Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Roger Foley: A Passion to Live

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Amanda Achtman, who is leading a project called Dying to Meet You, visited Roger Foley in London Ontario. Roger lives with Cerebral Ataxia and says that he has been pressured on several occasions to ask for euthanasia. (Link to the youtube video)

In the video, Foley gives Achtman context from his life concerning his disability. Foley states that as a child he was always uncoordinated and very tired. He was not diagnosed with his condition, so he thought that he could work through it.

Roger said that he is bedridden and has severe pain levels every day. He needs to take medications or he can't even function.

Amanda Achtman
Achtman asked him why he is living in a hospital and not a home. Roger responds:
Unfortunately we live in a country where persons with disabilities aren't allowed to choose who's around them.

You're worked at; not worked with.
Foley then gave the example of a care worker who helped him get into the bath tub. He washed himself but when he needed help getting out of the tub, he called but got no answer. So he crawled out of the tub over the slippery floor, without full control of his limbs. As he was crawling down the hallway he hears snoring. He finds the caregiver stretched out on one of his chairs in a deep sleep. When he reported it to the agency, the care-giver confessed to the act but they didn't care.

Achtman asked him if he has been offered euthanasia? Roger replied:
Yeah, multiple times.

A nurse asked him if he had thoughts of self-harm? Foley responded honestly that he has thought about ending his life because of what he is going through. Out of nowhere, the nurse told him that he could apply for an assisted... you know what I mean.
Achtman asked him what is the impact on him, as a patient, of having euthanasia suggested? Foley responded:
It's completely traumatized me. Now it's this overlying option, where, in my situation, when I say I'm suicidal, I'm met with, Well, you know, the hospital has a program to help you with that, if you want to end your life.

That didn't exist before MAiD was legalized, but now it's there.
Roger says that he is having flash backs from this experience and that this has devalued him and all that he is.

Achtman asks about the accusation that it is only religious people who are trying to prevent euthanasia. Foley responds:
That's the ultimate gas lighting statement. Like, I'm not religious. I respect people who are religious. Saying that its just religious persons who oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide are completely wrong. And these people who usually say it have an ableist mindset and they look at persons with disabilities and see us as just better off dead and a waste of resources.
Foley has hope is that one day he will be able to break through the wall of the system and get access to the services he needs.

Foley wants to live at home with workers who want to work with him as a team.

Foley concludes the interview by saying:
I have a passion to live.
I don't want to give up on my life.
Previous articles about Roger Foley: 
  • UN disability envoy demands protection for people with disabilities from euthanasia in Canada (Link).
  • People with disabilities oppose expansion of MAiD in Canada (Link).
  • Canada is getting comfortable with killing people with disabilities (Link).


Elaine Allison said...

Yes It is the ultimate in gaslighting. When I say that I am pro-life by which I mean all life I am constantly called a Trump supporter, a conservative, not a feminist 0r I must be religious. In reality I am a happily married woman who also enjoyed a career and ran a successful business with my husband as a full partner. I simply believe that life is the ultimate gift that belongs to everyone. It should never be casually thrown away, for any reason. Sadly, Canada has embraced the death cult mentality and anyone who does not agree with it must be labelled and slandered!

Terence McQuiston M.D. said...

Thank you Alex.
Roger's story is important and needs to be heard and distributed.

Terry McQuiston

Anonymous said...

This man has done the world a favour by telling it like it is. He is so articulate, so intelligent, I wish him all the best. I cannot help but think that this is a societal issue.
Indeed he should be living somewhere other than a hospital. He has a lot to offer society. He could be a teacher...He IS a teacher. How dare a so-called professional suggest he take his life! That professional needs to lose their job.

Anonymous said...

Great article Canada is in need of change this poor man should get to live in a home. Maid is killing and so deplorable.thankyou

Anonymous said...

Your life matters Roger!! So glad you are strong enough to fight against those who would devalue you on the basis of a disability. I'm sure you have encouraged others in the disabled community. Don't the advocates of MAID realize that anyone could have an accident, a stroke or illness resulting in a loss of independence. Slippery slope! God bless you Roger. ❤️