uOttawa Students For Life: To Care or to Kill?

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

by Kelden Formosa

On Friday, the BC Supreme Court moved Canada one step closer to legalized euthanasia.

But legalizing euthanasia won’t solve the real problems.

Instead of making it easier to kill the weak and the vulnerable, we should recognize all human beings as having dignity and value and start making serious efforts to ensure their needs are provided for.

That means making serious investments in palliative care and strengthening the institutions of the Culture of Life.

To learn more, or to take action, please visit our friends at the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and check out their press release.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

University of Toronto Students for LifeUniversity of Toronto Students for Life: Looking to the Netherlands on Euthanasia

This post was written for University of Toronto Students for LifeUniversity of Toronto Students for Life by juvericci. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

There was an article in the Vancouver Sun a few days ago about euthanasia in the Netherlands.

Cristina Alarcon, pharmacist in BC, comments on the article as follows:

RE: Euthanasia supporters, critics in Canada look to Dutch for evidence
As pointed out by Henk Reitsma, the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia in the Netherlands has lead to a “kind” of slippery slope; at its apex beams the patients’ apparent rights to self-determination, at its base lurks a chasm empowering the healthcare system to do what it wills.  And the non-compliant are over-dosed with sedatives, starved and dehydrated, practices that do not require reporting, thus avoiding risk of prosecution for not following proper “euthanasia” guidelines.  If guidelines are not always followed in the Netherlands, Canadians cannot presume to be exempt from misconduct.  And given our overtaxed healthcare system, the decriminalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada would be none other than a perfect recipe for abuse.

Cristina Alarcon

Cristina is right. To say there is not a problem with abuse due to euthanasia in the Netherlands because “rates” have not increased dramatically is a superficial assessment if not all of the data is taken into account. When euthanasia deaths go up by 19% from 2009 to 2010 there is some cause for concern. Also, Groningen University Hospital already decided to euthanize children under the age of 12 if their suffering is intolerable or if their condition is deemed incurable. Also, when your citizens are walking around with “Do not euthanize me” cards, according to the Nightingdale Alliance, it is usually not a good sign.

Maybe the slope is not that slippery yet but the Netherlands is definitely heading down the waterslide. And Canada, with all the attention being paid to out of control health care costs, may join them in the near future if we are not diligent in opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Read the comments at the University of Toronto Students for LifeUniversity of Toronto Students for Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Personhood: Why All Human Beings Qualify

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

by Marissa Poisson

 

From our neighbours to the south at Abort73:

There have been at least two other instances in American history in which specific groups of human beings were stripped of their rights of personhood as a means of justifying horrific mistreatment. African-Americans and Native-Americans both felt the brunt of a system which tried to create the artificial classification: human, non-person. This distinction wasn’t based on an honest evaluation of the evidence, but with an eye towards justifying a specific action. In the case of Native-Americans, they had land. In the case of African-Americans, they had labor. Classifying them as non-persons (even property) provided a moral framework for those in power to forcefully take what they wanted without compensation. Today, “unwanted,” unborn children don’t hold anything as tangible as land or labor, but their claims on those who would eliminate them are no less significant. They stand in the way of an unencumbered, more self-absorbed lifestyle. Once again, this notion that human beings can be classified as “non-persons” is not built on an objective assessment of the facts, but with an eye towards justifying abortion.

Check out the poster on the right about the denial of personhood.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: 95% of Canadians Want Better Palliative Care

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

by Alana Beddoe

An Environics poll commissioned by Life Canada found that 95% of Canadians think palliative and hospice care should be a high (66%) or medium (29%) priority for the government. Only about a third of Canadians have good access to palliative care. Palliative care focuses on pain management, emotional and comfort care at the end of life.

Close to three-quarters (74%) of those polled were worried that if the law against euthanasia is changed a significant number of elderly and disabled persons would be euthanized without their consent.

More information can be found here: Canadians’ Attitudes Towards Euthanasia


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: End of Life or Ending Life?

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Check out this article on assisted suicide in the University of Ottawa’s English-language student newspaper, The Fulcrum: http://thefulcrum.ca/2011/11/assisting-the-suicidal/

Assisted suicide conveys a brutal message as to who our society really cares about. It tells the elderly, the weak, and those in pain that we are unwilling to foster their well being. Instead, we propose an easy alternative: Death. Easy for the rest of us, at least.


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

Petition to the Attorney General: Carter v. Canada

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is collecting petitions in regards to the upcoming court case that seeks to reject Canada’s protections against assisted suicide.

For more information on the Carter case and the threat is poses, please see the following article written by Will Johnston, MD, Margaret Dore, JD, and Alex Schadenberg.

From the EPC’s website:

Last year, Canada’s parliament rejected Bill C-384, a bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, by a vote of 228 to 59. After losing the political battle, the suicide lobby is bringing their demand for legalized killing to the courts.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has challenged the Attorney General of Canada to discard Canada’s protections from euthanasia and assisted suicide. In Carter v. Canada, the BCCLA has asked the court to legalize “the administration of medication or other treatment that intentionally brings about a patient’s death by the act of a medical practitioner.” If accepted by the courts, this definition would clearly legalize euthanasia.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition provides this petition to enable all people in Canada to speak out in opposition to the attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide through the courts. We strongly encourage you to print this petition (both sides) and have it signed by friends, family and members of your community.

To print the petition (in English or French) or sign it online, please click here to visit their website.

 

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Youth Protecting Youth: March for Life 2011

This post was written for Youth Protecting Youth by ypyvicepresident. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

Tomorrow, May 12, the March for Life is taking place in Victoria. All are welcome to join in standing up for the dignity of all human life. Speakers at the Victoria March include Archbishop J. Michael Miller of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Rev. Dr. Robert Fitterer of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Victoria, and international pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling.  The full schedule of events is available here.

Marches will also be taking place across Canada in places such as Ottawa, Edmonton, and Regina.


Read the comments at the Youth Protecting Youth website.

Supposed ‘rights’ and current needs in the euthanasia debate

by Adam Giancola

Adam is in his second year of studies at the University of Toronto and an Executive member of the University of Toronto Students for Life.  He is volunteering in NCLN ‘s Head Office as our Administrative Assistant.

A recent article in the Montreal Gazette has brought my attention back to one of main focuses that needs to be addressed in the ongoing debate across Quebec over euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide.  Time and again we find ourselves drawn only to the polemics of this debate, in which the status of those involved is often relegated to the back burner. I find myself, every now and then, having to remember that politics aside, when it comes to end-of-life issues, we are talking about human lives, and it is not enough to chant our chants and wave our signs unless we have considered the lives of those whom we are defending.

As the Quebec hearings begin to wrap up, I am forced to reflect on the goods they have provided Canadians with over these past few months. It has been, to say the least, informative having had the rare opportunity to really delve into the issue with our eyes open.  I think both sides of this debate, at bare minimum, have grown to recognize the immense difficulties that end-of-life concerns face, and it is from this premise that we begin to assess the repercussions of a prospect like legal euthanasia.

Two participating associations in the Quebec hearings have recently raised concerns about this very prospect. Both organizations have the benefit of providing an internal perspective on this issue, yet what sets them apart is recognition that the difficulties that arise from a question like euthanasia cannot simply be resolved by instating a legal sanction that pays no attention to the fundamental question at hand: quality of life.

For example, “the Association quebecoise de gerontologie, which includes more than 300 health professionals, called instead for the expansion of palliative care services to provide comfort to the terminally ill. And the Association de spina-bifida et d’hydrocephalie du Quebec argued that a debate on euthanasia is premature, given that health services for the disabled are lacking everywhere.”

While the Quebec hearings have certainly done wonders in terms of promoting discussion, what it has failed to accomplish is the fact that concern over end-of-life issues begs a further discussion on the quality and consistency of health care (particularly palliative care) that is presently accessible to Canadians. Catherine Geoffroy, president of the association of gerontologists reminds us that, only 10 per cent of Quebecers have access to palliative care at the end of their lives, and that many elderly die in nursing homes where there is little palliative care.” Furthermore, she explains, “that adequate palliative care can decrease the factors that lead a small proportion of people to demand an end to their lives… Palliative sedation, carried out in a strict medical manner, can respond to the concerns about dying in uncontrollable pain.”

Marc Picard is the president of the association that represents 9,000 people living with spina bifida and congenital hydrocephalus in Quebec. He argues that the government should “fulfil its obligations to provide basic psychological and health services to the population before talking about the possibility of legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

While most advocates of assisted suicide and euthanasia are often concerned with the enlargement of rights and the increased privatization of individual liberty, it is clear that we need to step back and think about the best ways to enlarge the health and good will of the lives that are at stake in this debate. As both Catherine Geoffroy and Marc Picard have asserted, changing a law that would give doctors the right to assist in the suicide of their patients is not only premature, but pays no attention to the actual needs of a patient.

As we look back on this unfolding drama that has for the first time in years, put the issue at the forefront of discussion, I cannot help but wonder whether this really has been the case. Ultimately what is required is a careful analysis of the needs of patients, and assisting in their deaths, simply for the sake of upholding their supposed ‘right’ does nothing to mediate the current underlying problems with Canadian healthcare. As Geoffroy herself articulates, “In a society where ageism is rampant, where the elderly are often held responsible for the difficulties in access to health care . . . how can we believe that consenting to euthanasia would be free of all societal pressures?”

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