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  Living With Dignity Newsletter
  Vol. 7, June 2016

A Word from the Director

Last Wednesday, June 1, many members of Living with Dignity and hundreds of others gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to protest against the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. I thank everyone who made the trip with us and whom I had the pleasure of meeting that day. Your action and your support continue to give me motivation and hope !

Furthermore, although the deadline given by the Supreme Court of Canada (June 6) has now passed, the federal government has not yet finished writing its legislation to regulate euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. We thus find ourselves in a potentially chaotic limbo where each province, each college of physicians and even each health professional is free to interpret the Carter judgment in his own way.

From the beginning, the Liberal government, under pressure from a theoretical obligation to respect a date on a calendar, has hustled each step of a process that should normally be done with calm and prudence. Yet we are close to the end of the discussions as members of the Senate must in turn propose amendments to Bill C-14.

The lack of consensus in the Senate (as in the population!) feeds our concerns since several scenarios are possible. For now, we only know that the Senate has asked to remove the words "reasonably foreseeable death" from the bill, which opens wide the door to the death of people who are not at the end of life so that they can commit suicide with the help of a medical professional. Senate members are also reported to request that advance directives (suicide later by a written advance request) should be included in the legislation.

Pending the final version of the legislation, many medical homicides will therefore be committed legally given the current legal environment, although these same actions may be illegal later when the law finally enters into force. This inconsistency illustrates the logic of assisted suicide to which social morality is obliged to adapt in order to fit the changing mood of the law ...

But whatever the winds of fashion, Living with Dignity is committed, with your support, to stand firm to defend the dignity of every human person against the attacks of a disfigured compassion.

______________________________

Aubert MARTIN, executive director, Living with Dignity


 

News in Canada

  • May 4, 2016: The principle of Bill C-14 is passed in the House of Commons (235 votes against 75).
  • May 5, 2016: MP Mark Warawa introduces as a private member Bill C-268 in the House of Commons. Bill C-268, called the Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act, seeks to protect the conscience rights of health care professionals in light of the arrival of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada.
  • May 12, 2016: The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights tabled a report with suggestions for amendments to Bill C-14.
  • May 17, 2016: The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs tabled its report with suggestions for amendments regarding the content of Bill C-14.
  • May 31, 2016: Bill C-14 on assisted suicide is approved in the House of Commons to be sent to the Senate in order to be studied and amended (read more >>)
  • June 1, 2016: Hundreds of people, MPs and members of the Senate gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to voice their opposition to the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.
  • June 6, 2016: Euthanasia and assisted suicide are officially decriminalized in Canada although no law regulates their practice.
  • June 8, 2016: Senate members vote an amendment to Bill C-14 to remove the reference to a "reasonably foreseeable death" (41 votes against 31).

 

Living with Dignity in the media (English and French) 

  • Okay, senators, get ready to show off that sober, second thought process: article du Ottawa Citizen mentionnant le rassemblement à Ottawa: lire l'article >>
  • Over 250 demonstrators lie in body bags on Parliament Hill to protest euthanasia bill: article de Life Site News mentionnant le rassemblement à Ottawa: lire l'article >>
  • Témoignage de Me Michel Racicot et du Dre Catherine Ferrier, membes du C.A. de Vivre dans la Dignité, devant le Comité permanent de la Justice et des Droits de la Personne le 4 mai 2016: voir le vidéo (début à 16:08:32) >>
  • Discours d'Aubert Martin, directeur de Vivre dans la Dignité, lors du rassemblement à Ottawa: voir vidéo >>
  • Discours du Dre Catherine Ferrier, membre du Conseil d'administration de Vivre dans la Dignité, lors du rassemblement à Ottawa: voir vidéo >>
  • Les Québécois qui ont voté contre la loi s’expliquent: article du Devoir mentionnant le rassemblement à Ottawa: lire l'article >>
  • Aide médicale à mourir: les sénateurs se montrent intraitables: article de La Presse mentionnant le rassemblement à Ottawa: lire l'article >>
  • Analyse légale du prétendu « droit à la mort »: Michel Racicot, Vice-Président de Vivre dans la Dignité, nous livre ses commentaires basés sur son témoignage devant le Comité permanent de la justice et des droits de la personne de la Chambre des Communes mercredi le 4 mai, 2016. Lire le texte >>

Take action in June

  • REMINDER OF OUR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN: please support our efforts so that we can continue to speak on your behalf:

           

  • Rally on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 1 from noon to 13:30: all the details coming soon. Save the date now!
  • Write to senators (>>) and MPs (>>) to inform them of our concerns about the proposed federal legislation (Bill C-14):
    • do not remove the requirement that death must be foreseeable to avoid spreading the danger of euthanasia to the entire population;
    • refuse euthanasia by advance request (foresee one's suicide);
    • write a clause on freedom of conscience for all people and institutions, with a penalty if you try to force someone to participate;
    • remember that to compel a doctor to "refer the patient" makes that doctor an accomplice of euthanasia which he refuses to practice.

Press Review (French and English)

  • Aboriginal Liberal MP tells Parliament euthanasia bill is a step towards ‘moral relativism’: Winnipeg MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette, whose father was a full-blooded Cree, linked physician-assisted death with the plague of suicides recently hitting the Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario. Read more >>
  • Living with dignity and courage in the face of able-bodied professionals who lack both: two individuals living with severe disabilities due to spinal muscular atrophy who testified at the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Justice and Human Rights explain their concerns both for themselves and for their fellow Canadians living with disabilities. Read more >> 
  • 92-year-old woman says people took control of her life using a mandate that was forged: while advance directives are in the heart of the debate in the Senate, here is the troubling story of an old woman, a survivor of a German labour camp during the Second World War, who was abused by her niece who prepared a mandate that gave her control of her personal protection and belongings if she were ever to become incapacitated. Read more >>
  • Dutch Paediatricians Seek Child Euthanasia: The Dutch Health Minister has earmarked almost 400,000 Euros for a study of whether to expand eligibility for euthanasia to children between 1 and 12. Read more >>
  • New York Panel Refuses to Legalize 'Aid in Dying' Procedures: Advocates of "aid-in-dying" lost a bid to exempt the practice from state laws banning assisted suicide when the First Department unanimously rejected their claims Tuesday. Read more >>
  • Assisted suicide law talk creates fear for seniors: The elderly population, especially those living in poverty, without family or friends they can trust, those battling addiction of any kind, or with disabilities including depression and other mental health issues, are especially vulnerable to assisted suicide/euthanasia. Read more >>
  • Suffering Steals No Dignity: Country singer Joey Feek knows what it’s like to suffer, facing the realities of a relentless terminal illness. But instead of spending her last days contemplating her death, the myriad ways her terminal illness is robbing her independence and abilities, or how to hasten the end of her suffering, she seems more focused on surrounding herself with the ones she loves. Read more >>
  • Entre l’autonomie et la vulnérabilité : entrevue avec Jean Leonetti, le père de la loi française sur la fin de vie, dans laquelle il rappelle que l’interdit de donner la mort est une frontière morale essentielle au-delà de laquelle la société devient indifférente à la souffrance et à la solitude de ceux qui sont « las de vivre » : Lire l'article >> 
  • Faut-il suicider les vieux? Nous avons l’originalité de banaliser le suicide, d’en faire non plus un acte exceptionnel, mais un droit assuré par l’État-providence. Lire l'article >>
  • Aide à mourir: Robert-Falcon Ouellette, le libéral qui a dit non : le député autochtone ne pouvait appuyer ce qu’il considère comme un aval étatique au suicide alors que ce mal ravage les siens, et se demande si ce n’est pas la vie qui s’en trouve dévalorisée. « Après avoir vu ce qui se passait à Attawapiskat, Cross Lake, dans les communautés autochtones, je ne suis pas convaincu qu’on prend les bonnes décisions pour notre société ». Lire l'article >>
  • Soins palliatifs: finir sa vie comme à la maison : incursion au cœur de la maison de soins palliatifs La Source Bleue, à Boucherville. Lire l’article >>
  • Pays-Bas: une victime de viol obtient d'être euthanasiée pour mettre fin à son traumatisme: la jeune femme avait subi plusieurs abus sexuels durant son adolescence. En expliquant que le traumatisme était insurmontable, elle a obtenu d'être euthanasiée par l'Etat néerlandais. Lire l'article >>
  • Suicide assisté : un médecin plaide pour de meilleurs soins palliatifs : plutôt que de mettre le pied sur l’accélérateur pour faire adopter son projet de loi sur le suicide assisté, le gouvernement Trudeau devrait travailler à mettre en place une véritable politique nationale de soins palliatifs. Lire l’article >>
  • Objection de conscience, tolérance et totalitarisme : cet article paru en 2007 mais toujours d’actualité rappelle les principes liés à l’objection de conscience et les attaques qui en découlent. Lire l’article >>
  • Voici pourquoi l'aide à mourir ne sera pas offerte ici : peu avant l’entrée en vigueur de la loi québécoise permettant l’euthanasie, La Maison Au Diapason à Bromont a ouvert ses portes pour expliquer en quoi « l'aide médicale à mourir » est un acte incompatible avec leur philosophie. Lire l’article >>
  • Don d’organes et aide médicale à mourir forment un alliage délicat: un possible dérapage de la légalisation du suicide assisté. Lire l'article >>

 

Videos to watch (French and English)

  • Speeches at the Rally Opposing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Ottawa, June 1, 2016 (courtesy of Maureen Ward): Watch videos >>
  • Protect Doctor's Conscience Rights!: Belgium's Advice to Canada: Watch video >>
  • La vie après le suicide: cet extrait d'un documentaire sur les ravages du suicide pour les proches nous rappelle ce qui est en jeu quand il est question du suicide assisté par l'État. Voir l'extrait >>

 

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!