fbpx
National Campus Life Network > Blog > palliative care

uOttawa Students For Life: Dying: A Question of How, Not If

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

Margaret Somerville contributes her usual clarity and sound reasoning to this written debate on euthanasia/assisted suicide. Have a look and vote! As a bonus, in this interesting two-minute video Margaret Somerville suggests that though their white coats lead us to think they can do no wrong, doctors are mere mortals too.

While we’re on the topic, follow this link to sign the Declaration of Hope opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation. For news about the push for euthanasia in different countries, read Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

 


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

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.

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.

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?”

Share Button

uOttawa Students For Life: Lessons from the Swiss Experience

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

by Dante De Luca
Every so often, we at uOSFL invite a speaker to come share with us their experiences in the pro-life movement. Such speakers have included Stephanie Grey, Andrea Mrozek, Vicky Green, MP Maurice Velacott, Dr. Rene Leiva, and many others. There is one man, however, whom we have wanted to have as a speaker but have never been able to get hold of. That man is Dr. José Pereira.

Dr. Pereira is a professor at the University of Ottawa and head of the palliative care program at Bruyère Continuing Care and the Ottawa Hospital. You can read more about him here. And now you can go hear him speak, courtesy of the Ethics in Medicine club.

Dr Pereira will be giving a lecture, entitled Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Lessons from the Swiss Experience, on Thursday, January 13, 2011 from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm in RGN 3248 (Amph D). I encourage you all to go listen to what he has to say since this promises to be an event well worth attending.

 


Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

New Poll: Canadians worry about vulnerable people if euthanasia is legalized

Life Canada, a national educational organization, has released a new poll of Canadians’ attitudes concerning euthanasia.

Below, their Press Release summarizes their findings.

For Immediate Release

Nov. 3, 2010


Canadians worry about vulnerable people if euthanasia is legalized: Poll

A year of public debate about legal euthanasia has left Canadians with concerns about how vulnerable people—those who are elderly, depressed, disabled or chronically ill—will fare if the law changes.

A new poll by Environics Research of 2,025 Canadians has found that although 59% said they support legal euthanasia, the number who “strongly support” has declined by 3 points since last year. Support is highest in Quebec at 69%, down from 75% a year ago, and lowest in Manitoba and Saskatchewan at 49%.

However, subsequent questions about the effect on vulnerable populations reveal strong concerns about the practice. Almost two-thirds, 63% worried that elderly Canadians would feel pressure to accept euthanasia to reduce health care costs, up from 57% in 2009. Interestingly, Quebeckers, whose government recently completed public hearings on legal euthanasia, expressed the highest concern, 75%. Canadians also worried about people being euthanized without their consent: 78% expressed concern about this, compared to 70% last year.

The poll also asked about euthanizing terminally ill or severely disabled infants with a parental request and consent. Almost half, 49% opposed euthanasia in such cases while 44% supported it.

71% of those polled said governments should invest more in palliative and hospice care instead of legalizing euthanasia.

The poll was commissioned by LifeCanada and was conducted in September 2010. It has a margin of error of +/- 2.2%.

LifeCanada’s president, Monica Roddis, said that the current debate has been a healthy one. “Canadians have been confused about euthanasia and what it means. The more they learn through debates at the federal level and this fall during the Quebec hearings, the less comfortable they become.

“There have been many doctors and nurses who specialize in end-of-life care who have spoken openly and passionately against legalizing euthanasia,” said Roddis. “They understand the perils that face patients and medical professionals if such legislation were to pass. We applaud their courage in speaking up and in contributing to the education of Canadians on this issue.”

– 30 –

Contacts: Primary: Monica Roddis, President, 604-853-7985

Secondary: Anastasia Bowles, Projects Director: 1-866-780-5433

Share Button