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  Living With Dignity Newsletter
  Vol. 11, October 2016

A Word from the Director

Last month, I spoke to you about the constant pressure to accept euthanasia and assisted suicide in our society, and to extend the reach of the law to an ever-growing number of people (>>). Unfortunately, the month of September continued in the same direction as the preceding months.

Thus, after the CHUM (>>), the MUHC (>>), and the Maison Albatros (>>) in August, the attacks of September were directed this time against the Commission on end-of-life care (Commission sur les Soins de Fin de Vie, CSFV), and against the bishops of the Catholic Church in Canada. Meanwhile, the new federal law was the subject of a first court challenge... to extend the reach of the law to a greater number of people (>>).

On the first hand, some euthanasia doctors expressed their “exasperation” with the CSFV because, as they said, it is asking them too much information following the death of their patients by euthanasia (>>). The commission, which was created to monitor the implementation of the law on euthanasia in Quebec, was also the target of another accusation: its impartiality has been questioned on the grounds that some members of its board of directors would not be in favor of euthanasia (>>).

The proponents of euthanasia then took this opportunity to unite their voices in a chorus of complaints pounding-in the idea that all members of this commission should adhere "body and soul" to the principles of euthanasia to ensure neutrality (sic).

In an article in the Huffington Post (>>), I questioned this strange principle while denouncing the propaganda that pushes always in the same direction.

After the CSFV, it was the turn of the bishops of Canada to be beaten by the media (>>). Indeed, meeting in the plenary assembly in Cornwall to discuss - among other topics - issues around euthanasia and assisted suicide, they received stones and insults for daring to discuss (!) the possibility of refusing a Catholic funeral in some cases of euthanasia, as suggested by the Alberta bishops in a document somehow nuanced on the issue (>>).

Unfortunately, these events show us again that supporters of medically induced death tolerate no exception to their rule that requires total acceptance of the principle of euthanasia by everyone. In fact, since its legalization in Quebec and Canada, euthanasia and assisted suicide increasingly unveil a face with totalitarian colours.

Thus, behind a facade of openness and respect for others, it is clear that exceptions in the application of the Canadian Criminal Code for "extreme cases" stealthily become orders to be respected and applauded by everyone.

Living with Dignity will continue to resist this organized pressure, and promote the value of each human person as well as the importance of good accessible health care to all.

Thank you for supporting our efforts and our initiatives.

In solidarity,

______________________________

Aubert MARTIN, executive director, Living with Dignity


 

News in Quebec

  • August 30, 2016: Faced with the wave of suicides by fasting, the College of Physicians of Quebec proposes as a solution to develop a guide to help doctors accompany people who want to commit suicide by stopping eating and drinking. Read more >>
  • September 9, 2016: The commission charged with observing the implementation of the law on euthanasia in Quebec is accused of being too proactive by euthanasia doctors. Read more >>
  • September 10, 2016: On the occasion of the 14th World Day of suicide prevention, the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide notes that 1100 Quebecers take their own lives every year, or 3 people per day, and that the situation stagnated despite prevention campaigns. Read more >>
  • September 19, 2016: The commission charged with observing the application of the law on euthanasia in Quebec is accused again by the same euthanasia doctors who question its impartiality due to the presence of opponents of euthanasia within its board of directors. Read more >>
  • September 19, 2016: Patients and unions denounce the Quebec government on conducting another consultation of nursing homes instead of making concrete efforts to improve the lives of patients. Read more >>
  • September 21, 2016: Confusion still surrounds the differences between the federal law and the Quebec law on euthanasia and assisted suicide. The minister Gaétan Barrette warns Quebec doctors who risk applying the federal law C-14 that they risk getting in trouble with the law. Read more >>
  • September 22, 2016: Unions representing the staff of the Bas-Saint-Laurent health facilities denounce the considerable deterioration of the quality of services following the health cuts. Read more >>
  • September 29, 2016: Canadian Bishops are attacked in the media for having wrongly considered the possibility to deny a religious funeral in some cases of euthanasia – even though to this day, no directive has been given in this respect. Read more >>
  • September 30, 2016: The annual report of The Quebec Ombudsman criticized the fact that bureaucracy has suffered less than vulnerable cutbacks in public services and that it is therefore the most vulnerable who pay the price of austerity Read more >>

 

News in Canada

  • August 30, 2016: Alberta bishops issue directives to guide the priests in their discernment regarding the possibility of refusing funerals in some cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide. Read more >>
  • September 2, 2016: A census of the CBC reports that more than 120 people died by euthanasia or assisted suicide in Canada since the introduction of the federal bill C-14 in June, though this remains unclear because of insufficient sources. Read more >>
  • September 6, 2016: The federal law is already contested in court in order to extend its scope to persons who are not eligible. Read more >>
  • September 7, 2016: The government of Quebec affirms that it has no intention of submitting the federal law on medical assistance to die before the Quebec Court of Appeals to obtain a review of its constitutionality, given that the law is already being challenged in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Read more >>
  • September 27, 2016: Alberta Health Services announced that the number of requests for medical aid to die (euthanasia and/or assisted suicide) is much higher than expected (more than 4 people per week >>), which requires it to consider recruiting more staff to manage the surprising volume of requests. Read more >>
  • September 29, 2016: The investigation concerning the possible leak of the text of the bill on euthanasia and assisted suicide to a journalist before its adoption has concluded. While the charges were dropped, the mystery has not been resolved. Read more >> 

 

Living with Dignity in the media (English and French)

  • Euthanasia: all aboard! Thus, less than a year after the implementation of the law on “medical assisted death”, the proponents of euthanasia-on-demand are already attacking the Commission charged with monitoring its implementation. Read more >>

 

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 (English and French)

  • The danger of glamorizing suicide: Did you ever think of suicide as being romantic or glamorous? In September, as we observe Suicide Prevention Awareness Month it’s important to remember that young adults with impressionable minds might be persuaded to. Read more >>
  • Right to Die’: Woman Dies On Camera In Emmy-Nominated Series: A recent episode of HBO series Vice was recently nominated for an Emmy award for “Outstanding Informational Series or Special.” In a recent episode, focused on the issue of euthanasia, the production featured the death of a patient who had chosen to receive euthanasia. Read more >>
  • Psychological suffering now a qualifier for euthanasia: The head of an international anti-euthanasia organization warns that allowing people to legally commit suicide because of depression can quickly get out of control. Read more >>
  • Legalising assisted dying is dangerous for disabled people. Not compassionate: If I said I wanted to die, the press, celebrities and the public would support my choice, seeing it as rational and understandable. Yet when a healthy, non-disabled person wants to kill themself it’s seen as a tragedy, and support and prevention tools are provided. Suicide is not seen as socially desirable – so why is assisted suicide seen as compassionate when it’s for ill or disabled people? Read more >>
  • All the lonely people - have they no one of their own? Being connected via the phone to practically everyone and everything we value in life has become a 21st century obsession. At the same time The New York Times informs us that there is an epidemic of loneliness in such countries. How can that be? Read more >>
  • Religious healthcare workers have a professional obligation to follow their conscience: For centuries, doctors subscribed to the Hippocratic Oath, a vow that includes admonitions against abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. But for decades the Hippocratic ideal and the Christians concept of neighbor love have been eroded in the medical field by unethical bioethicists. So it’s not surprising that we now find some bioethicists who would prefer to restrict the conscience of doctors in a more politically correct manner. Read more >>
  • What Does Dying with Dignity Mean? A collection of articles featured in the latest edition of The Newman Rambler, from a variety of authors, address many of the questions and concerns surrounding the concept of dying with dignity. Read more >>
  • Elderly Canadians fear euthanasia: In June this year, the Canadian Parliament legalised euthanasia and assisted suicide. Not everyone is happy about this, as Christine Nagel explains. Read more >>
  • Suicide fantasy: When Canada legalized assisted suicide earlier this year, the National Post’s coolly analytical Andrew Coyne wondered in a column whether we haven’t lost our way as a country. Barely two months after the legislation’s passage, a marker of how lost we are shows up in our insistence on going both ways at once. Read more >>
  • Doctors needed. Leave your conscience at home: In a new paper, two prominent bioethicists suggest that all doctors should be required to see to it personally that any medical procedure — including abortions and assisted suicides — be performed for patients who request and qualify for them. Sadly, for devout Catholics, evangelical Protestants or others with deep religious or moral convictions, the prospect of medical school itself would be completely off the table if co-authors Udo Schuklenk and Julian Savulescu had their way. Read more >>
  • Dean Stock: Montreal crusader for ALS research dies at 39: Former hockey player and Montrealer Dean Stock – a young father who was very public about his ALS diagnosis in December 2014 and made it his mission to advance research into treatments for the deadly neuromuscular disorder – lost his battle with the disease on Friday at the age of 39. Read more >>
  • Largest Canadian study on dementia hopes to develop new treatments and interventions: The largest Canadian study ever on dementia launches Wednesday with a goal of developing new interventions to slow or halt diseases that affect more than half a million Canadians. Read more >>
  • Confronter le parti médiatique : Il ne faut pas nous prendre pour des imbéciles. Par exemple, en cherchant à nous faire croire que les médias sont neutres. Trop souvent, les médias ne pratiquent pas l’esprit critique, mais l’esprit militant, en construisant le débat public de telle manière que certaines positions sont privilégiées et d'autres sont exclues ou discréditées à l'avance, souvent dans la simple manière de les présenter. Lire l’article >>
  • CHU de Québec: une membre du C.A. démissionne : Se disant « déçue » du peu d'intérêt accordé aux usagers et aux citoyens dans le système de santé québécois, Élaine Hémond a démissionné du conseil d'administration du CHU de Québec en mars dernier. Lire l’article >>
  • L’objection de conscience à la lumière de «Fides et Ratio» : Gregor Puppinck, directeur du Centre européen pour le droit et la justice, docteur en droit et membre du Panel d’experts de l’OSCE/ODIHR sur la liberté de religion ou de conviction, donne un interview sur le thème de son étude sur l’objection de conscience. Lire l’article >>
  • Rassurer et accompagner médecins et patients : Au cours des dernières semaines, certains, dont des médecins, ont formulé de vives critiques à l’égard de la Commission sur les soins de fin de vie du Québec. En tant que médecin membre de la CSFV, je ressens le besoin de sortir du devoir de réserve que je m’étais imposé, afin d’apporter des clarifications qui, je l’espère, pourront rassurer à la fois mes collègues médecins et la population. Lire l’article >>
  • Vous avez dit « aide médicale à mourir » ? On s’étonnera peut-être d’apprendre que mourir est un acte, qu’il n’a rien de passif, qu’on ne subit pas la mort. De fait, on meurt comme on est né. Or, on est passés du milieu aquatique au milieu aérien par notre propre force. Lire l’article >>
  • Funérailles catholiques, entre la loi qui permet et la religion qui empêche? Cette semaine les évêques catholiques canadiens sont réunis à Cornwall en assemblée annuelle. Au centre de cette réunion, ils délibèrent et font le point au sujet de la loi canadienne endossant la pratique de l'euthanasie, rebaptisée aide médicale à mourir dans une novlangue douce, mais confondante. Ainsi comme tout ce qui relève de l'exercice de discernement en commun, les évêques doivent être prêts à tout entendre et disposés à tout écouter. Lire l’article >>

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

  • AUSTRALIA: Euthanasia in Australia, 20 years on: Pro-euthanasia advocates are calling on Australian legislatures to legalise assisted dying, as the country marks 20th anniversary of the first death of a patient by legal euthanasia. Read more >>
  • AUSTRALIA: leading journalist decries push for euthanasia: One of Australia’s most respected journalists, Paul Kelly, has kicked back against what some of his journalistic colleagues have been treating as a rising tide in favour of euthanasia. Read more >>
  • BELGIQUE: L’euthanasie au détour des Jeux paralympiques de Rio : L’athlète belge Marieke Vervoort a ajouté une ligne à son déjà riche palmarès, en obtenant, ce week-end, la médaille d’argent du 400 m (T52), la première de son pays, aux Jeux paralympiques de Rio. Bien avant les JO, Marieke Vervoort avait exposé ses projets de vie post-carrière sportive. Et, quand les souffrances ne seront plus supportables et que son corps sera proche de la rupture, se faire euthanasier. Lire l’article >>
  • BELGIQUE: On présente l’euthanasie comme la seule bonne façon de mourir : Des voix s’élèvent en réaction à l’annonce de la première euthanasie d’un mineur de 17 ans en Belgique. Lire l’article >>
  • BELGIUM: Belgian euthanasia cases hit record high: Belgium carried out more than 2,000 mercy killings last year, the most since euthanasia was controversially legalised in 2002, the government said Wednesday. Read more >>
  • BELGIUM: Euthanasia in Belgium: trends in reported cases between 2003 and 2013: A study on all reported cases of euthanasia in Belgium found that they had been increasing annually from 2003 to 2013. Read more >>
  • BELGIUM: minor first to be granted euthanasia: A terminally ill 17-year-old has become the first minor to be helped to die in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia requests were removed two years ago, officials say. Read more >>
  • BELGIUM: Study of euthanasia trends in Belgium has lessons for other countries: A new study on euthanasia trends in Belgium, which shows an increase in reported cases since legislation was introduced, provides lessons for countries that have legalized assisted dying. Read more >>
  • NEW ZEALAND: Don't change euthanasia laws - NZ Medical Association: The New Zealand Medical Association has told a parliamentary committee it opposes changing the law to allow voluntary euthanasia. The health committee is gathering evidence in response to a petition asking for a law change. Read more >>
  • NEW ZEALAND: Medical Association states: Euthanasia - The risk is too great and the consequences are final: The New Zealand government Health Select Committee is currently gathering evidence as it considers the issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide. According to Newshub the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) stated that it opposes changing the law to allow euthanasia. Read more >>
  • PAYS-BAS: Ouverture d’un centre pour l’euthanasie des enfants aux pays-bas : D’ici l’année prochaine, un « centre pour l’euthanasie des enfants » devrait ouvrir aux Pays-Bas. Lire l’article >>
  • SWITZERLAND:Stances on Assisted Suicide by Health and Social Care Professionals Working With Older Persons in Switzerland: A study on the personal and professional stances of 40 health and social care professionals confronted with assisted suicide of older persons in French-speaking Switzerland. Read more >>
  • VERMONT: ADF Helps Vermont Health Care Professionals Opt Out Of Euthanasia Practices, Assisted Suicides: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys asked a federal court Monday to stop Vermont officials in two state agencies from forcing conscientious health care professionals to help kill their patients while the lawsuit of those professionals proceeds. Read more >>

 

Videos to watch (French and English)

  • Les soins palliatifs : Véronick Raymond nous donne son billet d’humeur en souhaitent qu'on n’oublie pas de déjouer la souffrance et qu'il est important d'accompagner ceux à la fin de la vie. Écoutez l'émission >>
  • Dean Stock: Living with ALS: An interview with the late Dean Stock. Watch video >>
  • Lessons from the Mental Hospital: A TEDx talk by Glennon Doyle on her experience with mental illness. Watch video >>
  • Suicide: How my failed attempts became my biggest success: A TEDx talk by Shraddha Shanka on her experience with suicide. Watch video >>
  • Why we choose suicide: A TEDx talk by Mark Henick on his experience with the psychological forces behind suicide. 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!