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  Living With Dignity Newsletter
  Vol. 8, July 2016

A Word from the Director

Since last June 17, Canada has officially adopted a law that legalizes euthanasia and assisted suicide throughout its territory. The official text of the law mentions that some people in Canada are now exempted from the offenses of culpable homicide, of aiding suicide and of administering a poison, as long as they invoke a reasonable belief, even if it is a "mistaken belief" (>>).

Unsurprisingly, the spiral to extent the law has not taken time to bare its teeth: barely 11 days after its adoption, the new law was already challenged in court to withdraw the criteria of "reasonably foreseeable death." In this twisted logic of "access to death", the direct consequence will be the continual expansion of the selection criteria. And while defenders of death on demand fight for its universality, too few people are concerned about palliative care being attacked, rather than supported, for the only reason that their doctors want to keep on taking care of their patients without killing them.

In this context of tension, as we mentioned in our press release following the adoption of the law (>>), Living with Dignity will continue to respond to this cancerous trend by defending the essential foundations of our society, not only to protect the most vulnerable among us, but also to preserve the conscience of future generations to whom our society is leaving a poisoned legacy.

We count on your support and your initiatives to promote the value of each human being until natural death, regardless of their living conditions or health.


Aubert MARTIN, executive director, Living with Dignity


News in Canada

  • June 6, 2016: Although no law regulates their practice, euthanasia and assisted suicide is decriminalized in Canada following the deadline given by the Supreme Court of Canada (>>).
  • June 15, 2016: The Senate proposes amendments to the proposed bill C-14; the House of Commons returns the proposed bill by refusing the main amendment of the Senate that would remove the requirement of "reasonably foreseeable death".
  • June 17, 2016: The Senate adopts the latest version of the proposed bill (>>) (>>) that officially becomes the newest federal legislation in receiving royal assent (>>).
  • June 22, 2016: A group representing more than 4700 Christian doctors challenges the obligation to refer requests for euthanasia as required by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (>>)
  • June 27, 2016: A group from British Columbia launches a lawsuit to expand the federal law on assisted suicide (>>) (>>).


News in Quebec

  • June 29, 2016: Véronique Hivon asks Health Minister Gaétan Barrette to intervene and force the MUHC Palliative Care Unit to perform euthanasia in their unit (>>). Dr Barrette responds that he wants to quell the resistance (>>).
  • Jully 4, 2016: The Physicians’ Alliance against euthanasia publishes an open letter to Véronique Hivon to denounce her attack against the MUHC accusing her of wanting to impose euthanasia in palliative care (>>).

Take action in July

  • SUPPORT OUR EFFORTS so that we can continue to speak on your behalf:


Press Review (French and English)

  • Advance request for euthanasia? Dr Catherine Ferrier, a member of Living with Dignity Board of Directors, raises concerns about advance requests for medical assistance in dying. Read more >>
  • What does post-Carter Canada look like? There is a significant risk that palliative care will continue to be insufficiently funded, and that existing funding will be decreased. Read more >>
  • The label ‘incurable’ is not a justification for ending a life: The rising number of people with severe mental health problems in the Netherlands who are ending their lives under Dutch euthanasia laws is deeply disturbing Read more >>
  • Netherlands sees sharp increase in people choosing euthanasia due to 'mental health problems': Cases for psychiatric reasons grew from just two people in 2010 to 56 people last year. Read more >>
  • Right to die: British MPs reject assisted dying law: MPs vote against enshrining right to die in British law, blocking second reading of Assisted Dying Bill by 212 majority in historic Commons vote. Read more >>
  • Will Belgium grant euthanasia for unwanted sexual attraction? A 39-year-old man has requested euthanasia because he fears that he may be a paedophile. Read more >>
  • Éloge de la débarbouillette: pour le ministre Gaétan Barrette, ce n’est pas indispensable de donner plus d’un bain par semaine aux résidents des CHSLD. Lire l'article >>.
  • En Belgique et au Canada, l'euthanasie imposée aux centres de santé: des cas médiatisés vont à l'encontre de l'objection de conscience. (>>)
  • Attente dans les urgences au Québec: une des pires situations en Occident: en cette ère "d'aide médicale à mourir", les séjours moyens des patients québécois sont plus du double des normes internationales. Lire l'article >>
  • Trop de médecine et trop de droit: Michel Lebel, ancien professeur de droit public, plaide pour les soins palliatifs, et pour démédicaliser le plus possible la mort et y réduire au minimum le rôle du droit. Lire l'article >>
  • L’aide à mourir, une affaire de médecins aussi: la ministre de la Santé Jane Philpott réplique qu’il n’y a pas que les patients impliqués dans ces décisions : il y a des médecins aussi Lire l'article >>
  • Sans toi: La vie après le suicide: présentation d'un documentaire sur le suicide dans lequel la réalisatrice Mélanie L. Dion, qui a elle-même vécu le suicide d'un proche, nous rappelle que « Le suicide n'élimine pas la souffrance, il la multiplie. » Lire l'article >>
  • CHSLD: plus de personnel et de soins, demande la commission «Vivre dans la dignité»: dans son rapport, la commission «Vivre dans la dignité» souligne que ses visites dans des CHSLD «ont mis en lumière que certains n'ont pas l'équipement requis ou le personnel pour dispenser des soins d'hygiène corporelle adaptés aux besoins exprimés par la personne hébergée». Lire l'article >>


Videos to watch (French and English)

  • Euthanasia and assisted suicide: Dr Donald Boudreau and ethicist Margaret Sommerville share their experience and thoughts on the issue. Watch video >>


To make a donation is... to take action!

Our organization would not exist without the support of people who share our vision of human solidarity and our mission to promote good palliative care for all. With your contribution, we can act on your behalf by advocating in person (conferences, panels), in the media (interviews, articles, press releases), and on social networks (blogs, website, Facebook, Twitter).

Thus, by contributing, you are directly participating in defending future generations, especially vulnerable people, threatened by euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.

Thank you for your active support!