Vol. 23

Q u i - v i v e   

  Living With Dignity Newsletter
  Vol. 23

A Word from the Director

After last month’s survey from the Université de Sherbrooke, in which 91% of family caregivers said that they would agree to extend euthanasia to incapable persons with a terminal illness, the month of October concluded with two other worrisome revelations.

On the one hand, the Canadian Paediatric Society published the results of two internal surveys on the euthanasia of children. One of the findings shows that “Canadian health care professionals are increasingly being approached by the parents of “never-competent” infants and children, including those too young to make a reasoned decision, and by youth themselves, to discuss MAID-related issues.”

Furthermore, according to the results of the survey, it appears that “parents raise such questions with paediatricians more often than do minors.”

It is important to remember that euthanasia was initially sold as a personal choice required by the right to self-determination. Yet we are already witnessing the abandonment of this principle in favour of the choice made by one person for another, who is, moreover, unable to consent to it.

This emerging tendency, in addition to undermining one of the fundamental criteria of the law which requires that the request for euthanasia come from the person concerned, clearly demonstrates that death is making its way into the social mindset as an acceptable solution to suffering. It is really quite shocking when one reads in an article that 45 paediatricians have already received “explicit requests from parents (…) [of which] more than half concerned a child less than a year old.”

In Quebec, the government released the second report from the Commission sur les soins de fin de vie (CSFV) which reports 31 new cases of abuse of the Act. Living with Dignity was quick to issue a press release to sound the alarm and deplore the lax attitude of the Quebec government which, year by year, is increasingly losing control of the situation.

On the one hand, the statistics are growing at breakneck speed (638 cases of euthanasia out of a total of 992 requests in the last year) and the abuses of the Act are multiplying without any consequences for the doctors at fault. On the contrary, the College of Physicians trivializes these transgressions of the Act by treating them as mere administrative errors.

On the other hand, the Commission, charged with overseeing the application of the Act, is overwhelmed and cannot process all the euthanasia forms sent to it. In addition, their report states that about 38% of the forms arrive late (sometimes weeks, even months after the euthanasia, despite the statutory deadline being 10 days). In addition, the files it deals with sometimes remain incomplete and on occasion doctors even refuse to send the additional information requested by the Commission.

Finally, the Commission notes that “the variability in reported information regarding the number of end-of-life individuals who have received palliative care does not allow for the processing of this data at this time” (CSFV Report 3.2.1). That is to say, the law that was presented to us as being, first and foremost, a law about access to palliative care has become, as we feared, a law centred on euthanasia.

Thus, in light of the facts reported to us, we are entitled to ask ourselves an essential question: what is the point of having a law, criteria and a supervisory commission if compliance with these conditions seems to be optional?

Rest assured, while the eyes of our public decision-makers are blinded by their obsession with promoting of death as a solution to suffering, Living with Dignity will continue to speak for those who want to build a caring society rather than one that offers death to people who need help. We count on your support, and encourage you to participate in the debate by calling phone-in programs, writing to media, contacting your MNA and writing comments on articles that defend our vision.

I thank you in advance for your support,

In solidarity,


Aubert MARTIN, executive director, Living with Dignity


News in Quebec

  • October 9, 2017: Activists complain of a growing problem of a lack of mental-health services due to cuts in the Quebec health system (>>)
  • October 12, 2017: The Minister of Health and the Minister for Seniors will remain in place following the cabinet reshuffle. The Council for the Protection of the Patients is concerned and calls for a law on long-term care (>>)
  • October 24, 2017: Health minister Gaétan Barrette faces criticism as a growing number of Quebec doctors quit the public system (>>)
  • October 26, 2017: The Commission on end-of-life care tables its second annual report in the National Assembly. According to the report some patients were euthanaised without being entitled to it (>>)
  • September 29, 2017: According to a study led by Sherbrooke University, 91% of caregivers believe that Quebec’s medical aid in dying law should be extended to cover incapable people who are terminally ill, have signs of distress, and have a written. (>>)


News in Canada

  • October 5, 2017: A woman files a lawsuit against the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, alleging that the medical team disconnected her husband without consent (>>) (>>)
  • October 6, 2017: According to a report published by the federal Department of Health, the number of patients who have used medical assistance in dying in Canada has jumped by nearly 50% in recent months (>>)
  • October 9, 2017: A “2nd Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada” is published by the Canadian Department of Health (>>) (>>)
  • October 12, 2017: With a growing number of cases of euthanasia in Canada, the recent publication of a study showing the economic benefits of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada raises concerns (>>) (>>)
  • October 17, 2017: A court case in British Columbia is already seeking to expand Canada’s euthanasia law (>>) (>>)
  • October 20, 2017: The number of cases of medically assisted suicide has risen in Manitoba (>>)
  • October 26, 2017: According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, parents are increasingly asking to have the option of medically assisted death for their children (>>) (>>)



  • Quebec moves toward euthanasia for dementia: Article from Aubert Martin on Quebec’s steps towards legalizing euthanasia for those who are unable to provide consent. Read more >>



  • A clear choice: Healing is a miracle of nature. Just as the germination of a seed is such a miracle. But these miracles require a supportive environment in which to accomplish themselves. human patients are not like other living things. They require more than physical life support. They also need a will to live. And that, also, is a fragile flame in need of protection. Read more >>


DOSSIERS (French and English)

  • Opening Door to Assisted Suicide Organ Donors: As early as 1993 we were warned that assisted suicide would lead conjoining organ donation with euthanasia “as a plumb to society.” That is happening now in Netherlands and Belgium–including of people with mental illnesses, no less. Read more >>
  • Des « thanadoulas » pour vous escorter vers la mort : Pas facile de se préparer à affronter le dernier sommeil, dans une société où la mort est toujours taboue. Des « thanadoulas » proposent d'accompagner des mourants et leurs familles vers le trépas, en leur donnant du soutien psychologique et en les guidant dans l'organisation de funérailles à la maison et de rituels plus personnalisés. Lire l’article >>
  • Des doulas pour accompagner vers la mort : Des volontaires ont reçu à Edmonton une formation pour les aider à accompagner des malades en fin de vie avec la même attention que celle que les doulas consacrent habituellement à la naissance. Lire l’article >>
  • Un programme pour former des « accompagnants à la mort » Un collège postsecondaire de la Colombie-Britannique lance le premier programme de la province destiné à former des « accompagnants à la mort ». Lire l’article >>
  • Aide médicale à mourir et dons d'organes, des questions éthiques : Ceux qui ont recours à l'aide médicale à mourir peuvent prévoir que leurs organes seront prélevés à leur mort. La pratique soulève toutefois de nouveaux questionnements éthiques. Témoignage et réflexion. Lire l’article >>


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

  • AUSTRALIA: 101 Victorian oncologists (cancer specialists) oppose assisted suicide bill: A letter from 101 Victorian oncologists illustrates the strong opposition to Australian proposals for assisted suicide and euthanasia. Read more >>
  • AUSTRALIA: Nitschke wants euthanasia access for over-70s: Long-time Australian euthanasia advocate continues to fight for legal access to euthanasia. Read more >>
  • UNITED STATES: The Health 202: Legalizing assisted suicide has stalled at every level: Of 27 states where measures to legalise assisted suicide were introduced this past year, none have passed into law. They were either stopped in committee or failed to be passed by both legislative chambers. Read more >>
  • AUSTRALIE : Les enfants autorisés à rédiger des directives anticipées opposables aux médecins : En Australie, l’état de Victoria a autorisé les enfants « de tout âge » à écrire des directives anticipées opposables aux médecins. Lire l’article >>
  • BELGIQUE : Il tue sa femme "par compassion", sera-t-il condamné ? A Liège en Belgique, un homme âgé de 73 ans est poursuivi « pour avoir commis le meurtre par empoisonnement de son épouse ». Mais selon lui, « il n’a fait qu’accéder à la demande d’euthanasie de sa femme qui souffrait d’une polyarthrose diffuse ». Lire l’article >>
  • BELGIQUE : Euthanasie : le Vatican offre une "chance ultime" à l'organisation des frères de la charité de Belgique : Frère René Stockman, Supérieur général des Frères de la Charité a rencontré le 29 septembre les autorités compétentes du Vatican « sur la situation actuelle du dossier concernant l’application oui ou non de l’euthanasie dans les établissements des Frères de la Charité en Belgique ». Lire l’article >>
  • BELGIQUE : Il tue sa femme, le tribunal le condamne à 5 ans de prison avec sursis : En Belgique, l’homme poursuivi « pour avoir commis l’homicide par empoisonnement de son épouse » a été condamné le 20 octobre à 5 ans de prison. Lire l’article >> Mais, le tribunal a assorti un sursis total a cette peine. Jacques n’ira donc pas en prison. Lire l’article >>
  • ÉTATS-UNIS : Vingt-cinq millions de personnes par an meurent dans des souffrances évitables : Selon une étude de l'Université de Miami, quelque 25 millions de personnes, dont 2,5 millions d'enfants, meurent chaque année dans des souffrances qui auraient pu être allégées grâce à la morphine. Lire l’article >>
  • PAYS BAS : Euthanasie : Enquête criminelle aux Pays Bas contre un médecin : Pour la première fois depuis la légalisation de l'euthanasie aux Pays-Bas, un médecin, qui avait procédé à une injection létale contre la volonté d’une patiente, pourrait être poursuivi. Lire l’article >>


Take Action in November

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


  • Purchase the Euthanasia Deception Documentary, a thought-provoking, emotionally-gripping film that will impact hearts and minds by effectively dismantling the fallacies of euthanasia proponents’ appeals to compassion and autonomy. APurchase or rent documentary here >>
  • 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)

  • Before we allow euthanasia, look who the Dutch have killed: A number of troubling cases coming out of the Netherlands give regions where euthanasia is not yet legal, reason to pause. Read more >>
  • Will assisted suicide always provide a quick and gentle death? The gold standard for human experimentation is a randomly-assigned double-blind placebo-controlled study. Unfortunately, organising such a study to assess the effectiveness of the lethal medications used for executions in the United States and for physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has significant ethical issues. We need to rely upon historical data. Read more >>
  • Complexity, uncertainty and potentiality in the euthanasia debate: A journalist once asked me what I thought would be the major issues for ethics in the future. I responded, spontaneously, with three words: “complexity; uncertainty; potentiality”. My statement surprised me, as I had no idea where it came from or even what it might mean in relation to ethical analysis. Since then, I’ve pondered the latter. Read more >>
  • 7 Years Ago, Doctors Gave Mom Days to Live. Assisted Suicide Would Have Made That True: Assisted suicide laws are universally flawed because they fail to account for the fact that terminal illness diagnoses are sometimes a mistake. Read more >>
  • Dr. Robert’s regrets: Towards death à la carte? An open letter from Yves Robert, secretary of the Collège des médecins du Québec urging us to reflect carefully on what exactly has been just made legal in Quebec before rushing to expand accessibility. Read more >>
  • Language as a battlefield: How we got from euthanasia to voluntary assisted dying: Right to die, euthanasia, dying with dignity, assisted suicide: the language around this debate is enormously loaded, and shapes the way we feel about it. Read more >>
  • Euthanasie : Les supérieurs des communautés catholiques Belges se défendent : Alors que le Vatican a donné « une chance ultime » à l’Organisation des frères de la Charité « pour se conformer à la doctrine catholique » dans le domaine de la fin de vie, les supérieurs des communautés religieuses de Belgique ont réagi par voie de communiqué. Ils déplorent être la cible « de récriminations et de menaces, d’informations fallacieuses et trompeuses, de sanctions et d’exclusion » qui les « affectent terriblement ». Lire l’article >>
  • Inserm : Le coeur "trahit" un état de conscience : Une étude menée par l’INSERM auprès de 127 patients âgés de 17 à 80 ans, publiée dans Annals of neurology, a mis en évidence que « la modification des battements cardiaques en réponse à une stimulation sonore est un bon indicateur de l’état de conscience ». Lire l’article >>
  • Pour une société qui "porte le souci des plus faibles" plutôt que le "choix individuel" : Alors qu’Anne Bert, une romancière atteinte de la maladie de Charcot, est décédée en Belgique ce 2 octobre dernier, la Société française d'accompagnement et de soins palliatifs (SFAP) réagit, dans un communiqué de presse, à la médiatisation de sa mort. Elle réclame « un traitement plus équilibré de ces sujets complexes et délicats pour permettre une meilleure compréhension par tous nos concitoyens des enjeux de la fin de vie ». Lire l’article >>
  • Qui pense que nos malades sont indignes ? La question peut paraître absurde mais elle mérite d’être posée, suite aux propos de Jean-Luc Romero, grand défenseur de l’euthanasie. Ce dernier affirme que le ministre de la Santé Agnès Buzyn lui a dit que la question de la fin de vie serait abordée dans la prochaine loi sur la bioéthique. Petite décryptage : nous avons obtenu de laisser mourir de faim et de soif un patient (loi Leonetti actuelle), il est temps de voter la possibilité de le tuer par injection létale. Lire l’article >>


Videos to watch (French and English)

  • The Euthanasia Deception: A trailer for the new documentary exploring assisted suicide and euthanasia in Belgium. Watch video >>
  • Fatal Flaws Film Clip: “They wanted me to do an assisted suicide death on her.” During an emergency hospital stay, 25-year-old Candice Lewis says doctors tried to pressure her into an assisted death. One year later, Candice - who lives with Cerebral Palsy - is back doing what she loves most, painting and spending time with her family. Read more >> 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!