How euthanasia and assisted suicide affect society

Mark Pickup, a Canadian living with multiple sclerosis commented on the impact of the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide on Canadian society. Mark was interviewed by documentary filmmaker Kevin Dunn. Mark said:

“…by definition, civilized, and enlightened societies never endorse or support killing its citizens — especially those who have despaired of life and are vulnerable to suicide. Civilized people certainly don’t help the suicidal kill themselves. Autonomy is a myth. If I choose suicide, it doesn’t affect me alone.  It will affect my wife, children and grandchildren. It will affect my physician because I will ask her to stop being my healer and become my killer. And in a small way it will impact my nation by helping to further entrench the notion that there is such a thing as a life unworthy to be lived. No matter how sick I become I still have a responsibility to others, the Common Good and posterity.

You can’t have unfettered autonomy and interdependent community too. They are diametrically opposite ideas. You can’t have both. You must choose which it shall be.

Canada post-2016 will not only kill its sick and disabled, it may well kill the collective conscience of a nation and gut its soul.”

Mark blogs at

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Think about adoption

If a child is unwanted by his biological parents, there are many couples willing to adopt and love that child. Being wanted or unwanted has no bearing on a human being’s right to life.

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Ontario Court rules against physicians’ conscience rights


The Divisional Court of Ontario in a unanimous decision (3 Judges) ruled in favour of the  College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and its “effective referral ” policy. An effective referral means that physicians who have a conscientious objection to certain procedures such as euthanasia, assisted suicide and abortion, must refer the patient to another physician willing to do the deed. For physicians unwilling to kill patients, the referral, they believe, makes them complicit with the act.

Albertos Polizogopoulos, a lawyer representing a coalition of 4700 physicians opposing the effective referral policy, argued that it violated their section 2 rights to freedom of conscience and religion protected in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The court found that while the effective referral policy infringed on the physicians’ freedom of conscience and religion, it was justified in order to ensure access to health care.  According to the Court, the effective referral policy was a “reasonable limit on religious freedom, demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

Mr. Polizogopoulos commented: “Our position is doctors who opposed assisted suicide or physician assisted death are put in a position now where they either need to violate their conscience and their religious and moral belief or face being disciplined by the college – and that’s not a good place to be.”

Canadian Physicians for Life responded to the Court’s decision with a media statement from their President Dr. Ryan Wilson:

“This is a disappointing decision and puts our doctors – doctors who entered the field of medicine to provide quality, compassionate, and patient-centered care – in an impossible position.They don’t believe ending a patient’s life is medicine, and they don’t believe they can offer hope and healing in one room while assisting in killing a patient in another. Ultimately it is patient care that suffers, as our doctors will retire early, relocate, or change fields. For many, their religious and conscience rights are being violated and they won’t be able to practice medicine in Ontario. This is a significant loss for the entire health care system in the province and will have a direct impact on patient care.”


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Canada Summer Jobs program discriminates against Canadians unwilling to support abortion

The letter to the editor below was sent by Action Life to the Ottawa Citizen in response to an opinion piece on the Canada Summer Jobs program. The piece was published on January 19th  under the title Pro: Grant program does respect rights.

Our letter to the Ottawa Citizen:

As reported in a 2008 Epoch Times article, Daphne Gilbert, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, commenting on the 1988 Supreme Court decision in Morgentaler, said “The Morgentaler decision didn’t say a woman has a constitutional right to abortion, it didn’t go that far… pro-choice is not a legal question, it is a social/cultural issue.” In her January 19th opinion piece, Ms. Gilbert advances that since the Morgentaler decision, the Court’s interpretation of section 7 of the Charter has “progressed to the point that it is clear women do have charter rights to reproductive control”. No, the Morgentaler decision still stands and nothing has occurred in the last thirty years that has altered the Court’s judgement and made abortion a Charter right.

In striking down the 1969 law, the Supreme Court of Canada did not establish a Charter right to abortion. The law was struck down for procedural inequities related to the system of hospital abortion committees which the Court found in violation of a woman’s security of the person under section 7 of the Charter. Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island, Gerard Mitchell, wrote of the Morgentaler decision in a letter to the Charlottetown newspaper the Guardian in 2014: “None of the seven judges held that there was a constitutional right to abortion on demand. All of the judges acknowledged the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn.”

Osgoode Hall Law Professor Shelley A. M. Gavigan explained in a 1992 essay that “The Supreme Court’s decision, profound as it was, did not create a right to abortion for Canadian women, nor did it offer any resolution of the abortion issue.” The Court left it to Parliament to come up with a new law. A legal vacuum exists today since Parliament has yet to come up with legislation. Contrary to Ms. Gilbert’s assertion that the attestation for the Summer Jobs program is misunderstood by religious groups, they understand only too well that it violates their right to freedom of conscience and religion. The federal government’s attestation which requires support of abortion among other things contravenes actual Charter rights. Equally, pro-life groups, non-profits organizations or businesses have a right to freedom of expression, association and conscience as do all Canadians. This attestation does not advance equality rights but actually discriminates against some Canadians because of their beliefs.

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The unborn child : Human at every stage

When does human life begin?

“The answer is there in the textbooks of Human Embryology, that a “human life” begins at fertilization… It has always been there, at least for 100 years… Every human embryologist, worldwide, states that the life of the new individual human being begins at fertilization… We exist as a continuum of human life, which begins at fertilization and continues until death, whenever that may be.”

C. Ward Kischer, Ph.D.

Source: A Basic Guide To When a Human Being Begins & The Science Behind The

Image from Human Life Alliance

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Abortion harms the human family

Dr. Alveda King is the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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No Charter right to abortion in Canada

The judgement of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Morgentaler case is often misunderstood or misrepresented.

In January 1988, the Court struck down the 1969 abortion law, section 251 of the Criminal Code, because the law was not being applied equally across the country. In order to procure an abortion a woman needed to obtain approval from an accredited hospital abortion Committee.  Abortion committees did not exist in every hospital. The Court struck down the law because it found the system of hospital abortion committees resulted in inequities which  were a violation of a woman’s right to security of the person under section  7 of the Charter.

However, in ruling that section 251 was invalid, the Court did not find that women had a constitutional right to abortion. In fact, it stated that the “protection of the foetus” was a “perfectly valid legislative objective”. It was up to Parliament to come up with a new law. There still exists a legal vacuum today. Canada has no law restricting abortion.

Concerning the Morgentaler decision, former Justice of the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court, Gerard Mitchell,  explained in the Charlottetown newspaper, the Guardian, in 2014:

None of the seven judges held that there was a constitutional right to abortion on demand. All of the judges acknowledged the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn.(1)

Osgoode Hall Law Professor Shelley A.M. Gavigan in a 1992 essay wrote that “The Supreme Court’s decision, profound as it was, did not create a right to abortion for Canadian women, nor did it offer any resolution of the abortion issue.”(2)

So no, there is no Charter right to abortion in Canada no matter how often you hear it repeated. The federal government’s attestation for the Summer Jobs program requiring support of “reproductive rights” among other things is a violation of actual Charter rights to freedom of expression, association, conscience and religion.

How many abortions occurred prior to the Morgentaler  decision?  From 1970 to the end of 1987, more than one million.

(1) Mitchell, Gerard. Clarifying facts on Canada’s abortion law, or lack of. The Guardian, May 22, 2014.

(2)Gavigan, Shelley A. M. Morgentaler and Beyond: Abortion, Reproduction and the Courts, in The Politics of Abortion, Oxford University Press, 1992, page 118.

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Canadian Institute for Health Information is still underreporting abortion
Friday, October 13, 2017By Patricia Maloney
CIHI is still under-reporting abortion statistics

Abortion statistics are getting more confusing.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) reported a total of 44,430 abortions for 2015/2016.*

CIHI reported a total of 39,679 abortions for 2015.

That’s a total difference of 4,751 abortions for one year.

To add to the confusion, MOHLTC reports using seven abortion codes (S752A, S785A, P054A, S770A, S783A, P001A, A920A), while CIHI reports using only two abortion codes (S752A and S785A):
“The enhanced methodology implemented in CIHI’s 2015 report for estimating the volume of induced abortions in Ontario incorporates NPDB (1) data selected using two fee codes for surgical abortions only. The report you shared includes seven fee codes and CIHI reports using two….the data sources for CIHI’s report are DAD, NACRS, and NPDB, while it appears that the Claims History Database was the source for the report you shared [from the MOHLTC]”. (2)
If we only compare CIHI with MOHLTC for the same two codes that CIHI reports, we get CIHI at 39,679 abortions, and MOHLTC at 37,806 abortions. for a difference of 1,873 more than MOHLTC.

Neither CIHI nor MOHLTC could explain these differences.

Therefore CIHI reports 4,751 overall less than MOHLTC, but reports 1,873 more thanMOHLTC if we only look at the same two codes.

Very confusing I know.

MOHLTC full fee code descriptions here.

Additional Notes

Both CIHI and MOHLTC use these two codes:
S752A and S785A (surgical abortions)

The five codes not used by CIHI data, but are used in MOHLTC data are:
P054A (fetal reductions – 115)

Those five additional codes used at MOHLTC add up to 6,624 abortions (115+16+4+556+5933). The Ministry also tells us that the S770A and S783A codes can be used for procedures other than abortions, but give me no indication as to which of these codes are not abortions. When I asked the Ministry to clarify medical abortions and identify which diagnostic codes are used for them, I was informed that:
“The OHIP claims system does require a physician to submit a fee code for payment however it is optional for a physician to submit a diagnostic code with the fee code and there is no rule that the diagnostic code needs to relate to the fee code.”
Therefore it looks like the diagnostic codes are useless. So until the Ministry can tell me otherwise, I will assume that all of these additional procedures are also for abortions.

A920A and P001A codes are both used for medical abortions (556+5933=6,489 medical abortions), and CIHI isn’t capturing these numbers. CIHI is also not capturing P054A for fetal reductions (115)

Note that CIHI doesn’t report “medical” abortions or “fetal reduction” abortions.

That’s 6,624 additional abortions being performed in Ontario for 2015/2016 (i.e. the five missing codes), than is officially being reported by CIHI.

(1) “The National Physician Database (NPDB) is a CIHI database that contains physician billings for publically funded insured medical services. Physicians do not report to it directly. Physicians submit claims to the Provincial/Territorial medical care plans to be paid. All provinces submit data from their claims systems to the National Physician Database.” personal correspondence July 12, 217 with CIHI
(2) personal correspondence June 23, 217 with CIHI

  • *Action Life note: This is for the period of one fiscal year.
  • Used with permission of Patricia Maloney
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Each Abortion Increases Woman’s Risk of Premature Death by 50%, New Study Reports

Press release from the Elliott Institute

Each Abortion Increases Woman’s Risk of Premature Death by 50%, New Study Reports

Springfield, IL (Nov. 14, 2017) — Legal abortion contributes to a fifty percent increased risk of premature death in women, according to a new systematic review that examined 989 studies of deaths associated with pregnancy outcomes.

Within the first 180 days, the risk of death from any cause is over twice as high following abortion compared to that following delivery. The risk of early death remains elevated for at least ten years (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Death rates are higher after an abortion beginning in the first 180 days and continuing for at least ten years

Both abortion and miscarriage are linked to elevated mortality rates, but the effect is more strongly associated with induced abortions.

The largest portion of premature deaths following pregnancy loss are due to suicides, accidents, homicides, and some natural causes, such as circulatory disease, which are known to be associated with stress.

The reviewers concluded that these findings are best explained by the psychological effects of pregnancy loss, which contribute to elevated levels of stress, substance abuse, risk taking, and self-destructive behaviors.

Figure 2. Each abortion exposure increases the risk of early death by about 50%

The studies reviewed also reveal a dose effect, with each exposure to abortion adding approximately a 50 percent increased risk of premature death compared to women who have never had abortions (Figure 2).

In contrast, delivering two or more pregnancies improves longevity. Delivery is also linked with a reduction in mortality risks associated with abortion or miscarriage alone.

The systematic review, published in Sage Open Medicine, identified 989 maternal death studies, of which 68 were of the highest quality. These higher quality studies were those that linked death certificates with other medical records to identify recent pregnancy outcomes. Since death certificates often lack information about recent pregnancies, studies based on death certificates alone have been proven to be notoriously incomplete.

Of the 68 higher quality record linkage studies identified by the research team, only 11 provided results to allow comparison between death rates associated with different pregnancy outcomes: birth, abortion, miscarriage or other natural losses.

Has there been a deliberate cover up?

According to the review’s lead author, Dr. David Reardon, the elevated risk of death following pregnancy losses (abortion or miscarriage) was first identified in a study of the entire population of women in Finland in 1997. Reardon is the director of the Elliot Institute, a research group focused on reproductive health issues.

Reardon said that most of the record linkage studies published since 1997 could and should have investigated the differences in maternal death rates relative to pregnancy loss. But most researchers chose to only report on deaths associated with childbirth.

“It’s difficult to believe that these maternal mortality specialists are unaware of the unanimity of the 11 large population studies from Finland, Denmark, and the United States in regard to elevated risks of death following reproductive loss,” he said.

Reardon believes that the lack of more data on deaths following pregnancy loss is most likely due to a bias against publishing results that might undermine international efforts to promote access to abortion in less developed countries.

As an example of selective reporting, Reardon cited a comprehensive record linkage study from Italy, in which the authors noted that they had identified deaths associated with miscarriage and induced abortion. However, the authors subsequently refused to publish data allowing a comparison of maternal death rates relative to delivering or never pregnant women and those who had an abortion or miscarriage.

Reardon also said that the fact that all record linkage studies reveal higher rates of mortality following abortion directly contradicts the assertion that abortion is ten to 15 times “safer” than childbirth.

“That claim has always been based on comparing incomplete data from death certificates to an even more incomplete tally of deaths voluntarily reported by abortion providers,” he said. “It is junk in, junk out science. Only record linkage studies provide solid data. Only record linkage studies provide a common standard for making comparisons.”

# # #

Citing: Pregnancy associated death in record linkage studies relative to delivery, termination of pregnancy, and natural losses: A systematic review with a narrative synthesis and meta-analysis. Reardon DC, Thorp JM. Sage Open Medicine. Vol 5:1-17, 2017.

Video Summary of Study:












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This is a human person

Video by: And then there were none

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