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- Majority of Canadians oppose forcing physicians and religious institutions to participate in euthanasia
- Stop the discrimination against unborn children with Down Syndrome
- Ontario physicians who oppose assisted suicide are legally challenging CPSO referral requirement.
- Euthanasia in Holland
- Words matter.
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Majority of Canadians oppose forcing physicians and religious institutions to participate in euthanasia
Sadly, today, while society speaks of inclusion on the one hand, unborn children with Down Syndrome are being eliminated through abortion at an astonishing rate. 80 to 90% of pregnancies where the child is diagnosed with Down Syndrome end in abortion. These abortions constitute a form of eugenics rejecting the child because of his genetic makeup. The information presented to parents about Down syndrome is often negative. In an Ottawa Citizen March 2nd 2008 article, Krista Flint, executive director of the Down Syndrome Society said:
” We would like to see information given to women in a fair and balanced and value neutral way. We don’t think that’s the case currently – we know that’s not the case. Families involved with (the society) tell us regularly that that hasn’t been their experience. The central message they receive is ‘Don’t have this baby, it could ruin your life.”
Some parents have reported pressure and an assumption from medical professionals that abortion will follow the diagnosis. In the same series of articles in this March 2008 feature, the experience of one couple is reported:
“His parents faced pressure and silent disapproval from doctors when they stated their choice again and again, to have the baby.”
Many parents of children with Down Syndrome will tell you that their children are a blessing not a burden, that their children have brought much joy end enriched their lives.
Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition reports on the latest developments concerning freedom of conscience for health care workers in Ontario:
The Coalition for HealthCare and Conscience is seeking a judicial review of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) policy requiring physicians who oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide, to refer patients to a physician who will kill.
According to the Coalition:
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CSPO) demands that doctors who conscientiously object to assisted suicide refer patients seeking to end their lives to other physicians who will provide the procedure.
No other foreign jurisdiction that has legalized assisted suicide requires doctors to perform or refer for this procedure. Other provinces have already implemented guidelines to protect doctors who object to providing or referring for assisted suicide.
Larry Worthen, the executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, and one of the coalition group members stated:
“The current approach of the CPSO demands that doctors set aside their morals and go against their conscience to directly refer for assisted suicide,”
“In our view, effective referral and participating in assisted suicide are morally and ethically the same thing.”
Three physicians groups are working together to legally challenge the CPSO policy. The Coalition is demanding that the CPSO amend their policy to enable physicians who oppose assisted suicide to continue to practise medicine in Ontario. According to the Coalition:
Protecting conscience rights of health practitioners would require only minor accommodations, such as allowing patients direct access to an assessment or allowing complete transfer of care to another physician.
A strong majority of Canadians are on side with the coalition’s beliefs on conscience protection. A recent Nanos Research poll found that 75% of Canadians agreed that doctors “should be able to opt out of offering assisted dying,” compared with 21% who disagreed.
Larry Worthen emphasizes that Conscience rights can and must be protected:
“There are ways to respect patients’ wishes while protecting conscience rights,”
“Not to do so is discrimination against people for their morals and convictions, which are protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
The Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience represents a group of like-minded organizations, including representing more than 110 healthcare facilities (with almost 18,000 care beds and 60,000 staff) and more than 5,000 physicians across Canada, that are committed to protecting conscience rights for faith-based health practitioners and facilities. We were brought together by a common mission to respect the sanctity of human life, to protect the vulnerable and to promote the ability of individuals and institutions to provide health care without having to compromise their moral convictions.
Euthanasia advocates often dismiss the existence of a slippery slope as concerns the practice of euthanasia. Yet, the experience in Holland proves it is real. Ethicist Theo Boer a nine year member of a euthanasia regional review committee in the Netherlands writes that the numbers of euthanasia deaths started increasing by 15% each year beginning in 2007. There were 5,306 euthanasia deaths in 2014, almost three times the number from 2002. During his time on the committee, he reviewed nearly 4,000 cases of euthanasia.
Regarding cases of non-voluntary euthanasia , he says: “On top of these voluntary deaths there are about 300 non-voluntary deaths (where the patient is not judged competent) annually. These are cases of illegal killing, extracted from anonymous surveys among physicians , and therefore almost impossible to prosecute.”
“Furthermore , contrary to claims made by many, the Dutch law did not bring down the number of suicides; instead suicides went up by 35% over the past six years.”
The reasons for requesting and granting euthanasia have expanded as well:”…an increasing number of patients now seek assisted dying because of dementia, psychiatric illnesses, and accumulated age-related complaints…In some reported cases, the suffering largely consists of being old, lonely or bereaved.”
The Dutch Right to Die Society (NVVE) “offers course materials to high schools intended to broaden support for euthanasia as a normal death.”
NVVE is also responsible for setting up a mobile euthanasia clinic where doctors will go to the patient to euthanize them. This travelling unit is for patients whose own doctors will not agree to their euthanasia request.
Mr. Boer continues:”As part of its campaign, NVVE distributed pillboxes containing 50 tiny peppermints. Called the Last Will Pill, the box illustrates the organization’s resolve to make a suicide pill available to anyone aged 70 and older.”
No slippery slope? Think again.
Source :Rushing toward death? Assisted dying in the Netherlands by Theo A.Boer , March 28, 2016 The Christian Century.
On May 27th, Lifenews.com published an article by Wesley J. Smith concerning the use of deceptive language surrounding the practices of abortion, euthanasia and vulnerable members of the human family. We have seen ample evidence of this in Canada prior to the tabling of the euthanasia and assisted suicide Bill C-14. For years, advocates have referred to euthanasia and assisted suicide as ‘death with dignity’, ‘medical aid in dying’, ‘assisted death’ and resorting to another familiar slogan, ‘My body, my choice”. Many media reports, members of Parliament and Senators speak of medically assisted death and medical assistance in dying. In euthanasia, the physician does not assist your death, he causes your death by lethal injection. In assisted suicide, he will provide the means for the patient to commit suicide by prescribing lethal drugs. Either way, he plays a role in bringing about the death of the patient.
Wesley J. Smith writes:
“Words also have the power to degrade the human dignity of born and grown people. A classic example is the pejorative term “vegetable,” referring to those with severe cognitive disabilities and impairments. Even the diagnostic term used to describe the condition of permanently unconscious patients—“persistent vegetative state”—is pejorative, perhaps the only explicitly demeaning medical term. (Why not use the perfectly accurate “persistent unconscious state”?) The V-word has the effect—and in some cases, indeed, the purpose—of excluding these human beings from the moral community and exposing them to oft-proposed forms of oppression and exploitation—such as allowing them to be used for live-organ harvesting and as subjects in medical experimentation.
We see the same phenomenon in our debates around end-of-life care and assisted suicide. The Dutch euthanasia practitioner Dr. M.A.M. Wachter, ethicist/director for the Institute of Health in the Netherlands, made this point explicitly when he appeared at a 1990 international euthanasia society convention. “The definitions build the road to euthanasia,” he stated, explaining that even the word “euthanasia” (“good death”) could harm the cause, because people naturally recoil from the killing act.
Thus, Wachter urged his audience to prevaricate and obfuscate: “Definitions are not neutral. They are not just the innocent tools that allow us to describe reality. Rather, they shape our perceptions of reality. They select. They emphasize. They embody a bias. Therefore, definitions constantly need redefinition.” This is precisely why the Hemlock Society, an assisted-suicide advocacy organization, changed its name to Compassion and Choices and now deploys the euphemism “aid in dying” in its media and advocacy materials.
In these times, language as an accurate conveyor of ideas is under constant assault. Knowing this, we must strive to keep our language precise and descriptive, particularly when it comes to controversies surrounding human dignity. We should be vigilant against words that dehumanize weak and vulnerable people and suspicious of rhetoric that masks movements’ real goals. We should be wary of words that serve as honey to make the hemlock go down.”
LifeNews Note: Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. His new book, Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine,was just published by Encounter Books.
This is the latest video in a series produced by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.Bill C-14, the euthanasia and assisted suicide bill introduced by the Liberal government in April contains no conscience protection clause for health care providers. Albertos Polizogopoulos, a constitutional lawyer, representing Canadian Physicians for Life pointed out:
“The bill provides no protection for conscientious objectors. In fact it compels them to be part of the chain of events leading up to a person’s death. Absent explicit protections for health practitioners’ conscience rights, the bill violates their Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms right to freedom of conscience.”
Source: The Interim, May 2016.
Sharing article from the organization Physicians Alliance Against Euthanasia
Montreal, April 15, 2016 – In the midst of one of the worst suicide crises in our country’s history, the federal government has tabled Bill C-14, which proposes to legalize both euthanasia and assisted suicide across Canada under the pseudonym “medical assistance in dying”. The waltz of words continues, as we malign palliative care by presenting “medical assistance in dying” as the only alternative to an agonizingly painful death.
From the outset, the bill makes clear the gravity of what our society is about to accept: it amends the Criminal Code to “create exemptions from the offences of culpable homicide, of aiding suicide and of administering a noxious thing, in order to permit medical practitioners and nurse practitioners to provide medical assistance in dying and to permit pharmacists and other persons to assist in the process”.
These people would not be criminally responsible if they were practising euthanasia or helping a patient to commit suicide. Nor would the people helping the physician or nurse practitioner “if they do anything, at another person’s explicit request, for the purpose of aiding that other person to self-administer a substance that has been prescribed for that other person as part of the provision of medical assistance in dying”. Therefore, every citizen will be able, without fear of prosecution, to help another person to commit suicide if his condition meets the criteria established by law: a parent, a friend, a brother, a sister, etc.
Not surprisingly, there is no requirement that people who suffer be at the end of life to have access to assisted suicide. Only that “their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable (…) without a prognosis necessarily having been made as to the specific length of time that they have remaining”. It seems to us that everyone’s death is reasonably foreseeable.
Moreover, the federal government casts a wide net in its list of lives that are not worth living, including people with a serious and incurable disease, condition or disability, those losing autonomy and those with persistent physical or psychological suffering “that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable.” In drawing up a set of circumstances in which it is now acceptable to commit suicide with the help of a doctor and the complicity of the state, the federal government endorses the choice of death for a host of reasons… on the condition of being at least 18 years old.
We are already far from the idea that was sold to us when this debate began: fromproposing death for a few exceptional cases, we’ve reached the point where it’s considered “health care” like any other. Access to euthanasia and assisted suicide is such a priority that the federal bill suggests that a person be allowed to shorten his time of reflection (fixed at 15 days) if natural death becomes imminent – which invalidates the argument of the Supreme Court of Canada who claimed that “medical assistance to die” would help prevent people from taking their life prematurely…
In short, after the smoke screen that was the scandalous report of the Special Joint Committee, Bill C-14 gives the false impression of being prudent and restrictive. But a further reading enables us to understand where we are heading: the government is already expecting a need for “further studies on requests by mature minors, advance requests and requests where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition” after the implementation of the law.
An even more permissive law won’t be long in coming. As soon as the population has swallowed this first poison pill.
This video clip is from a documentary produced by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Dunn Media. It will be released in June.
Sharing Press release from Life Canada concerning the report from the Parliamentary Special Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2016
Joint Committee Issues Extreme Recommendations for Doctor Assisted Death
The Special Joint Committee on Physician Assisted Dying’s recommendations for assisted suicide and euthanasia are far-reaching and more extreme than the Canadian public may be prepared for. Called “politically wild” by some,* the 60-page report, offering 20 recommendations to Parliament have every chance of being put into law by the June 6th deadline this year.
“These recommendations are reckless, and broadly influenced by a radical philosophy of absolute autonomy,” said Natalie Sonnen, executive director for LifeCanada. “I think they go way beyond what the public had expected and will have a chilling effect on the entire medical profession.”
Among other things, the Joint Committee has recommended that individuals with psychiatric conditions not be excluded from “assisted dying,” which the committee now takes to mean both assisted suicide and euthanasia. This calls patient consent into question.
Canadians have not been consulted as to whether pharmacists and nurse practitioners may be involved in these practices, but that is precisely what the committee has recommended. “Pharmacists and other health care practitioners, who provide services relating to medical assistance in dying, should also be exempted from sections 14 and section 241(b) of the Criminal Code.”
The recommendations call for all publicly funded medical institutions to take part, undoubtedly affecting Catholic hospitals who have served Canadian communities for hundreds of years. Hospices and palliative care facilities will be likewise affected.
There is no protection of conscience for objecting physicians. Our medical practitioners who have spent a lifetime of study and dedicated themselves to the care of patients must now be forced to either comply or make an “effective referral”.
The Committee has recommended that advance requests for assisted suicide or euthanasia also be allowed “any time after one is diagnosed” with a condition that will cause “loss of competence.” Anyone with a diagnosis of dementia, for example, an often slow degenerative disease, can make an advanced request for death to be carried out when the person is no longer competent.
Minors will not be permitted to access assisted death for the first three years, while the Committee studies what exactly is meant by a “competent minor”.
These and other recommendations have been released, ironically, on a day when the papers are full of our country’s First Nations chiefs desperately calling for help for their suicidal teens.
“We have institutional discrimination soon to be enshrined into law, and disguised as personal autonomy,” said Sonnen. “Suicide prevention and medical care will the priority for those who are able-bodied. But if you happen to be ill or disabled you will be offered doctor assisted death. And this is called a ‘right’.”
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For media inquiries, please contact Natalie Sonnen at 1.866.780.5433.
*Ian Macleod, Ottawa Citizen, February 24, 2016.