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  Living With Dignity Newsletter
  Vol. 10, September 2016

A Word from the Director

Since the arrival of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Quebec and Canada (see all Quebec statistics here >>), we see a two-pronged constant pressure: to accept them socially and to expand the scope of the law to a number of people always broader. In this sense, the month of August was no exception.

After wanting to “subdue the refractory” CHUM (>>) and having “snubbed” the MUHC staff (>>), the Minister of Health continued his public campaign of intimidation against “opponents” of euthanasia. This time, the criticism of Dr. Gaétan Barrette was discharged on La Maison Albatros (>>) because they exercised their legal right not to euthanize a patient in their establishment. By transferring the patient to the hospital, the hospice of Trois-Rivières has attracted the wrath of the media (>>).

Following this unfortunate incident, many of you have responded to our invitation to contact the people who work in the hospice to offer words of support. We sincerely thank you: your words have certainly touched them and will give staff the courage to continue their mission of humanly accompanying people at the end of their lives without delaying or hastening death.

Furthermore, September will see the release of a much-anticipated documentary: The Euthanasia Deception (>>). Filmed in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Canada, the one-hour documentary – presented by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in association with DunnMedia – presents powerful testimonies of people devastated by the false ideology of euthanasia.

According to the producers of the documentary, the film aims to “dismantle three key deceptive ideas used to promote euthanasia,” notably in refuting the claim that euthanasia and assisted suicide are a form of compassion, debunking the myth of autonomy, and demonstrating that the “safeguards” of the government cannot protect vulnerable people. For more information, click here (>>).

Living with Dignity is currently working on a version subtitled in French. We hope to make this version available before the end of September. We invite you to make a donation to financially participate in this project which will cost around $ 2,000 (translation and subtitling). By doing so, you will help spread this powerful documentary in all francophone countries in the world!

Further information and other exciting projects will be announced shortly. Stay tuned!

In solidarity,


Aubert MARTIN, executive director, Living with Dignity


News in Quebec

  • August 17, 2016: La Maison Albatros is publicly singled out because of their refusal to euthanize a patient electing instead to transfer him to a hospital in Trois-Rivières, as provided by the law. Read more >>
  • August 30, 2016: considering the increasing number of Quebecers who kill themselves by fasting because they are ineligible to euthanasia, the Collège des médecins du Québec announced that it is preparing a "practical guide" to help doctors accompany their patients who will die of hunger and thirst. Read the article >>


News in Canada

  • August 8, 2016 : The media reports that the Federal Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson Raybould has hired a consultant who opposed the decision of the Supreme Court to lift the ban on medical aid in dying. Read more >>
  • August 10, 2016: The media reports hat the Justin Trudeau’s Government has made considerable efforts – and expensive – to repatriate to Ottawa the Emergency Minister of International Development an Francophonie so that she could participate in the adoption of the bill on medical aid in dying. Read more >>
  • August 11, 2016: The Canadian Bar Association is asking the federal government to change the law to widen the range. Read more >>


Living with Dignity in the media (English and French)

  • Compassion redefined: blog post published by Aubert Martin in the Huffington Post after recent cases of people who starve to be euthanized according to the criteria of the law. This wave of advocacy for suicide leads supporters of euthanasia to validate reasons for wanting to die. At the same time, people with severe disabilities are cunningly deprived of indisputable status of “human being” for the sole reason that they cannot “do it all by themselves” Read the article >>


Take action in September

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


  • Support Project Value by liking their Facebook page (>>). This initiative offers videos made by people with disabilities to challenge the popular idea of what it means to have a disability. Each video begins with a description of the diagnosis and prognosis of the person and a description of their functional limitations. Then the person talks about their quality and value of life beyond their condition. Share!


Press Review (French and English)

  • La dépression à l’ère de la loi sur l’aide médicale à mourir : Certains experts de la santé mentale craignent que la future loi sur l'aide médicale à mourir donne une option plus facile aux personnes atteintes de dépression qui pourraient alors choisir le suicide assisté au détriment des traitements conventionnels. Lire l’article >>

  • Aide médicale à mourir : réactions à l’université Laval : L’aide médicale à mourir a été officiellement légalisée au Canada, le 17 juin dernier. Un tout nouvel enjeu s’est ainsi créé, particulièrement dans le domaine de la médecine et des sciences infirmières. Impact Campus s’est entretenu avec des étudiants et professeurs de l’UL, afin de comprendre ce qu’implique cette nouvelle réalité dans le cadre de leurs fonctions. Lire l’article >>

  • Mariés pendant 63 ans, ils meurent à 20 minutes d'écart : Henry et Jeanette ont tout partagé pendant 63 ans. La joie, la tristesse, l'amour et même la mort. Ils sont décédés à seulement vingt minutes d'écart. Lire l’article >>

  • Chercher une solution en vain : Le fait est qu'au Québec les membres d'un couple marié sont responsables des frais d'hébergement dans un CHSLD de leur époux ou épouse, ce qui n'est pas le cas pour les conjoints de fait. Lire l’article >>

  • Quand la misère s'ajoute à la maladie : Si vous êtes marié et que vous devez être placé dans un CHSLD avant l'âge de 65 ans, votre famille risque d'épuiser ses économies et se retrouver en importantes difficultés financières. Lire l’article >>

  • Isn’t killing 19 disabled people a hate crime? The murder of 19 intellectually disabled people in Japan is just another example of the kind of prejudice the disabled community faces. Less violent but still prejudiced attitudes towards the disabled community are still present and they raise questions about the treatment of the disabled; particularly when euthanasia is concerned. Read more >>

  • Care home massacre probed as mercy killing: The suspect in Japan’s worst mass murder in postwar history told police he was trying to “save” people with multiple disabilities and had “no remorse” for what he did. Read more >>

  • Capital punishment on demand: While Canada's criminal code has been updated to include assisted dying and criteria for obtaining it, there are still many ambiguities in terms of its implementation and who qualifies to obtain it. One ambiguity is whether assisted dying should be extended to prison inmates. Read more >>

  • Whose life is worth living? Assisted suicide draws a line: Claims that euthanasia availability is about empowering people to freely make choices must be confronted with the reality that demarcation lines determining who is able to receive the service are state-sanctioned declarations about whose life has worth. Read more >>

  • Terminal Uncertainty: Washington’s ‘Death with Dignity’ law allows doctors to help people commit suicide once they’ve determined that the patient has only six months to live. But what if they’re wrong? Read more >>

  • “I’ll remain this sort of vegetable”: A physician expresses his concern for the issue of protecting those who are depressed in the offering of euthanasia in Canada. Read more >>

  • Terminally ill California woman holds farewell party before doctor-assisted suicide: In early July, Betsy Davis emailed her closest friends and relatives to invite them to a two-day party. The 41-year-old artist with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, held the gathering to say goodbye before becoming one of the first Californians to take a lethal dose of drugs under the state’s new doctor-assisted suicide law for the terminally ill. Read more >>

  • Cost of medical assistance in dying: In June 2016, Bill C-14 provided some Canadians (patients) with the legal option to request medical assistance in dying and other Canadians (physicians and nurse practitioners) with the legal authority to provide that assistance. Financial costs of medical assistance in dying are relatively low but the social cost may be much higher. Read more >>

  • Calls to overhaul palliative care in Canada: Palliative care isn't an option for many chronically ill Canadians. Now there are calls to overhaul end-of-life care in this country. Watch video >>

  • Euthanasia Advocates Having A ‘Trump Tantrum’? Wendi Wicks, convener of Not Dead Yet Aotearoa, says it’s astounding but sadly predictably unsurprising that the 75% plus opposition to assisted suicide can be dismissed as “insignificant”. She describes euthanasia advocates’ reaction to the news as a ‘Trump Tantrum’ of abuse. Read more >>

  • States Worse than Death: I Don't Think So: A recently published research article showed that a majority of those polled rated states such as being unable to get out of bed, being confused, and relying on a breathing machine to live as states worse than death. However, none of those polled had been in such states and there are plenty who live in such conditions that would disagree with it being a state worse than death. Read more >>


Euthanasia and assisted suicide news around the world (English and French)

  • AUSTRALIA - 1996 euthanasia debate, arguments opposing euthanasia remain intact: A number of questions and arguments concerning euthanasia legalization heard in Australian parliament twenty years ago are still pertinent today. Read more >>

  • AUSTRALIA - Evicting religious voices from the public square is anti-democratic and discriminatory: Australia’s popular radio and TV personality Andrew Denton has embarked upon a crusade to legalise euthanasia. He recently lashed out at a "subterranean Catholic force" of politicians and businessmen who are trying to frustrate popular demand for a peaceful death. This is an example of the “label as religious – in particular, Roman Catholic - and dismiss” strategy of pro-euthanasia advocates. Read more >>

  • BELGIQUE - Après les jeux paralympiques, l'athlète Marieke Vervoort envisage l'euthanasie : Après les Jeux de Rio, l'athlète belge Marieke Vervoort mettra un terme à sa carrière et... peut-être à sa vie.  Elle envisage très sérieusement l'euthanasie. Lire l’article >>

  • BELGIUM - Euthanasia Marketplace: Prevalence of euthanasia and assisted suicide tourism in Europe raises concerns for the future of assisted suicide in the United States. Read more >>

  • BELGIUM - Gold medallist paralympian from Belgium seeks euthanasia: The end-of-life wishes of a gold medallist at the Paralympics have again raised the question of what makes a person eligible for euthanasia in Belgium. Read more >>

  • CALIFORNIA - Terminally ill are saying goodbye with assisted suicide parties: In early July, Betsy Davis emailed her closest friends and relatives to invite them to a two-day party. The 41-year-old artist with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, held the gathering to say goodbye before becoming one of the first Californians to take a lethal dose of drugs under the state’s new doctor-assisted suicide law for the terminally ill. Read more >>

  • CALIFORNIE - Condamnée, une Californienne invite ses amis avant de bénéficier du suicide assisté : Début juillet, les amis de Betsy Davis ont reçu une invitation déconcertante pour une fête devant durer deux jours. Betsy, 41 ans, souffrait depuis 2013 d'une sclérose latérale amyotrophique qui ne lui a laissé aucune chance. L'Américaine a décidé de soigner son départ en conviant ceux qu'elle aimait à une grande cérémonie d'adieu. Lire l’article >>

  • COLORADO - A controversial ballot measure has Colorado news outlets grappling with the “S” word: On election day, voters in Colorado will have a big decision to make: whether to approve an initiative that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain a prescription for drugs to end their lives. Read more >>

  • DENVER, USA - TV station rejects euphemism 'medical aid in dying': A Denver television station has sent a jolting message to advocates of “medical aid in dying.” Read more >>

  • MALTA - Do not make the same mistake as others: Margaret Dore, a lawyer from Washington State, cautions Malta to avoid the same mistake as Washington and Oregon. Read more >>

  • NEW MEXICO - Supreme Court Unanimously Rules There is No Right to Assisted Suicide: A unanimous New Mexico Supreme Court gave opponents of assisted suicide a huge victory. On a 5-0 vote, the justices upheld an appeals court decision which ruled that Bernalillo County District Court Judge Nan Nash had erred in 2014 when she struck the decades-old New Mexico Assisted Suicide law which protected the state’s citizens from assisted suicide. Read more >>

  • NEW YORK - Don’t pretend it’s not assisted suicide — at least: An opinion piece about the hidden reality behind New York’s proposed “aid in dying” bill. Read more >>

  • NEW ZEALAND - Submissions Say No To Assisted Suicide : Family First NZ is welcoming an analysis of submissions made to the Inquiry on assisted suicide showing a 3:1 opposition to any change in the law, and is also calling on ACT MP David Seymour to withdraw his grandstanding bill so that the important conversation around end-of-life care can happen. Read more >>

  • VERMONT - Defying the Hippocratic Oath: Health professionals in Vermont are taking a much-needed stand for medical ethics and freedom of conscience through a lawsuit filed in federal court. They oppose a new state requirement that forces them — regardless of their conscience or medical ethics — to provide information to patients about how they can find a doctor who will help kill them. Read more >>

  • USA - Study Shows Legalizing Physician-Assisted Suicide Increases Suicide Rates: A new academic study shows that legalizing physician-assisted suicide increases the total number of people committing suicide. Read more >>


Videos to watch (French and English)

  • What we can do to die well: The healthcare industry in America is so focused on pathology, surgery and pharmacology — on what doctors "do" to patients — that it often overlooks the values of the human beings it's supposed to care for. Watch video >>

  • My father, locked in his body but soaring free: Watch video >>

  • Norman Kunc: Legalizing Assisted Suicide takes away the mental health safety net for people with disabilities: Watch video >>

  • Alzheimer dad and his son singing Quando, Quando: 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!