Challenges and opportunities every year

The year 2016 ends as it began: with challenges and opportunities!

First of all, as promised in its legislation, the federal government announced that it has officially launched studies to examine the possibility of extending its criteria (already!). Thus, as of December 2018, euthanasia and assisted suicide could be requested via advance directives, as well as by children and people with mental illness (>>). It goes without saying that we will actively participate in public debates to prevent these dangerous extensions, and work to raise awareness among the public and leaders about these issues that are crucial to the future of our society.

On another note, at the beginning of the month, we saw a very encouraging letter in the La Presse newspaper (>>). Signed by more than thirty physicians, the letter asserted that the vast majority of physicians in Quebec are still opposed to euthanasia. Indeed, in a letter sent to their physicians, the Professional Services Directorate of a Montreal hospital told them of the “need [for] additional physicians for medically assisted death” because there would be only "a few physicians who have given their consent to participate in this process." It is proof that nothing is a foregone conclusion, and so we must not give up!

Another note to motivate us at the end of 2016: let us underline these two important victories in Ohio, in the United States (>>) (>>) and in South Africa (>>), where medically assisted suicide was rejected following proposals to legalize it.

Finally, at this time of the year, I would like to thank you warmly and individually for your support and your involvement throughout 2016. Your words of encouragement, financial contributions, and actions on the ground have given us the impetus to continue this relentless struggle to protect our society and all vulnerable people from the perverse effects of euthanasia.

With your support, Living with Dignity was cited 59 times in the media in 2016; we also gave 39 presentations, either to government committees or to the general public; and we have published or participated in the publication of some twenty texts, whether in the form of articles or contributions to books.

Many challenges await us again in 2017, but for the moment, let me just wish you a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with peace, love, and health for you and all your loved ones.

Rest well, and come back with renewed strength in 2017!