputy Queripel asked how many people had been kept alive, against their wishes, in the past five years, how much their medication and treatment had cost taxpayers, and how many staff hours had been taken up keeping them alive.

Queripel continued with his position by stating:

‘They say we need to look at everything, so this is the next logical step.

‘Many people don’t want to keep on living and I think we need to put a figure on that.’

Guernsey has debated assisted suicide on several occasions. A screening of the film by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Fatal Flaws, in Guernsey helped to defeat the assisted suicide bill in May 2018.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Australian paedophile approved for euthanasia after serving one year in jail.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Lucy Slade reported for Australia's Adelaide News on August 29, 2023 that Malcolm Day, sentenced to 20 years in prison in June 2022, has been approved for euthanasia in South Australia. Slade reported:

Malcolm Day, 81, is thought to be the first prisoner in the nation to be granted a voluntary assisted dying permit after having been diagnosed with a terminal illness, believed to be cancer.

Day was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Candice Prosser reported for ABC News Australia on June 23, 2022, after Day was convicted:

The South Australian District Court heard Malcolm Winston Day, now aged 80, will die in prison after avoiding punishment for his crimes for decades.

After he was recently convicted and jailed for sexually abusing a young student in the 1980s, another victim, who had been disbelieved at the time, came forward.

Judge Jo-Anne Deuter strongly condemned Day's crimes and his subsequent denial to authorities."You presented to the world as a respected music teacher, an upstanding citizen and a family man, however this was a charade based on a lifetime of lies," she said
Prosser also reported Judge Deuter as stating:
She said the victim was a promising young musician whose life had been forever changed by Day's predatory behaviour.

"She has carried the burden of your abuse and lies for over 40 years," Judge Deuter said.

The court heard the victim has struggled with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and turned away from music after the offending, which was a loss she also had to grieve.The first three people to die by euthanasia in Canada's correctional system were aboriginal Canadians.
Malcolm Day's victims suffered for 40 years and instead of serving his sentence for his natural life, he has been approved to die by euthanasia.

Australia's Philip Nitschke, possibly the world's most notorious promoter of assisted suicide told Slade:
"By the sound of it, he satisfies all the conditions of the South Australian assisted dying legislation," Nitschke said.

"So there should be no impediment… he should be given the option that any other person would have if they were terminally ill."
Ivan Zinger
In April 2023, Ivan Zinger, Canada's Correctional Investigator, told Kathleen Martens reporting for the APTN network, that euthanasia should never be done in the prison. He stated:
“Under no circumstances should the procedure of MAiD be dealt with inside a penitentiary,”

“That is highly problematic, unethical and immoral in my view. I think we would be the only jurisdiction in the world who would do that.

Canada has the highest rate of prison euthanasia in the world.

Be careful when writing about suicide. Be aware of suicide contagion.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Recent articles about Kenneth Law, the Canadian man who allegedly sold 1200 suicide kits online, have created anger and disgust among many people, especially the families of the victims. 

Law has been charged with aiding and abetting suicide in the deaths of 14 Ontario residents, one of whom was 16-years-old. Law is being investigated for his alleged role in the deaths of 88 people in the UK and was allegedly involved in the deaths of many Americans, including 17-year-old Anthony Jones of Michigan.

On July 18, 2023, a Netherlands man (Alex S) was convicted for selling a suicide powder with instructions to as many as 1600 people and sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in relation to the suicide deaths of at least 10 people.

I am concerned about the suicide contagion effect when writing about Kenneth Law and (Alex S). I remain concerned about how people are writing about Philip Nitschke, who essentially makes his living selling suicide books, materials and devices, and is possible responsible for many more deaths than Law and (Alex S) combined.

Aislin Murphy wrote an article about Kenneth Law that was published by CTV News on July 25, 2023. In the article, Murphy interviewed Nitschke who essentially says that Law wasn't careful because he was selling the suicide substance to everyone, including teenagers. Nitscke, in the interview, justifies elder suicide. Murphy wrote:

While Nitschke advocates for seniors hoping to end their own lives, he says Law acted short-sightedly by allegedly selling sodium nitrite to younger individuals.

It is interesting that Nitschke, a long-time assisted suicide activist and makes a living selling his suicide books, materials and devices, was concerned about teen suicide. In a 2001 interview with Kathryn Lopez,

 Nitschke said that the "peaceful pill" should be provided to troubled teens. Nitschke stated to Lopez in 2001:

I do not believe that telling people they have a right to life while denying them the means, manner, or information necessary for them to give this life away has any ethical consistency. So all people qualify, not just those with the training, knowledge, or resources to find out how to “give away” their life. And someone needs to provide this knowledge, training, or recourse necessary to anyone who wants it, including the depressed, the elderly bereaved, [and] the troubled teen. If we are to remain consistent and we believe that the individual has the right to dispose of their life, we should not erect artificial barriers in the way of sub-groups who don’t meet our criteria.
Recently the media once again promoted Nitshcke's Sarco euthanasia capsule. The Sarco capsule was developed by Nitschke as a way to gain media attention and to promote his websites that sell suicide books, materials and gadgets. Nitschke is 'making a killing' on selling suicide.

Everything written about Nitschke provides free advertising and promotion for his suicide websites that enable him to make money selling suicide.

Be careful when writing about Dr Death.

Canadian man faces 12 more charges for aiding and counselling suicide.

One suicide victim was 16 years-old, another was 17.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Kenneth Law
A Canadian man who was charged on May 9 with two counts of aiding and abetting the suicide deaths of two people in the Peel Region, allegedly through the online sale of a legal substance that is lethal in high concentrations, has now 12 additional charges resulting in 14 total charges for counselling/aiding suicide.

Codi Wilson, reported on August 29 for CP 24 that Kenneth Law is now facing 12 new charges in Ontario for counselling or aiding suicide. Wilson reported:
Kenneth Law, who was previously charged by Peel Regional Police with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide, now faces 12 new charges in connection with deaths in regions across Ontario.

Police said the new charges involve four deaths in Toronto, three in York Region, one in Durham Region, one in London, Ont., one in Thunder Bay, one in Waterloo, and one additional death in Peel Region. All charges will now be heard at the Newmarket courthouse, police confirmed.

At a news conference at Peel police headquarters on Tuesday, York Regional Police Insp. Simon James, who is leading the multi-jurisdictional case, told reporters that the victims range in age from 16 to 36.
On August 25, 2023 I published an article about Kenneth being investigated by UK authorities for aiding the suicide deaths of at least 88 people.

Imogen Nunn
On August 27, 2023 Jon Woodward reported for CP 24 that:
The British mom of a TikTok star is coming forward demanding justice after she found out her daughter died using a so-called suicide kit allegedly sold by a Canadian man, as deaths possibly tied to Kenneth Law rise to over 100.

Louise Nunn said it was sickening to learn that the death of her daughter Imogen, known as “Deaf Immy” to 710,000 TikTok followers, was one of 88 British people local police say died after ordering products from Law’s websites over a two-year period.

Nunn said it was heartbreaking to learn of other deaths months and years before Imogen’s, and believes many lives could have been saved if authorities had acted earlier.
The new charges include a 16-year-old suicide death in Ontario. CBC News reported on May 8 that 17-year-old Anthony Jones from Michigan allegedly died in connection to Law's suicide kit.

Law appeared for a bail hearing on Friday August 25, 2023 and pled not guilty. Woodward reported that:
Police in Canada have warned about the websites, allegedly run by Mississauga’s Kenneth Law, ...Peel Police said at the time of his arrest that they had tracked some 1,200 products to 40 countries.
Wilson's report stated:
While Peel police first began their investigation in the spring, James said it is believed that Law started operating the websites sometime in late 2020.
Law claims that he is innocent of the charges and had no control over what people did with his suicide packages. Law was selling a legal product, but he was packaging it in a lethal dose and he was promoting and selling it for the alleged purpose of suicide.

Possibly hundreds of deaths could have been prevented if Canadian authorities had stopped the sale of the suicide kits when they first learned of the websites and the suicide deaths.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Canadian connected to the suicide deaths of many young people.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Kenneth Law
On August 25, 2023 I published an article about Kenneth Law, a Canadian man who is being investigated by UK authorities for aiding the suicide deaths of at least 88 people.

CTV News videojournalist, Jon Woodward, reported on May 9, 2023 that Kenneth Law, 57, was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting the deaths of people in the Peel Region, allegedly through the online sales of a legal substance that is lethal in high concentrations. Law allegedly sold the substance online for the purposes of aiding suicide. Law is believed to have sold 1200 packages of the suicide substance online.

Imogen Nunn
On August 27, Woodward provided an updated report that was carried by CP24 on the investigation into Kenneth Law. Woodward reports:
The British mom of a TikTok star is coming forward demanding justice after she found out her daughter died using a so-called suicide kit allegedly sold by a Canadian man, as deaths possibly tied to Kenneth Law rise to over 100.

Louise Nunn
Louise Nunn said it was sickening to learn that the death of her daughter Imogen, known as “Deaf Immy” to 710,000 TikTok followers, was one of 88 British people local police say died after ordering products from Law’s websites over a two-year period.

Nunn said it was heartbreaking to learn of other deaths months and years before Imogen’s, and believes many lives could have been saved if authorities had acted earlier.

“I can’t even say how angry it makes me feel. It’s sickening. Why did they let it go on for so long? They could have stopped this a long time ago,” Nunn said.
Law appeared for a bail hearing on Friday August 25, 2023 and pled not guilty. Woodward reported:
Police in Canada have warned about the websites, allegedly run by Mississauga’s Kenneth Law, who faces two charges of aiding and abetting suicide. Peel Police said at the time of his arrest that they had tracked some 1,200 products to 40 countries.

Law, once a chef at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel, and a former engineer, has said that he’s not responsible for what people do with his products and has denied the charges. He briefly appeared at a bail hearing on Friday and remains in custody.
Woodward reported that the youngest victim connected to Kenneth Law was 17.
Many of those who died were in their 20s, according to family members. The youngest was 17-year-old Anthony Jones in Michigan. The earliest known case is a 21-year-old named Jaden, who died in February 2021 — his family said they went to police in B.C. almost two years before Imogen Nunn’s death.
Imogen Nunn died suddenly in January, 2023 and the family didn't know how she died until the toxicology report confirmed that she died from the suicide substance.

Law claims that he had no control over what people did with his suicide packages. Law was selling a legal product, but he was packaging it in a lethal dose and he was promoting and selling it for the purpose of suicide.

Friday, August 25, 2023

A Canadian is being investigated in the UK for aiding 88 suicide deaths.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Kenneth Law
Euronews reported on August 25, 2023 that a Canadian man who has been charged with assisting the suicide of at least 2 people is being investigated by UK authorities in the suicide death of 88 people.

Kenneth Law (57), who has been accused of distributing 1200 packages of a suicide substance, is being investigated by UK authorities in the deaths of 88 people and is suspected to have distributed the suicide substance to 232 people in the UK who purchased the substance online. Euronews reported:
British law enforcement authorities have said they are investigating 88 deaths linked to a Canadian man alleged to have illegally sold substances online to people at risk of suicide.

As many as 232 people in the UK are thought to have purchased items from him. However, the NCA has stressed that so far, it has not confirmed direct links between his products and the 88 deaths it is probing.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of those who have died," said NCA deputy director Craig Turner. "They are being supported by specially trained officers from police forces."
Euronews reported that the UK investigation began this Spring after police in the English county of Surrey reached out to Law over the death of a 22-year-old man, 
Tom Parfett, who had visited one of Law's websites and died by suicide in 2021.

Neha Raju & Tom Parfitt died by suicide.
An article by Dan Sales that was published in the Daily Mail on August 25 quoted David Parfitt, the father of Tom Parfitt, as stating:
'It really didn't need to be this high a number of cases.
'There were enough signals early on in investigations worldwide to have stopped this and stopped it sooner which would have saved lives. I think that should be the focus.

'Surrey Police weren't even aware that two people within months, one of which was Tom, had died in the same way from taking this.

'It's like our children were handed a loaded gun and told how to shoot themselves. This poison is the same thing.

'It comes back to the police not showing enough curiosity or following their own processes - they are meant to catch things like this.'
CTV News journalist, Jon Woodward, reported on May 9 that Kenneth Law, 57, faces two counts of aiding and abetting the deaths of two people in Peel Region, allegedly through the online sale of a legal substance that is lethal in high concentrations. Law sold the substance online world-wide for the purposes of aiding suicide.

Law is believed to have sold 1200 packages of the suicide substance online.

Dutch News reported that a Netherlands man (Alex S) was convicted on July 18, 2023 for selling a suicide powder, with instructions, to as many as 1600 people and was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for the suicide deaths of at least 10 people.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Nitschke's suicide business gets US tax-deductible status.

This article was published by Bioedge on August 24, 2023.

By Michael Cook

Americans can now get a tax-deduction for promoting assisted suicide. The world’s best-known assisted suicide activist, Australia’s Philip Nitschke, has drawn the curtains on a 501(c)3 non-profit called Exit Generation.

Donations, bequests, gifts will be tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Dr Nitschke says that “Exit Generation shares the same board as Exit International & will ensure that Exit has a truly international presence now, & in the future.”

The new venture’s first focus is developing the Sarco 3D-printed euthanasia capsule in Switzerland and then making it available in other countries. Sarco is Dr Nitschke’s brain-child – a 3-D printed capsule in which a customer can kill himself by inhaling nitrogen. The pod can then be used as a cost-saving coffin.

Nitschke has designed other suicide machines in the course of his career, beginning with the “Deliverance Machine” which was used patients in the Northern Territory in 1996. It is now on permanent display in the British Museum.

More article on Philip Nitschke.

  • Teens' Parents sue Amazon for Selling "Suicide Kits" (Link). 
  • Concern with the growth of radical assisted suicide groups (Link).
  • Death capsule is designed to undermine societal resistance to suicide (Link).
  • Philip Nitschke is watching his clients die by suicide (Link).


France government bill will hide the reality of euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

France euthanasia protest
A Francetvinfo radio news August 14 interview with Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, the Government Minister responsible for health professions, revealed that “all avenues are open” as the French Government drafts a new end-of-life law that will be presented to Emmanuel Macron at the end of the summer.

Le Bodo stated that she did not want to use the terms euthanasia and assisted suicide. The report stated (google translated):

she did not want the terms "euthanasia" and "assisted suicide" to appear in the law. They do not seem to be retained by the minister to date: "For the moment, no, I say well for the moment. Having the word death is important. Active aid in dying, for example, contains the word death", underlines she. A vital prognosis of less than a year and "refractory" suffering as conditions.
Agnès Firmin Le Bodo
Le Bodo then stated the criteria being proposed for euthanasia (google translated):
To obtain active assistance in dying, the patient must meet several eligibility criteria. The person's prognosis must be initiated within "between 6 and 12 months", according to the first tracks of the government. ...The patient must "be of legal age, a prerequisite laid down by the Citizens' Convention and the President of the Republic in his speech of April 3", said Agnès Firmin Le Bodo. It will also be necessary that the "sufferings" of the patient is "refractory", that is to say that the treatments or the care provided are no longer sufficient to appease the patient. Finally, the patient will have to express a "free and enlightened will". The government is considering "several possibilities" for "people who could not physically express" this request, she said.
Le Bodo expressed support for conscience rights for medical professionals but she didn't stipulate the conditions. The report stated (google translated):
For Agnès Firmin Le Bodo, the creation of a specific conscience clause "seems almost natural and obvious". The latter "invites and encourages the professional who does not wish to enter into this process with his patient to have to designate a professional who would agree to initiate the process"
France needs to examine the reality of euthanasia in Canada and reject it's legalization.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide laws undermine the Nuremberg code.

By John JF Killackey

Out of the atrocity of the Holocaust and the medical experimentation conducted on people against their will, emerged the Nuremberg Code. This milestone set of ethical principles is geared to preventing forced human medical experimentation from ever happening again. All societies adopting this Code to ensure that, prior to any medical intervention including experimental medical procedures, patients will be informed of the benefits and the risks in a way that they can fully understand the impact on their health and wellbeing. Furthermore, all patients must formally agree to the procedures and only after fully understanding the risks. In the past, the Supreme Court of Canada has actively defended these principles of informed consent. Sadly, the forced rollout of the Covid-19 mRNA injections marked the setting aside of the Nuremberg Code and many other drug regulatory standard operating procedures established to promote patient safety. This was to the detriment of the people around the world. The full impact of the resulting damage caused by these procedural shortcuts, including deaths and disabilities, has been significant and there is more to come.

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), encompassing both euthanasia and assisted suicide, is an experimental medical procedure – there are no carefully controlled clinical studies defining conditions and outlining the risks. Although the planned outcome is patient death, there are procedural and other risks to the patients and so, in the spirit of the Nuremberg Code, all MAID patients should be fully informed of the risks prior to agreeing to the treatment. And the risks are broad and serious and therefore it is also beneficial for all patients to have an experienced, impartial, advocate accompany them throughout to ensure their fully informed consent and to promote the halting of the procedure in the event of a patient’s change of heart. MAID is not about restoring health and therefore the procedure will never be accompanied with the level of care given to a patient hoping to get better. Risks of MAID at the physical level include:

  • Extreme fear and anxiety by the patient,
  • Pain, patient discomfort, seizures, anaphylaxis,
  • Distress for families,
  • Problems obtaining intravenous access or loss of intravenous access after the MAID procedure was started,
  • Prolonged time to death, necessitating a second MAID procedure,
  • In the case of lidocaine, a longer time to death possibly due to the antiarrhythmic effects of the drug, which may prolong the time until cardiac arrest,
  • Failure of the MAID drugs to cause death, possibly leaving the patient disabled
  • Failure of the drugs to provide unconsciousness leading to an awareness of the mechanism of pharmaceutical death such as paralysis of the muscles of respiration, the inability to move or talk and the resulting suffocation

MAID procedures are not as effortless and smooth as advocates would like you to believe. 

The information provided to the patients could also include a reminder to the MAID practitioner that the taking of the life of another is murder. Despite no requirement to do so, this could be a consideration of eternal significance to MAID practitioners.

Stukalin I, Olaiya OR, Naik V, Wiebe E et al . Medications and dosages used in medical assistance in dying: a cross-sectional study. CMAJ Open 2022 January 18. DOI:10.9778/cmajo.20200268

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Hospitals should not ask people to consider euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Kathryn Mentler was offered euthanasia.
Brian Bird, lecturer at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, wrote an excellent article that was published in the National Post on August 21, 2023. Kathrin Mentler (37), a Canadian who lives with chronic suicidal thoughts, was recently offered (MAiD) euthanasia while she was seeking help during a mental health crisis. Bird explains:

Imagine if you were having suicidal thoughts and, fearing for your life, you went to a hospital seeking treatment. A clinician tells you that psychiatric healthcare is “broken” and plagued by delays. Later in the conversation, the clinician asks if you have ever considered assisted death.

There is no need to imagine this scenario, because according to a patient in Vancouver — 37-year-old Kathrin Mentler — this is precisely what happened to her. It is now a matter of public record that, in Canada, euthanasia is being openly discussed with individuals who are suicidal but want to live.

Bird explains what happened:

Mentler, who has struggled with depression and suicidal ideation, went to Vancouver General Hospital to seek help in June. After completing an intake form, she was taken to a room where a clinician conducted an interview. The clinician asked Mentler if she had ever considered assisted death as an option, noting that it would be more “comfortable” than committing suicide by overdosing on medication — a concern that Mentler specifically had in mind when she went to the hospital that day.

Bird states that the counsellor at the hospital posed the euthanasia question to assess the risk of suicide. Bird correctly states that this is unacceptable. Bird  explains that euthanasia for mental illness is not yet a legal practice and he further suggests that suggesting euthanasia is wrong. He wrote:

Providing euthanasia in circumstances that have not been exempted from the Criminal Code is a serious crime. The same is true for counselling someone to receive euthanasia even if they are legally eligible to receive it. While there can be a fine line between informing and counselling, some of the comments in the case of Mentler seem to wander close to it.

...An investigation should look into Mentler’s case and determine whether it is an isolated incident. Although the hospital apologized for “any distress caused” to Mentler, it appeared to maintain that what happened was standard and appropriate clinical procedure. Minister of Health Adrian Dix should be making inquiries — if he has not done so already.

St Paul's Hospital Vancouver
Bird compares this case to the pressure applied by the euthanasia lobby to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia. He writes:

...Not far down the road from Vancouver General, a controversy erupted after St. Paul’s Hospital, a Catholic healthcare community which adheres to the ethical position that euthanasia amounts to killing, refused earlier this year to provide the procedure to a patient who requested it. The patient was later transferred to a nearby facility where she received euthanasia.

The case of St. Paul’s sparked sustained media coverage and intense public outcry, which led the health minister to state that Catholic hospitals in British Columbia should provide euthanasia within their walls. Discussions between the province and Providence Health Care, the faith-based organization standing behind St. Paul’s Hospital, appear to be ongoing.

Bird questions  whether the Mentler case will get the same degree of scrutiny as the case at St Paul's Hospital.

Bird points out that the argument that suicide and assisted suicide are different has been proven wrong by the Mentler case. 

Bird concludes the article by stating that there is a need for medical facilities that do not provide euthanasia. Bird wrote:

Healthcare communities that conscientiously refuse to provide euthanasia are not simply protecting their moral and ethical integrity and the persons who work within. They are protecting patients who do not want to be treated in facilities where euthanasia will be proposed.

There is profound value in preserving sanctuaries from euthanasia in our healthcare system. Given the case of Mentler, I suspect she and many other Canadians would wholeheartedly agree.

Links to previous articles on these topics:

Monday, August 21, 2023

US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) consultations on prescribing controlled substances by Telehealth.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition  opposes the dangerous practice of assisted suicide by telehealth.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration continues the consultation on their proposed rules for prescribing controlled substances via telehealth. Listening sessions have been organized by the DEA for September 12 & 13, 2023 to hear all issues and concerns related to requiring an in-person visit before a physician can prescribe Schedule II controlled substances.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began their consultation on February 24, 2023 on the proposed rules for prescribing controlled substances via telehealth. The proposed rule states that when a person has not seen a medical practitioner and requires a prescription for Schedule II medications or narcotics, the prescription cannot be made via telehealth and the patient will be required to see a medical practitioner in person before receiving the prescription.

The proposed rules are important. The assisted suicide lobby wants to approve assisted suicide drug cocktail prescriptions without directly meeting with or examining the person. They also want to have the lethal drug cocktail sent to the person by courier.

Kristen Senz reported for The Journalists Resource on April 17 that the DEA approved the new guidelines and that it will go into effect on May 1.

The proposed DEA rules states that Schedule II controlled substances will require an in-person visit. Patients being treated for opioid use disorder can be prescribed via telemedicine but they will be required to have an in-person visit within 30 days of receiving a prescription for buprenorphine (Suboxone, Zubsolv, and Sublocade) via telemedicine, to obtain refills.

But the story doesn't end there. 

Based on a massive response by the US assisted suicide lobby the DEA placed their guidelines on hold for six months. The assisted suicide lobby emphasized the need for emergency prescriptions for pain medications needed for palliative care.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition opposes the dangerous practice of assisted suicide by telehealth and supports the DEA proposed guidelines that were approved in April.

If the DEA decides to compromise their position, they should state that it is dangerous and unethical to prescribe assisted suicide drug cocktails by telehealth.

The DEA rules are based on reducing the opioid crisis to make it more difficult for people to obtain Schedule II controlled substances for resale. 

Previous articles:

  • The US Drug Administration tightens regulations on Schedule II Controlled Substances (Link). 
  • Help EPC stop assisted suicide by Telehealth (Link).

Euthanasia undermines the belief that all lives deserve protection.

This article was published by the Toronto Star on August 18, 2023.

By Luqman Ahmed

Undoubtedly, euthanasia offers comfort and relief to patients suffering from intense pain and agony. But are we, intentionally or not, steering our society toward a harmful path?

Euthanasia refers to the deliberate act of hastening an individual’s death to relieve them from incurable pain or poor quality of life. Notably, in recent years, euthanasia has gained increasing acceptance and adoption in a number of Western countries.

People who doubt the advantages of euthanasia have various reasons for doing so. Some critics, particularly those who approach the issue from a religious standpoint, believe that the negative consequences of euthanasia are greater than the positive ones.

For example, I serve as an Imam for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in Ottawa. As more and more people are influenced by this growing trend, it has prompted numerous questions and sparked discussions among our members revolving around its ethical and moral implications.

I believe that the drawbacks of this process outweigh the benefits. As a society, our focus should be on finding alternative ways to alleviate pain, offer comfort, and reduce suffering for patients, rather than choosing to end their lives.

A key principle of an advancing society is rooted in hope and the ability to navigate challenges. This vital attitude is ingrained even in our roles as parents, as we impart to our children the importance of perseverance and the refusal to surrender when confronted with adversity. We encourage them to persist and strive until they uncover solutions. This rigid determination to conquer any obstacle, no matter how formidable, is a pivotal driver of progress.

In my opinion, the rise of euthanasia within our societal fabric promotes a sense of despondency. It conveys a message of embracing one’s circumstances instead of actively pursuing avenues for enhancement. Our society already grapples with the issue of suicides, often driven by a perceived absence of hope or avenues for betterment. Embracing such attitudes, I believe, is likely to worsen these issues further.

Secondly, the profound bond between parents and their children is a universal sentiment of human beings. As parents age, their children dedicate themselves to ensuring their parents’ well-being and comfort. This mutual care and devotion are highly esteemed values within our society. It has long been established as a societal standard that parents nurture their children with care and children selflessly care for their aging parents.

In my perspective, the normalization of euthanasia erodes this cherished norm of responsibility toward elderly parents, introducing an entirely different approach to providing solace. As the acceptance of euthanasia expands, I am concerned that, even unconsciously, parents might increasingly perceive themselves as burdens on their children, thus altering the dynamics of this wonderful bond.

Thirdly, euthanasia stands as a stark departure from the core principle that underscores the sacredness and sanctity of every human life. This principle, deeply rooted in ethical, religious, and societal foundations, asserts the inherent worth of each human existence. When we condone the act of one human being ending the life of another, even in the name of mercy, we risk diluting the sanctity that has long been revered. It introduces the notion that the worth of life can be conditional upon situational assessments.

Thus, I believe that the acceptance of euthanasia undermines the intrinsic belief that all lives are inherently valuable and deserving of protection. This erosion has the potential to dampen our ability to advocate for the welfare of fellow humans, to extend compassion and assistance to the ailing, and to uphold the sanctity of life in all its forms.

Hence, I am convinced that we must seek alternative avenues rather than intentionally terminating lives as a means to alleviate suffering. While I acknowledge the well-intentioned motives of proponents advocating for compassionate euthanasia, I am concerned that this trajectory might steer our society toward a potentially harmful course in the years and decades ahead.

Luqman Ahmed is an Imam (Religious Missionary) with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Ottawa, currently working in Baitun Naseer Mosque in Cumberland, Ont.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Assisted Suicide: Whose is the decision?

This story was written by Fabian Stahle, a Swedish researcher, and published on August 15 as part of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition story contest (Contest link).

Link to the full story by Fabian Stahle (Story Link).

Fabian Stahle
A patient is depressed after receiving the diagnose of a serious illness and therefore wants to end it all. The doctor, who has known the patient for quite a long time, perceives the patient’s death wish as an indication of psychological stress, caused by the sense of hopelessness and fear of the future, and concludes that the patient, given the present depressive condition, is not capable to decide about such a final action. The doctor explains that the outcome is not absolutely certain, even though it looks serious, and seeks in this way to encourage the patient to take up the fight against the illness.

But the patient is not satisfied with this. He is afraid of the side-effects of an uncertain treatment and feels that his life is meaningless. And, once again he remembers his daughter’s silence when he talked about his thoughts about ending it all – no arguments, only silence.

Yes, he thinks to himself, this is the only decent thing I can do, and contacts another physician.

Link to the full story by Fabian Stahle (Story Link).