Friday, July 5, 2024

Euthanasia is an accurate term. I oppose killing people.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On Wednesday June 5 I had the pleasure of speaking on euthanasia (MAiD) in Canada at the legion in Barry's Bay Ontario. Barry's Bay is a small community north of Bancroft that in good driving conditions is about 6 hours from my home.

This article is a response to the letter from Dr Katie Forfar, published on June 29 in the Madawaska Valley current. Dr Forfar attended the presentation and stated in her letter that she has been a MAiD provider for the past three years.

Dr Forfar challenges some of my comments in her letter. Some of her statements confirm what I said as being correct and some comments are not correct.

Her first emphasis is that I was paid for the presentation. Yes I was paid for the presentation, but in the same way she is paid for being a MAiD provider. She is not exactly a neutral on the topic.

Her second challenge was based on the fact that I use the word euthanasia and not (MAiD). According to the dictionary, I have used an accurate word, whereas MAiD is a term that was created in Canada to make people feel better about euthanasia. Euthanasia is an act of killing that can be voluntary or involuntary. I did not suggest in my talk that doctors are acting outside of the law, therefore I was not speaking about involuntary euthanasia.

Dr Forfar stated that I referred to several atypical MAiD cases that have been in the Canadian news that she admitted concern her. She states that I suggested that 'healthy' people could obtain MAiD just by asking. If she is referring to my comments on the case of the 27-year-old Calgary Autistic woman, well, that is exactly what that court case was about.

She then confirms what I said about how euthanasia deaths occur. Dr Forfar wrote:
It is true that a drug that causes paralysis is given, but it is given last after a large volume of drug is given to cause a deep coma. I have never observed anyone during a MAiD death appear to be in pain, nor short of breath or experiencing fluid in their lungs, nor have a seizure nor urinating or defecating.
I never said anything about urinating or defecating, so that is her emphasis not my comment. Dr Forfar's description is accurate. Research indicates that the drugs used for MAiD will shut down the lungs. Once the lungs are shut-down then the heart will stop beating.

The MAiD lobby agrees with my comments. The MAiD Activity Book states:
The third medicine makes the person’s lungs stop breathing and then their heart stops beating. Because of the coma, the person does not notice this happening and it does not hurt. When their heart and lungs stop working, their body dies. It will not start working again. This often happens in just a few minutes, but sometimes (rarely) it can take hours.
I also accurately stated that it is impossible to know whether the person in a deep coma is not experiencing distress as their lungs stop breathing.

Dr Forfar did not mention my concerns about Canadian veterans with PTSD or with disabilities who have been injured serving our country and being told that MAiD is an option. It is disturbing that veterans who have served our country and having difficulty receiving the treatment or services that they need were offered MAiD through the Federal Veterans Affairs department.

As stated during my presentation, I oppose killing people. MAiD/euthanasia is about killing people. It is sold as freedom or autonomy but rather it is an abandonment of people in their time of need.



Father Bill Trusz said...

Well said Alex. In Christ's love, Father Bill Trusz.

Ronald W. Pies MD said...

Excellent rebuttal and comments, Alex! As a physician and ethicist, I am always amazed at the rationalizations and linguistic contortions pro-PAS folks adopt, in order to justify physicians who help (directly or indirectly) kill their patients. As you know, our medical ethics group recently wrote about possible unconscious motivations on the part of physicians who participate in PAS/euthanasia.

As Dr. Leon Kass reminded us many years ago, "We need to care for the dying, not make them dead."

Ronald W. Pies, MD

Alex Schadenberg said...

Thank you Ronald.

I wrote a commentary on your article.

I oppose killing people.

Patricia Maloney said...

I also oppose killing people. There was a time when everybody opposed killing people. Now we have to explicitly say we do.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree! Is there still a Physicians for Life group? or are they restricted from practicing if they are pro-life/ refuse to commit MAiD? jane wright July 5/24

Anonymous said...

Alex, well put. When shielded from the actual occurrences, one's perceptions looking from the outside can be deceiving. Because of symptoms of Hemlock poisoning, Phoenicians thought their elderly were enjoying dying from it. The reality is that the uncontrollable diaphragmatic symptoms and the contraction of facial muscles with Hemlock poisoning simulate laughter. The reality is excruciating pain and suffering. No one has been able to prove that physical stress does not happen. Until then assumptions are deceiving at best without conclusive observations.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Alex for all you do! I also oppose killing people!

Christina Andersson said...

Indeed you are so right Alex! I also oppose killing people! It is a horrible crime on humanity!

Charles said...

Thanks Alex, even euthanasia is a euphemism, it is an execution, with or without consent, and certainly breaks the sixth commandment. As a retired physician, it disturbs me to see the onward march of this culture of death.