Euthanasia and Related Issues
Table of Contents for This Page:
The Carter Case
Barbara Kay: Better
dead than disabled?
declines to hear infanticide cases
infanticide law up to MPs: court
U.S. groups rush to aid baby Joseph, lawyers seek to broker deal
Assisted Suicide Ad by
Australia's 'Dr. Death' Set to Air in New Zealand
Injured pastor given food, water Endured
9 days without sustenance after feeding tube removal authorized
New Grassroots Group
Calls Quebecers to Action against Euthanasia
Sharp Growth in Dutch
. .Euthanasia Bill Defeated in
Canada 228 - 59
from ARPA Canada to write MP's Regarding the Euthanasia Bill Due to be
Voted on April 21st in the CanadianParliament
Release from the World Congress of Families: "Canadian Bill
Could Open Pandora's Coffin"
Martin Amis calls for
euthanasia booths on street corners
Baxter v. Montana:
Assisted-Suicide Lobby Group Does Not Get What it Wanted
November 13, 2009:
Encouraging News from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
the real Jack Kevorkian
and Assisted Suicide in Canada
bill passes first step
physicians tentatively propose legal euthanasia
Euthanasia Bill a Threat to Canadians
with Dignity’: What Do We Advise Our Clients?
Canadian Doctors Do Not
Have the Right to Remove Life-Sustaining Treatment against the Wishes of
RCMP Opens Investigation
into Nova Scotia Woman’s Assisted Suicide
Doctors: let us kill disabled babies
Draft policy would
give Manitoba docs power to stop treatment
Singer: And I repeat, I would kill Disabled Infants
UK Man Goes to European Court Asking
that He not be Starved to Death in Hospital
European Court Refuses To Guarantee
Ill British Man Won't Be Dehydrated to Death
Court Upholds Oregon's Suicide Law
Suicide Opponents Marshal Arguments
A Letter Opposing
Assisted Suicide to Send to All Members of the
House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament
change as opposition to euthanasia ends [U.K. physicians]
"The big lie about euthanasia"
grants death with dignity" [excerpt from a Mark Pickup
Assisted Suicide Bill Denounced
Action in Wake of
Terri's Death Saves Grandmother From Starvation and Dehydration Death
Options to Prolong Schiavo's Life Fade [Mar. 24, 2005]
Florida Governor Bush Appeals Schiavo Case to US Supreme Court
Schiavo "Very Much Alive and Responsive" according to
Medical Association "Preferred Bioethicist" Says Infanticide
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Insists that Ontario Ministry of Culture
Take Action on Suicide Grant [Media Release from EPC: April 23,
MD to Make New Suicide Machine"
Prevention Coalition Demands [July 10] an Investigation into the
Production and Distribution of the Exit Bag-Homicide Bag in Canada
Victoria Woman Faces Assisted
Supreme Court Denies Latimer Appeal
In Hawaii: Senate Kills
BCPTL Life Views
- Home Page
Legalises "Mercy Killing"
medics back 'euthanasia' doctor"
University Professor Justifies Infanticide--Associated Press Report
Claims Robert Latimer Started a Trend
Defense of Life Delivered in [Canadian] Parliamentary Debate"
Doctor Convicted in Euthanasia Test Case"
Bending the Rules?"
and assisted suicide in Canada
A demonstration in front of the
courthouse in Vancouver, British Columbia, will be held by the
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition from 9:30 to 10:30 on November
The address of the courthouse is 800 Smythe Street, Vancouver,
B.C. V6Z 2E1.
We are glad to publish this media release from the Euthanasia
Carter case seeks to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in
executive director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
November 14, the BC Civil Liberties (BCCLA) Carter
case, a case that intends to legalize euthanasia
and assisted suicide in
will begin to be heard in
by Justice Lynne Smith.
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) obtained intervenor
status in the BCCLA Carter
case. EPC intends to defend the right of people
with disabilities, those with chronic conditions and mental
illness and the elderly from having euthanasia or assisted
suicide imposed upon them.
people have questioned EPC over the statement that the BCCLA Carter
case intends to legalize euthanasia and assisted
suicide. The media continues to state that the case would
legalize assisted suicide, with no mention of euthanasia.
is prosecuted in
as a homicide. Euthanasia is a deliberate act undertaken by
one person with the intention of ending the life of another
person to relieve that person’s suffering where that act is
the cause of death. (1)
Suicide is the act of intentionally killing oneself with the
assistance of another who provides the knowledge, means or
both (2) and is prosecuted under Section 241 of the Criminal
Code. The assisted suicide statute is designed to protect a
person from having another person aid, abet (encourage) or
counsel that person to commit suicide.
intentionally creates confusion by redefining the language of
defines their term “Consensual
Physician Assisted Death” as: “the
administration of medication or other treatment that
intentionally brings about a patients death by the act of a
medical practitioner … or by the act a person acting under
the general supervision of a medical practitioner, at the
request grievously and irremediably ill patient.” Clearly Consensual
Physician Assisted Death includes euthanasia.
definition of Consensual
Physician Assisted Death is not limited to the act
of a medical practitioner. The person who does the lethal
injection only needs to be “under the general supervision of
a medical practitioner.”
person who dies does not need to be terminally ill but
grievously and irremediably ill. What conditions fulfill the
definition of grievously and irremediably ill? Certainly
chronic conditions, physical disabilities and mental pain
qualify under this definition.
further confuse the court, the Carter
case “Notice of Claim” states: “For the
purpose of this claim, “Physician-Assisted
Suicide” and “Consensual
Physician Assisted Death” will be collectively
defined as “physician-assisted
the term “physician-assisted
dying” is similar to the term “physician-assisted
suicide” many commentators have missed the fact
that this case intends to legalize euthanasia and assisted
Carter case is
being promoted by the suicide lobby as the Rodriguez II case.
This means that the case intends to overturn the Supreme Court
Rodriguez decision (1993). The Rodriguez decision (5 – 4)
stated that the assisted suicide statute was constitutional
and preventing assisted suicide was a necessary protection for
BCCLA Carter case argues that there has been a change in
public opinion in
since 1993 and that “physician-assisted
” can be legalized with safeguards.
EPC is arguing that:
has not been a significant change in public opinion since
1993. For instance, last year parliament defeated Bill C-384,
a bill that would have legalized euthanasia and assisted
, by a vote of 228 to 59. Polling shows that similar numbers
of Canadians appear to support assisted suicide, but very few
Canadians strongly support the legalization of assisted
jurisdictions where euthanasia has been legalized, the
safeguards that have been developed in those places have been
Negative social and cultural attitudes towards people with
disabilities, those with chronic conditions and the frail
elderly are such that legalizing euthanasia and/or assisted
suicide will result in some level of abuse for vulnerable
lived experience expressed by people with disabilities and the
growth in the scourge of elder abuse indicates that negative
social attitudes have resulted in abuse and forms of overt and
subtle pressure may lead to death by euthanasia or assisted
needs your support. The Carter
case seeks to legalize euthanasia and assisted
by the edict of the courts. If Justice Smith agrees with the
arguments of the BCCLA, then we will require the Attorney
General of Canada to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
needs your support to:
awareness of the fact that the Carter
case may result in the legalization of euthanasia
and assisted suicide in
petition campaign intends to give the AG the support
that is needed to confidently appeal a potential bad
decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. Link
to the petition campaign.
of the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted
Suicide, “Of Life and Death”, Senate of
, June 1995.
of the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted
Suicide, “Of Life and Death”, Senate of
, June 1995.
Kay: Better dead than disabled?
14, 2011 in "Full Comment," National Post online
In B.C. Supreme Court today, B.C. Civil Liberties Association
lawyers working on behalf of Lee Carter, and four others, who
have or represent family members with incurable diseases, are
launching a challenge against laws that make it a criminal
offence to help people afflicted with incrementally physically
incapacitating conditions to terminate their lives.
Twenty years ago the same challenge was heard on behalf of
Sue Rodriguez, who brought the right-to-die movement into the
headlines. Her application for the right to assisted suicide was
rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993 in a 5-4
decision that served, in its pointed ambivalence amongst
Canada’s top legal minds, to encourage redoubled efforts
amongst both assisted-suicide and euthanasia advocates in
gaining credibility for their closely-linked causes. . . . .
Much has happened in this bio-ethical domain in the following
decades. European countries – and a few American states –
that have long histories of acceptance of euthanasia have helped
move the idea from the fringes into Canada’s cultural
mainstream. The media, which can generally be counted on to lean
favourably toward “progressive” cultural causes, has been
disproportionately represented by pro-euthanasia advocacy.
Coincidentally – actually more likely in anticipation of –
today’s challenge, for example, CTV’s W5 ran a documentary
at the end of October called “Let Me Go.” A number of
advocacy groups, including terminally ill and/or disabled people
who loathe the idea of legal euthanasia, and who rarely if ever
see their perspective reflected in widely-distributed media
outlets, reacted with visceral horror to what they perceive as
its biased perspective.
Albertan Mark Davis Pickup, “advocate for life and
disability issues,” lodged a complaint against W5 and its
animator, Victor Malarek. The reasons for the complaint are
outlined in an email to the CTV News President Wendy Freeman. In
it Pickup describes the program as “thinly veiled assisted
suicide propaganda disguised as journalism.” Pickup alleges
that in his interview with Lee Carter, the daughter of Kay
Carter, who ended her life at Dignitas in Switzerland, Malarek
accepted without challenge Carter’s assertion that her
mother’s travel arrangements were complicated because of
Canada’s laws, and that arrangements had to be made “under
cover.” Pickup rebuts this: “All they had to do was book a
flight to Switzerland and go. There are no police at our
airports waiting to stop people from travelling abroad.”
That “gross exaggeration…should have been challenged by
There were also no challenges, Pickup writes, to Kay
Carter’s statement that “there is no quality of life in a
wheelchair.” Pickup himself is totally dependent on a
wheelchair and chastises the program for not interviewing him or
any other disabled, wheelchair-dependent individual who feels
they do have quality of life and passionately want to live their
lives, however constrained, to a natural conclusion. . . . .
One of the people copied on Pickup’s email to CTV was
Toronto lawyer Hugh Scher, former chair of Human Rights for the
Council of Canadians with Disabilities. He wrote back: “I also
share concerns about the kind of devaluing and misleading
statements made to the W5 program. They are an affront to people
with disabilities everywhere.”
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia
Prevention Coalition, responded as well: “If the [bias of the]
show ‘Let Me Go’ is not redressed, I am especially concerned
considering the effect that this propaganda could have on the
upcoming court case in BC.” To date, CTV has not replied to
Pickup’s complaint or email.
The fears of Mark Pickup and other advocates beating against
the pro- euthanasia current are entirely justified on
“slippery slope” grounds. A review of what is currently
going on in Europe should give even the most enthusiastic
pro-euthanasiast pause. In 2002 Belgium legalized euthanasia.
Only six years later, euthanasia and organ harvesting are now
coupled. This from a 2008 issue of the journal Transplant
“[O]rgan harvesting after euthanasia may be considered
and accepted from ethical, legal and practical viewpoints in
countries where euthanasia is legally accepted.”
Anyone who believes that legalization of euthanasia won’t
lead to pressure on our society’s most vulnerable
individuals to do the right thing and die, and who think
legalization won’t make the disabled feel guilty about living
on even when they become an economic burden to society is just
not paying attention
[See the full article in the National
conviction nets Alberta woman suspended sentence
The Wetaskiwin, Alta., woman convicted of infanticide for
killing her newborn son, was given a three-year suspended sentence
Friday by an Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench judge.
Katrina Effert was 19 on April 13, 2005, when she secretly gave
birth in her parents' home, strangled the baby boy with her
underwear and threw the body over a fence into a neighbour's yard.
She silently wept as Justice Joanne Veit outlined the reasons
for the suspended sentence. Effert will have to abide by
conditions for the next three years but she won't spend time
behind bars for strangling her newborn son.
In her judgment, the judge rejected arguments from the Crown
that the single father and the grandparent also face "the
same stresses of the mind" as a mother who kills her own
The fact that Canada has no abortion laws reflects that
"while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less
than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy,
they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous
demands pregnancy and childrbirth exact from mothers, especially
mothers without support," she writes. . . . .
read the whole article, go to CBC online.]
Court declines to hear infanticide cases
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada has decided not to
hear two cases involving infanticide provisions in the Criminal
The Court of Appeal for Ontario had earlier considered the
case of a Guelph woman who was convicted of infanticide for
killing two of her young children — one in Guelph and one in
Kitchener — even though the Crown proved the essential
elements of first-degree murder.
The Appeal Court ruled that infanticide can be advanced as a
defence for murder, and that if the elements of infanticide are
met beyond a reasonable doubt, the woman must be found not
guilty of murder but guilty of infanticide.
Alberta’s Appeal Court made a similar ruling about
infanticide being used as a partial defence to murder, saying
where the facts support both a conviction for murder and
infanticide, the jury should be instructed to enter a verdict of
Infanticide is defined as a woman wilfully killing her
newborn child when her mind is disturbed as a result of
childbirth or lactation and carries a maximum five-year
sentence, as opposed to a life sentence for murder.
The Guelph woman at the centre of the Ontario case, known as
L.B., was 16 when she decided to get pregnant with her
boyfriend. She smothered the baby when it was 10 months old and
four years later she smothered another one of her babies at
about two months old.
The woman, who cannot be identified under law as she was 17
at the time of the first death, was sentenced in 2008 to one
more year in jail, on top of the five years credit she was given
for time spent in pretrial custody. . . . .
the whole GuelphMercury.com article online.]
infanticide law up to MPs: court
spokeswoman for Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney
General of Canada, left the door open for a review of infanticide
but declined to specifically address the issue.
Humphreys, National Post
· Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2011
young mother who “did not take well to motherhood” and killed
two of her four children three years apart has avoided significant
punishment after “infanticide” was upheld as a defence, even
when evidence points to murder. The only way out, the Ontario
Court of Appeal said Wednesday in a landmark ruling, was for
Parliament to revisit a law the Crown prosecutor suggested was
outdated and unsound.
emotional case of the double killing, one of a child who did not
stop crying and another who had minor medical issues, was the
first thorough appellate examination of the 57-year-old wording of
ruling noted that Crown prosecutor Jennifer Woollcombe had argued
that the concept of infanticide “rests on discredited medical
opinions and assumptions about the plight of young unwed mothers
that do not accord with present reality, and constitutes an
unacceptable devaluation of the worth of a newborn child.”
although the court upheld it, the infanticide law — based on a
1922 English provision that has itself since been abandoned —
did not emerge unscathed.
woman, who cannot be identified because of the Youth Criminal
Justice Act, had a troubled childhood and had previously received
mental health treatment before becoming pregnant while in high
1998 she gave birth and, as the court of appeal notes, “did not
take well to motherhood.” Six weeks later, her son’s crying
made her angry. When he would not stop, she smothered him in his
crib with blankets and a plastic bed sheet. She left the room and
turned up some music.
killing went undetected, with the cause of death being attributed
to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
2001 she had a second child with a different father. There
appeared to be no problems associated with that experience.
a year later, she gave birth yet again. When the third child was
10 weeks old, she smothered him in his crib as well and again her
culpability went undetected after another finding of SIDS.
had a fourth child in 2003. That seems to have gone well.
year later, however, when she was in a mental health treatment
centre, she confided to a doctor she had killed two of her
children. She also described the incidents in her journal.
was charged with first-degree murder.
trial, the judge acquitted her of murder, instead finding her
guilty of infanticide for both killings. She was sentenced to 18
months in custody, followed by three years probation and an order
that, for the next 20 years, she notify a child welfare agency if
she becomes pregnant.
Crown appealed the murder acquittals, saying that all essential
elements of first-degree murder had been proved. The Crown argued
infanticide should only be applied if the elements of murder are
appeal focused on parsing the wording of the Criminal Code
detailing what constitutes murder, manslaughter and infanticide,
the three categories of culpable homicide. The Crown also,
however, attacked the validity of the infanticide provision
court of appeal noted that position, but concluded they must work
with the words of the Criminal Code that are passed by the
the Criminal Code makes infanticide a partial defence to murder,
it is not for the court to decide whether that partial defence
reflects sound criminal law policy or should be reconsidered in
light of advancements in medical knowledge and/or changed social
circumstances. Those are matters for Parliament,” said Justice
David Doherty, who wrote the judgment on behalf of a unanimous
panel of three judges.
spokeswoman for Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney
General of Canada, left the door open for a review of infanticide
but declined to specifically address the issue.
here to read the whole of the above article from the National
U.S. groups rush to aid baby Joseph, lawyers seek to broker deal
join a Facebook page in support of the parents of Joseph
Maraachli, click here.
This article originally stated that the Maraachli family would be
pursuing an appeal of last week’s court decision. However, there
was a last minute change prior to this afternoon’s press
conference, and now the lawyer for the family will be seeking to
broker a deal with the hospital rather than filing an appeal.
LONDON, Ontario, February 24, 2011
(LifeSiteNews.com) - The family of dying one-year-old Joseph
Maraachli, whose hospital is seeking to remove his life support
against his parents’ wishes, announced this afternoon that their
lawyer is working to broker a deal with the hospital.
The legal fees covered by
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition are mounting quickly.
make a donation to cover the legal costs please click here.
At the same time, the case is
drawing attention from major pro-life and anti-euthanasia groups
in the U.S. who hope to find a hospital willing to take over
Bobby Schindler, executive director
of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, traveled to Ontario
Thursday by invitation from the family to advocate for Joseph.
“We’re educating ourselves about what’s going on and maybe
ways that we can help the family in their plight,” he said.
Schindler told LifeSiteNews that he
is struck by the “similarities” with the case of his sister
Terri Schindler Schiavo, who was starved to death by her
husband’s wish in 2005, despite impassioned pleas from her
family, political leaders, and a horrified public. Terri had
suffered brain damage from an accident ten years before, and was
conscious, able to breathe on her own, and required nothing but a
feeding tube to receive food and hydration.
“The family wants to bring their
baby home and they’re being denied,” he explained.
“That’s what our family - we were fighting for the same thing,
really. To bring Terri home and to care for her and show her
the compassion that really only a family can do.”
In a statement, the Terri Schiavo
Life and Hope Network said “it is unacceptable for Canadian
Health Allocation Officials and/or the Canadian Government to make
decisions for baby Joseph and his family.”
“Every patient, regardless of
age, has a right to proper and dignified health care. It is
frightening to once again see government usurp the God given
rights of parents to love and care for their child at home,” it
Schindler was joined on the trip by
Rev. Pat Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition in
Washington, D.C., who called Joseph’s case a “human rights
“We’re going to be working with
thousands of activists and organizations in America to try to get
baby Joseph into a hospital in the United States,” he said.
He said they’re also trying to
get the family legal assistance, and have connected them with the
American Center for Law and Justice, which has won 13 cases at the
U.S. Supreme Court.
“This is an issue that goes to
family, this is an issue about who decides at the end of life
issues, and we clearly believe that should be with the family,
with the parents,” he told LifeSiteNews. “So we’re
here to support them, we’re here to stand with them, and we’re
here to encourage them.”
Sam Sansalone, a spokesman for the
family, informed LifeSiteNews that they are working with U.S.
pro-life groups about the possibility of getting Joseph’s family
refugee status in the U.S. They’ve also been contacted by
concerned citizens in New York who have begun looking for a
hospital in that state that would take Joseph in.
The family was planning today to
appeal last Thursday’s decision by Ontario Superior Court
Justice Helen Rady, which upheld the January verdict of the
Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario that supported the
doctors’ move to take Joseph off life support. But they
said at a press conference this afternoon that the lines of
communication have opened and now leaders will meet Thursday in an
effort to find a middle ground.
The hospital had appeared set to
remove Joseph’s life support on Monday at 10 a.m., but that got
delayed when the family hired expert lawyer Mark Handelman over
the weekend with the financial support of the Euthanasia
Justice Rady’s decision was based
on doctors’ testimony that he is in a permanent vegetative state
with no brain stem reflex. But the family says that footage
released Thursday by LifeSiteNews belies the doctors’ claim.
The videos, taken over the weekend, show him flailing and being
tickled. They also show that his hands have been tied down -
a measure the hospital took after Joseph removed the tube from his
throat on at least two separate occasions.
Joseph suffers from a severe
neurological disorder, but his specific condition remains
undiagnosed. Doctors have given him no chance of recovery,
so his parents, Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader, have asked them to
perform a tracheotomy which would enable him to breathe on his
own, so that they could take him home. The doctors have
refused, saying the procedure is too risky.
Their daughter died from similar
complications eight years ago, but in that case doctors performed
a tracheotomy and they were able to take her home.
The family has been trying to have
Joseph transferred to a hospital in the U.S., where they believe
he’ll get better care or at least a reassessment, and possibly
the tracheotomy they need to bring him home.
The family has also expressed
concerns that hospital security is following them around and
denying them private visitations with Joseph.
On Tuesday, Children’s Hospital
of Michigan in Detroit, where the family had hoped to have Joseph
transferred, refused to take him despite previous assurances that
they would. The family says, however, that they are far from
out of options.
The clock is ticking for the
family, however, as Joseph’s current hospital has asked
Ontario’s Office of the Public Guardian to assume
decision-making power after the family refused to have Joseph’s
life support removed on Monday. The public guardian could
order it removed at any point.
Alex Schadenberg, executive
director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, warned in a Fox
news interview that the court decision facilitates a
system where doctors are authorized to force life and death
decisions on patients. He has said he believes it is far
worse than the “death panels” recently debated in the U.S. as
part of the federal health care law.
“It’s the hospitals and the
doctors once again usurping their power over the people,” he
said. “That’s what’s happening. And they have
significant power - they have the money and the courts behind
them. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
Over 9,000 people have rallied
behind the parents through the Facebook page “Save
make a donation to cover the legal costs please click here.
To join a Facebook page in support
of the parents of Joseph Maraachli, click here.
Three more related LifeSiteNews
hospital refuses Baby Joseph, but family still optimistic
Videos show ‘vegetable’ Baby Joseph reacting to parents
of dying one-year-old fight hospital, courts to bring son home
President and CEO, London Health Sciences Centre
800 Commissioners Road East
London, Ontario Canada N6A 5W9
Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Tim Hudak, Opposition
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Fax: (416) 325-3745
E-mail: Use this form.
The Ontario PC Party
19 Duncan Street
Toronto, ON M5H 3H1
Suicide Ad by Australia's 'Dr. Death' Set to Air in New Zealand
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
AUCKLAND, November 12, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)
- A video promoting assisted suicide by Dr. Philip Nitschke,
Australia's "Dr. Death," has been approved for broadcast
by the New Zealand Commercial Approvals Bureau (CAB).
New Zealand Right to Life has blasted the CAB’s decision,
saying that Nitchke’s video is "contrary to the common good
and destructive of the social fabric."
"Are the broadcasting standards in New Zealand lower than
those in Australia and Canada where the video was previously
banned for screening, because it was classified as objectionable
and in breach of broadcasting standards?" the pro-life group
Nitschke, who heads up the pro-euthanasia organization “Exit
International,” is scheduled to give a pair of talks this
weekend in New Zealand, in Wellington and Auckland.
He has been on a tour recently promoting his suicide manual
"The Peaceful Pill Handbook," which is banned in
Australia and New Zealand, and holding seminars on how to commit
suicide. Last months’ tour through Canada was reported to have
been poorly attended.
Alex Schadenberg, director of Canada's Euthanasia Prevention
Coalition, noted, "People who attended Philip Nitschke’s
suicide seminars in Vancouver, Toronto or Montreal indicated that
Nitschke didn’t seem happy with the response.” According to
Schadenberg about 85 people attended the three seminars combined.
“We hope that the Canadian government will make it more
difficult for him to enter Canada in the future," he said.
In a press release about Nitschke’s video, NZ Right to Life
noted the inconsistency of the state-owned broadcaster showing a
video promoting suicide while the government is spending millions
of dollars on its Suicide Prevention Strategy to reduce suicide.
The group also observed that with an average of 500 suicides
reported each year in New Zealand, and with one of the highest
youth suicide rates in the world, "the screening of Dr.
Nitschke’s suicide video would be socially irresponsible and
result in an increase of suicides," which would have "a
profound effect on families and whole communities."
TVNZ Television Centre
100 Victoria Street West
PO Box 3819
Phone: +64 9 916 7000
Fax: +64 9 916 7934
Commercial Approvals Bureau
PO Box 1298
Phone: +64 9 373 2907
Fax: +64 9 373 2912
See related LSN articles:
‘Plan Now for Suicide’ Australia’s Dr. Death Encourages
Vancouver Library Denies Venue to Suicide Group
Euthanasia Provider to Alzheimer's Patients: The Best Remedy is
Injured pastor given food, water
Endured 9 days without
sustenance after feeding tube removal authorized
August 27, 2010
Nine days after his food and water were halted in the
hospital where he is being treated, and less than 24
hours after WND highlighted the plight of Pastor Joshua
Kulendran Mayandy, he has been fed.
A report from Alex Schadenberg, director of the Euthanasia
Prevention Coalition, today confirmed the patient who has
been hospitalized since a heart
attack in May was given sustenance.
"After meetings with our legal counsel, several doctors
and a lawyer from the Christian Legal Fellowship, a major
breakthrough happened today," Schadenberg reported.
"The court-appointed Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) has
given permission for a nurse, who is a member of the church, to
feed Joshua orally.
"Today, Joshua was fed orally and I was told it went
very well," he reported.
Schadenberg still remains cautious about the pastor's future,
however, since the original agreement instituted by a government
board that found that the best case result would be for
physicians to take Mayandy off life support systems, including
food and water, and allow him to remain hospitalized until his
[Click here to read the whole WorldNetDaily story.]
Grassroots Group Calls Quebecers to Action against Euthanasia
June 22, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)
– A new grassroots group in Quebec is urging Quebecers to
join the campaign to stop euthanasia and assisted suicide from
being “smuggled” into the public health care system under the
guise of medical treatment.
Vivre dans la Dignité (Living
with Dignity), a grassroots group network that officially launches
its campaign on Tuesday, says that Quebecers must tell the Charest
government that euthanasia and assisted suicide must be rejected
as “unnecessary and dangerous.”
“Euthanasia and assisted suicide are killing, plain and
simple. We cannot allow killing to be confused with health care in
Quebec,” said Linda Couture, director of Living with Dignity.
Couture said the provincial government must direct its efforts
and resources to offering Quebecers the best possible end of life
care, including ready access to palliative care, rather than
encouraging euthanasia and assisted suicide just to save money.
Dr. André Bourque, president of Living with Dignity, said that
is a key point the organization will make in its submission to a
travelling parliamentary commission that will hold hearings in
late summer or early fall to hear the views of Quebecers on the
Living with Dignity says, however, that it is concerned that
the hearings may be a public diversion to rubber stamp a decision
the Charest government has already made to permit euthanasia and
assisted suicide in Quebec hospitals.
While euthanasia and assisted suicide are prohibited under the
federal criminal code, the Charest Liberals could effectively
legalize both forms of medical killing by directing provincial
Crown prosecutors not to lay charges against doctors who end the
lives of the terminally ill, elderly or profoundly disabled.
However, Dr. Marc Beauchamp said he believes it is important to
assume the commission is acting in good faith and that euthanasia
and assisted suicide can be stopped by public outcry.
Beauchamp, a prominent Montreal orthopedic surgeon, is an
outspoken critic of the leadership of the Federation of Quebec
Specialists and General Practitioners for what he calls their
attempts to “manipulate” public opinion in favor of euthanasia
and assisted suicide. He dismissed as “embarrassing rubbish” a
much-publicized survey the federation of specialists released
showing 75% of its membership supporting euthanasia and assisted
“The response rate to the specialists survey was only 23 per
cent – less than the turnout for municipal elections on a matter
that is of fundamental professional importance to doctors. The
questions were so amateurishly biased that most of the doctors I
know looked at it and refused to respond to such rubbish,” he
Dr. Bourque and Dr. Beauchamp are two of a number of doctors
and citizens from diverse fields who have worked for the past year
as an informal group concerned about what they label euthanasia
“propaganda and misinformation.” Living with Dignity was
formed when a broad cross-section of ordinary Quebecers, including
business people, lawyers, pharmacists, and health care
professionals expressed a need to expand the anti-euthanasia
Living with Dignity network director Linda Couture stressed the
group is politically nonpartisan, and is open to all who share its
mission. She said it is focused solely on end of life issues.
"We realize euthanasia often gets included among other
controversial social issues, but our entire concern is stopping
euthanasia and assisted suicide by working to ensure that all
Quebecers facing end of life have access to palliative care,”
For further information
Visit the website: http://www.vivredignite.com/
Growth in Dutch Euthanasia Deaths
Commentary by Alex Schadenberg, Chairman, Euthanasia Prevention
June 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com)
- The Netherlands' 2009 euthanasia statistics were reported
today in the Dutch media. The number of euthanasia deaths in the
Netherlands has been significantly increasing on a yearly
basis. The most recent report suggests that there were 2636
reported euthanasia deaths, a 13% increase over the 2008
It should be noted that media reports about euthanasia in
the Netherlands do not include all categories of direct and
intentional reported deaths. The Netherlands has separate
categories for assisted suicide and deaths without explicit
request or consent.
The most recent full report concerning euthanasia in the
Netherlands (2005) stated that there were approximately 400
assisted suicide deaths and 550 deaths without explicit request or
Therefore a more accurate number of reported deaths would be
2636 reported euthanasia deaths, plus 400 reported assisted
suicide deaths, plus 550 deaths without explicit request or
The number of reported euthanasia deaths has grown
significantly. In 2008 there were 2331 reported deaths, in 2007
there were 2120 reported deaths, in 2006 there were 1923 reported
deaths, and in 2003 there were 1815 reported deaths.
The number of deaths by euthanasia continues to escalate.
Consider the fact that the 2005 official study of euthanasia in
the Netherlands indicated that 7.1% of all deaths were by sedation
and dehydration. These are often euthanasia deaths because the
death is direct and intentional and the method of death is
dehydration. A 2007 report suggested that up to 10% of all deaths
in the Netherlands were by sedation and dehydration.
There is a clear ethical difference between intentionally
withholding fluids from a person who is near death and dies a
natural death, and a person who was not otherwise dying and dies
by intentional dehydration.
The yearly reports from the media also exclude the number
of infant eugenic euthanasia deaths, killed via the Groningen
Protocol. (See an article concerning the number of euthanasia
deaths in the Netherlands here.)
Meanwhile, a study by Anthropologist Anne Marie The suggests
that many of the reported cases of euthanasia were not voluntarily
requested by the person who died. Anne Marie The interviewed
physicians who participated in euthanasia and asked them about
specific circumstances. She found that often the decision to go
ahead with euthanasia was made by the physician.
Anne Marie The stated to the NRC Handlesblad: "There is
the euthanasia law and then there is the euthanasia reality. To
think that we have neatly arranged everything by adopting the
euthanasia law is an illusion. Reality is more complicated than
that: every patient, every situation and every doctor is
Leaders of the Dutch euthanasia lobby, including Eugene
Sutorius, the former leader of the NVVE, are now urging parliament
to legalize euthanasia for people who are 70 years old and "tired
of living." This concept is ridiculous if you consider
the reality of elder abuse in the Western culture.
An article in the Dutch news stated that: "The 2008
increase led the health ministry to set up an investigation into
the increase. That investigation is due to start this month."
The reality is that euthanasia is out of control in the
At the same time, momentum is shifting against the legalization
of euthanasia and assisted suicide in other parts of the world. In
January, the New Hampshire legislature voted 242 to 113 to defeat
a bill to legalize assisted suicide. In April, a bill to legalize
euthanasia and assisted suicide was defeated in Canada by 228 to
59. Most recently, the Connecticut court rejected a legal
challenge by Compassion & Choices to strike down the State
assisted suicide law.
. . .Euthanasia Bill
Defeated in Canada 228 - 59
By Patrick B. Craine
OTTAWA, Ontario, April 21, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The
Canadian Parliament overwhelmingly defeated today the private
members bill seeking to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The House of Commons rejected Bill C-384, proposed by Member of
Parliament Francine Lalonde (La Pointe-de-l'Île, BQ), by a vote
of 228 to 59, with two additional members noting immediately
afterwards that they mistakenly voted for the bill when they had
intended to vote against it.
In a point of order after the vote, Conservative Member and
Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Stephen Fletcher, wished it to
be recorded that he abstained from the vote. Fletcher urged that
all possible support be given to patients in need, but also
stressed that he believed "the individual is ultimately
responsible" for his fate. Fletcher is a quadriplegic MP
confined to a special motorized wheel chair.
Lalonde's campaign to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide
began in 2005 when she first introduced her bill into the House of
Commons. Her first two attempts failed when her private
members bills were shut down by the 2006 and 2008 federal
This round, her third attempt, began when she introduced Bill
C-384 into the House of Commons on May 13th, 2009. The bill
received first reading with an hour of debate in October, but
Lalonde has delayed a vote by trading back second reading three
times. It was also delayed by the government's decision to
prorogue Parliament late last year, which meant the bill had to
undergo first reading again. The first hour of debate was
March 16th and the second hour took place yesterday.
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia
Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews that the defeat of
Lalonde's bill means that Canada should now move on to finding
better ways of offering true health care to Canada's vulnerable
"Now that the bill's defeated, this gives us the chance in
Canada to continue to improve care for the vulnerable, to examine
issues around elder abuse and how to prevent elder abuse in
Canada, to look at issues around suicide prevention, and ... to
ask Canadians to make sure that people with disabilities are
offered true dignity and equality in Canada," he said.
"This is the way Canada needs to be going, not to legalize
euthanasia and assisted suicide."
He did stress, however, that "there's always a need for
vigilance on the euthanasia issue." "There will be
another bill in the next Parliament," he predicted.
"That's just what's going on. Our goal is to get ready
for the next battle, which will be in a couple years after the
Appeal from ARPA Canada to write MP's Regarding the Euthanasia
Due to be Voted on April 21st in the CanadianParliament
[We are happy to pass on this message, as received on April
19th from the Association for Reformed Political Action.]
After many delays, it looks like Bill
C-384 (which aims to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide)
is coming to a vote on Wednesday. Unless you have already brought
this matter to the attention of your MP recently, please do so
here for your MP's contact information. CC the Minister of
Justice, Rob Nicholson Nicholson.R@parl.gc.ca.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has sample
letters that you can refer to. Here is a sample email from
Dear Member of Parliament
Bill C-384 is scheduled to come to a
vote on Wednesday. I ask that you please vote against this
legislation and work to promote a society in which all people are
valued, regardless of their age or health. We should be promoting
care, not killing. If this bill or one similar to it passes, the
onus shifts to the aged and terminally ill to justify their
existence. That is wrong. The onus is on each of us, as family
members, neighbours, and society in general, to care for those who
need it and show them that they are loved for who they are.
Please go beyond voting against this
motion. Promote a culture of life in Canada.
Thank you for your continued work on
behalf of our riding.
Please take a few seconds to record
this on the ARPA Canada action meter, so that we know that
MP's are receiving this message. You are also encouraged to
forward this on to friends so that they take action as well. If
you receive a reply from your Member of Parliament by email, the
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition would appreciate it if you could
forward it to them for their records. firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been calling you to action a few times in the past
month. Please remember that this is not the norm. It is rare that
our Parliament deals with issues like abortion and euthanasia and
we don't want to be silent now that these matters are
front-and-centre in our nation.
Thank you for standing up for those who cannot stand for
ARPA Canada - www.ARPACanada.ca
We are glad to pass on the following important message:
WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES WARNS: CANADIAN BILL
COULD OPEN PANDORA’S COFFIN
The Canadian Parliament could vote as early as Wednesday (April
21) on Bill C-384 which would legalize both euthanasia and
. World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs
warned that passage of the bill would open a Pandora’s
“What’s being sold as compassion – death with dignity –
will open the door for involuntary euthanasia or mercy
killing,” Jacobs warned.
Among other perils, the bill doesn’t limit euthanasia or
assisted suicide to the terminally ill. (It doesn’t even
define “terminal illness.”) If it becomes law, it
could be used to hasten the deaths of the chronically
depressed and others who should be treated for mental
illness, instead of killed.
For the purposes of the law, competence would be based on
“appearing lucid,” whether or not the patient was
actually competent. It would also apply to individuals who
were clearly incompetent at the time of their deaths, if
they were competent when they expressed their intensions.
Jacobs warned: “In the
(site of World Congress of Families V, August 10-12, 2009),
euthanasia was allowed by the courts in the mid-1980s. By
1995, euthanasia and assisted suicide were responsible for 3
percent of all deaths in the country. According to a 2005
study, while there were 2,300 cases of ‘authorized
euthanasia,’ and 400 cases of assisted suicide in that
year, a doctor acted without patients’ specific consent in
an additional 550 cases. In other words, the physicians
decided on their own that their patients would be better off
dead and acted accordingly.”
Canadians need to consider the natural evolution of such a law,
Jacobs urged. “Once so-called death with dignity gains a
foothold in Canada, what horrors will follow – elderly
parents being put to death for financial gain, the bedridden
being pressured to end their lives to conserve medical
resources, parents killing their handicapped children (to
spare themselves the burden), mass distribution of suicide
World Congress of Families urges Canadians to consider the
ramifications, both long and short-term, of the vote on Bill
The Congress also commends the Canadian-based Euthanasia
Prevention Coalition (a World Congress of Families Partner)
and its Executive Director, Alex Schadenberg, for their
tireless work in alerting Canadians to the real consequences
For more information on World Congress of Families, go to www.worldcongress.org.
For more information on the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition,
go to www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca,
e-mail email@example.com. 1-877-439-3348.
To schedule an interview with Larry Jacobs, contact Don Feder at
508-405-1337 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international
network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and
people of goodwill from more than 60 countries that
seek to restore the
natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil
society (as found in the UN
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).
The WCF was founded in 1997 by Allan Carlson and is a
project of The Howard Center for Family, Religion &
Society in Rockford, Illinois (www.profam.org).
To date, there have been five World Congresses of Families
– Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004) and
Warsaw, Poland (2007). The fifth World Congress of
Families was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, August 10-12,
January 24, 2010
Amis calls for euthanasia booths on street corners
v. Montana: Assisted-Suicide Lobby Group Does Not Get What it
The Montana Supreme Court Denies Constitutional Right to
By Alex Schadenberg
(Executive director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition)
January 2, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Dec. 31, the Supreme
Court of Montana issued a split decision in which it denied
victory to Compassion & Choices on its quest for a right to
"aid in dying" based on the Montana State Constitution.
"Aid in dying" is more commonly known as
The Supreme Court instead focused on issues of statutory
construction to determine that Montana state law has no public
policy against "aid in dying" because the final death
causing act lies in the patient's hands.
This holding ignores the practical realities of ensuring
patient safety from over-eager heirs, new "best friends"
and others who might benefit from the patient's death. For
example, physicians who malpractices and who wants to hide their
mistakes can now say: "It was what the patient wanted."
The evidence against the physician dies with the patient. If the
patient has no family or other advocate, who will know?
A bright spot in the decision is that it does not give
physicians the "right" to prescribe a lethal dose, but
only suggests that circumstances may exist to give them a defense
to prosecution for homicide.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is hopeful that Montana's
legislature will now take the lead to protect its citizens in the
next legislative session.
13, 2009: Encouraging News from the Euthanasia Prevention
We appear to have won in New Hampshire. A committee of the New
Hampshire legislature rejected the bill to legalize assisted
suicide by a 14 to 3 vote. This is a significant victory. Our
people informed and persuaded politicians in the Democrat
controlled legislature to reject assisted suicide. This
does not mean that the bill is completely dead, the legislature
might reject the recommendation of the committee and approve the
bill, but considering the lopsided vote at the committee level, it
is unlikely that the bill in New Hampshire will be approved.
Margaret Dore from Washington State and the team (which
includes the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) was instrumental in
the success in New Hampshire. Thank you Margaret and others
The next victory will be in Canada.
Bill C-384, the bill that would legalize euthanasia and
assisted suicide in Canada is scheduled to receive its second
hour of debate on Tuesday, December 1 at 5:30 pm with the vote on
You still have time to send a hand-written letter to members of
parliament opposing Bill C-384. Information and sample letters can
be found at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/Analysis-BillC384.htm
Steve Passmore, a disability rights advocate who was born with
cerebral palsy, will once again protest Bill C-384 on the date of
its debate - December 1 from 4 - 5:30 pm. People with disabilities
and all people of good-will should join him in person or spirit.
Meet the real Jack
Martinuk, Calgary Herald, Friday, September 18, 2009
The infamous Dr. Death is back. After eight-and-a-half
years in prison and a parole period of relative silence (except
for a ridiculous attempt to run for Congress that, not
surprisingly, went nowhere fast), Jack Kevorkian is speaking out.
This month, he will release a book called GlimmerIQs, a
collection of paintings, research proposals and musings from his
time in the ol' Grey Bar Hotel. He also chose this particular
month to grant his first in-depth interview to Fox News and to hit
the university lecture circuit. He now wants to focus his rhetoric
on the younger generation because, unlike older folks, "their
minds are still pliable."
That's just the start. An HBO documentary called "You
Don't Know Jack," starring Al Pacino in the leading role,
will be televised early next year. Since the news release
proclaims that Kevorkian "walks in the footsteps of Martin
Luther King and Nelson Mandela," we can assume he will be
portrayed as a hero;a man of compassion who is driven to alleviate
pain and champion the public's right to, as supporters say,
"die with dignity."
The irony is that's not Jack. The real Jack is revealed by
Kevorkian's own writings, actions and words. If he is about to go
on campuses to mould the pliable minds of our youth and unleash
another campaign to gain support for state-sanctioned euthanasia,
then it's imperative that we know the real Jack.
Kevorkian killed more than 130 people. Compassion had nothing
to do with it since many had no physical illness. The chief
medical examiner who autopsied 69 of Kevorkian's victims found
that only 16 were terminally ill. Forty-eight suffered from
non-terminal illnesses and five had no evidence of any disease. No
wonder he calls Kevorkian "a serial executioner."
These executions were the culmination of Kevorkian's lifelong
obsession with death and experimentation on the dead(and almost
His Dr. Death nickname stems from the 1950s when, as a
pathology student, he made regular "death rounds,"
searching for patients about to die and taping their eyelids open
so he could photograph corneal changes at the time of death. No
word on if he obtained their consent. In the 1960s, he
experimented with blood transfusions from fresh corpses, a venture
that transmitted hepatitis C to a willing, but naive friend
serving as a recipient. . . . .
the whole of the above article in the Calgary Herald online.]
and Assisted Suicide in Canada
[from Today's Family News July
Written by Derek Miedema, a researcher at the Institute
of Marriage and Family Canada
|Member of Parliament Francine
Lalonde is currently engaged in her third attempt to
legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. Her private
member’s bill, Bill
C-384, would see doctors fulfilling requests to die
for those over age 18 who “appear lucid.”
Introducing her bill into the House of Commons on May
13, Ms. Lalonde began by saying:
“Mr. Speaker, the time has come for this Parliament to
find a way to decriminalize medical assistance in dying,
which is of such vital importance to those whose suffering
can no longer be relieved except by this ultimate
compassion”. The question is this: Why is death the
“ultimate compassion”? And how does agreeing that a
loved one should die sooner fill a compassionate role?
While advocates for doctor-assisted death make the
compassion argument sound compelling, there are many
internationally-respected specialists in end-of-life care
who say a truly compassionate response is not death, but
improved palliative care.
Dr. José Pereira, an Ottawa-based palliative care doctor
who worked for three years in Switzerland (where assisted
suicide is allowed), told journalist Lorna Dueck recently
TV about his experience in Switzerland. The number one
lesson he learned there was “the importance of ensuring
that there’s excellent access to palliative care for
anyone who has a progressive, incurable illness.”
Dr. Pereira’s experience in palliative care also led him
to call for the term “dignity” to be removed from
discussions of assisted suicide, since “around the
world, thousands of people die receiving palliative care
in a very dignified way.”
Another expert who contributes to dignified death through
palliative care is Dr. Harvey Chochinov, a palliative care
specialist in Winnipeg. He has designed a therapeutic
method to restore dignity to terminally ill patients in
whom it has been weakened. “Dignity
therapy” has been shown in research trials to
restore the dignity of terminally ill patients while
decreasing their suffering and depression, with no death
Understanding that depression is treatable is vital to our
understanding of end-of-life issues for the terminally
ill. A 2005
study in the Netherlands found that “the risk of a
request for euthanasia by patients with depressed mood was
4.1 times higher than that of patients without depressed
mood” when the study began. A 1995
Canadian study found that “The prevalence of
diagnosed depressive syndromes was 58.8 per cent among
patients with a desire to die and 7.7 per cent among
patients without such a desire.”
Advances in palliative end-of-life care show that pain can
be treated. Physical pain can be eased. Chaplains and
other specialists can help a person through spiritual and
emotional pain. Death, in effect, short-circuits that
Or, as Dr.
Margaret Cottle, a palliative care physician and a
clinical instruc¬tor at the University of British
Columbia puts it:
“Euthanasia kills the patient twice. The first time is
when you look at the patient’s life and say, ‘Yeah,
you’re right. Your life really isn’t worth living.’
And the second time is when you actually do it.”
The terms “physician-assisted death” or “death with
dignity” do not reflect the reality that Lalonde’s
bill is largely about attempting to control death by
identifying the time, place and method. Advocates then add
the compassionate label, saying such control is the only
way to achieve dignity . . . .
[Read the whole of the immediately-above article on Today\s
bill passes first step
up, MPs to debate measure in Commons
HUGH ANDERSON, Freelance - Montreat Gazette & Vancouver
Sun - July 10, 2009
in euphemisms and double-talk, another long step toward making it legal in
for doctors to deliberately end the life of patients in certain
circumstances has been taken.
Québécois Francine Lalonde's private member's bill to accomplish that
has received first reading in the House of Commons. It is likely within
the next month or two to receive the standard one hour of debate by MPs at
second reading, unless an election is called. A majority vote in favour
could send her startlingly brief bill for study by a Commons committee.
also, among those eligible to be legally killed by a doctor might be
depressed 18-year-old teenagers who refuse their medications. A doctor
would also no longer commit a crime by supplying a lethal dose to enable
such depressed teenagers to kill themselves. That could be your grandchild
if Lalonde's bill became law in its present form.
all a long way from what many people think of as a suitable case for
euthanasia: an elderly person who is terminally ill and in excruciating
pain who repeatedly and unmistakably asks for death. There is probably the
support of most Canadians for exempting your doctor from a murder charge
in that strictly limited case.
kind of obfuscation is a striking characteristic of campaigners for the
so-called "right to die with dignity," which in reality means
making it legal for somebody else to kill you or to help you commit
suicide. . . .
, state officials have conceded that they really don't know how many
people have been prescribed a lethal dose of drugs to kill themselves,
only those that have been reported by doctors.
among existing and proposed euthanasia and assisted-suicide laws, what the
legislation actually says is not at all what the supporters of it
campaigned on, and what they said the safeguards would prevent. Lalonde's
bill is no exception. Here are examples:
The bill says any person age 18 or over who "appears to be
lucid" and who has tried or refused available treatments and
"continues to experience severe physical or mental pain without any
prospect of relief" would be eligible to be assisted to commit
suicide if the rules are followed. Note that "mental pain."
Seniors who have lived through periods of deep depression will recall that
at the time there seemed to be no prospect of relief.
The bill says that certifying the person is suffering such pain or is
terminally ill would be up to medical practitioners, defined as "a
person duly qualified by provincial law to practise medicine." Does
this include my dermatologist, my podiatrist? For "mental pain,"
there should surely be a requirement to consult a psychiatrist?
The bill's wording means that people living with disabilities or with
chronic conditions would be vulnerable. Such sufferers can be considered
by others, and often are, as having no prospect of relief and wishing to
die. The sufferers themselves may well have a different opinion.
The bill's wording would allow you to be killed legally when you have
become incompetent to make the choice, if you had earlier given written
authority while you appeared to be lucid to another person to act on your
behalf when you no longer appear to be lucid. Better be careful about the
wording of your mandate or advance directive.
The bill's wording has no definition of terminal illness. A diagnosis
could become an immediate death warrant, no matter what your chances of
survival might be or if the diagnosis is wrong.
The bill's restriction of eligibility based on age would probably be ruled
unconstitutional if it became law and was legally tested. As in the
- where it is now legal for doctors to kill infants, if parents agree, if
they believe their patients' suffering is intolerable or incurable- this
might mean that eventually babies could become eligible.
's Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has urged Canadians to contact their
federal MP to oppose Lalonde's bill.
website (www.epcc.ca) provides sample letters you can download and use as
bill is not about choice," coalition director Alex Schadenberg warns.
"It's protection for doctors."
— From Thursday's Globe and Mail - July 16, 2009
great caution, the Quebec College of Physicians is prepared to cross the
line on the controversial debate over euthanasia and propose that it be
included “as part of the appropriate care in certain particular
examining the issue for three years, the College's task force on ethics
society has evolved to the point where it could tolerate euthanasia in
specific circumstances. The task force's recommendation will likely be
part of a “reflection” document the College will release next fall,
hoping that a public debate on the issue will pressure the federal
government to eventually amend the criminal code.
are being very cautious in our approach,” said the College's secretary,
Yves Robert. “Avoiding the debate contributes to the general hypocrisy
around this issue. To say that it doesn't happen because it is illegal is
completely stupid. … We have to stop hiding our head in the sand,” Dr.
is common knowledge that physicians often have no choice but to constantly
increase medication such as morphine to alleviate the pain and suffering
of terminally ill patients.
the pain is so unbearable that the amount of painkillers or analgesics
used to control it can be fatal. And this, according to the Quebec College
of Physicians, can be viewed as a form of euthanasia.
question here is to decide whether a drop in dosage or an increase in
dosage constitutes a criminal act,” Dr. Robert said. “We may go as far
as to recommend that in certain cases, where the pain is unbearable, the
amount of analgesic required could correspond to a form of euthanasia.”
College wants to avoid a divisive confrontation between those who are for
or against euthanasia, saying such a debate would solve nothing. Instead,
the debate should be about the doctor's role in accompanying a terminally
ill patient toward the inevitability of death, offering as much dignity
and medical assistance as possible. “There's not a politician or a
lawyer that can tell me what that entails,” Dr. Robert said.
College says there are three conditions required in order to amend the
criminal code, which currently defines euthanasia as a criminal act. The
first would require that the decision be made in accordance with the
patient's will. A physician alone could not decide, Dr. Robert said. The
second condition would require that clear rules be established to protect
society from abuses. And thirdly, the doctor has to be part of the
decision-making process and not someone who simply carries out orders.
physicians are adamant in stating their position excludes assisted
suicides, which is practised in
and in some parts of the
. There have been a few rare cases where Canadians have died at the
assisted-suicide clinic Dignitas in
, but the College opposes the practice.
believe the province's
has taken a “bold, cautious and realistic” approach that will have
considerable impact on the rest of the country. . . . .
is expected to table its final proposal in November.
APress Release from
June 25, 2009
Euthanasia Bill a Threat to Canadians
Euthanasia should not be permitted in Canada because the practice
would put at risk Canadians who are already in a weak position, says a
B.C.-based educational organization.
“This issue is very troubling,” says Yvonne Douma, Executive
Director of Signal Hill. “It would place many Canadians who are
vulnerable through illness, depression or disability to the risk of
making an irreversible, life-threatening choice.”
In May of this year, Quebec Member of Parliament Francine Lalonde
introduced Bill C-384, a bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted
suicide. It proposes adding an amendment to the Criminal Code,
exempting from criminal prosecution doctors who help a patient to die.
Those eligible for euthanasia would be at least 18 years of age.
They would suffer from terminal illness or "experience severe
physical or mental pain without any prospect of relief," whether or
not they had received treatment.
Signal Hill is a human rights organization that provides women and
families with supportive education on life issues, helping them make
informed and life-affirming decisions.
The group believes that a medical culture that views euthanasia as
a legitimate treatment for pain and terminal illness will effectively
undermine the commitment to care that all physicians must have.
“In these trying economic times, will those who are ill or
disabled feel a subtle pressure to save the system from the burden of
caring for them?” Douma asks. “There is no assurance that
‘safeguards’ will eradicate abuse by physicians. We need to
err on the side of life and never take the chance of granting a
privileged few the power to take it.”
For more information on the issue contact us at 604-853-3425 or
visit our web-site at www.thesignalhill.com.
Director of Education and Outreach
#112 -- 32868 Ventura Avenue
Abbotsford, BC V2S 6J3
with Dignity’: What Do We Advise Our
[The following is an excerpt from an article by Margaret
Dore that was published on the website of the Washington State Bar
Association.. Margaret Dore is a lawyer in Washington State.]
Death with Dignity
What Do We Tell Our Clients?
. . . .
by Margaret Dore
A client wants to know about the new Death with Dignity Act, which
legalizes physician-assisted suicide in Washington state. Do you take
the politically correct path and agree that it's the best thing since
sliced bread? Or, do you do your job as a lawyer and tell him that the
Act has problems and that he may want to take steps to protect himself?
I would hope the latter.
Not What the Voters Were Promised
The new Act was passed by the voters as Initiative 1000 and has now
been codified as Chapter 70.245 RCW. During the election, proponents
touted it as providing "choice" for end-of-life decisions. A
glossy brochure declared: "Only the patient — and no one else —
may administer the [lethal dose]."
The Act, however, doesn't say this anywhere. The Act also contains
potentially coercive provisions. For example, it allows an heir who will
benefit from the patient's death to help the patient sign up for the
How the Act Works
The Act has an application process to obtain the lethal dose, which
includes a written request form with two required witnesses. The Act
allows one of these witnesses to be the patient's heir. Once the
lethal dose is issued by the pharmacy, there is no oversight. The
death is not required to be witnessed by disinterested persons.
Indeed, no one is required to be present.
A Comparison to Probate Law
When signing a will, having an heir act as one of the witnesses
creates a presumption of undue influence. The probate statute states
that when one of two required witnesses is a taker under the will, there
is a rebuttable presumption that the taker/witness: "…procured
the gift by duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence." RCW
11.12.160(2). The Act's lethal dose request process, which allows an
heir to be a witness on the lethal dose request form, does not promote
patient choice. It invites coercion.
No Mental Standard or Consent Is Required at the Time of
Under the Act, an "attending physician" and a
"consulting physician" are required to determine whether the
patient is competent at the time of the lethal dose request. The Act
does not, however, require that the patient be competent or even aware
when the lethal dose is administered. There is also no language
requiring the client's consent at the time of administration. Without
a requirement of competency, consent, or even awareness when the lethal
dose is administered, the stage is set for undue influence and worse.
"Self-administer" Does Not Necessarily Mean that a
Patient Administers the Lethal Dose to Himself
The Act does not state that "only" the patient may
administer the lethal dose. The Act instead provides that the
patient "self-administer" the dose. In an Orwellian twist,
the term "self-administer" does not mean that administration
will necessarily be by the patient. "Self-administer" is
instead defined as the act of ingesting. The Act states:
"Self-administer" means a qualified patient's act of
ingesting medication to end his or her life . . . . (Emphasis
added). RCW 70.245.010(12).
In other words, someone else putting the lethal dose in the patient's
mouth qualifies as "self-administration." Someone else
putting the lethal dose in a feeding tube or IV nutrition bag would also
qualify. "Self-administer" means that someone else can
administer the lethal dose to the patient.
In summary, someone other than the patient is allowed to administer
the lethal dose. The Act contains no requirement that the patient be
competent or even aware when the lethal dose is administered. There is
no requirement that the patient consent when the lethal dose is
Intentionally killing an incompetent person, or intentionally killing
some other person without his consent, is homicide. The Act,
however, allows this result, as long as the action taken is according to
the Act. The Act states:
Actions taken in accordance with this chapter do not, for any
purpose, constitute suicide, assisted suicide, mercy killing, or homicide,
under the law. (Emphasis added). RCW 70.245.180(1).
The Right to Rescind Is Not a Substitute for Requiring
The Act's proponents may counter that consent is actually required
because patients have a right to rescind a request for the lethal dose
"at any time." A right to rescind is not the same thing as
a right to consent when the lethal dose is administered. Consider, for
example, an incompetent or unaware patient who obtained the lethal dose
on a "just-in-case basis" and has not consented to taking it.
He would not have the ability to rescind because he is incompetent,
sedated, or simply sleeping. Without the right to consent, someone else
would, nonetheless, be free to administer the lethal dose to him.
Without the right to consent, the client's control over the "time,
place, and manner" of his death is an illusion.
No Witnesses at the Death
If, for the purpose of argument, the Act does not "allow" a
patient's death without consent, patients are, nonetheless, unprotected
from this result, due to the lack of required witnesses at the death.
Without witnesses, the opportunity is created for someone other than the
patient to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his
consent. Even if he struggled, who would know? The lethal dose request
would provide the alibi. This scenario would seem especially significant
for patients with money. A California case, People v. Stuart,
67 Cal Rptr. 3rd 129, 143 (2007), states: "Financial reasons [are]
an all too common motivation for killing someone…."
. . . .
What to Tell Clients
1. Signing the form will lead to a loss of control
By signing the lethal dose request form, the client is taking an
official position that if he dies suddenly, no questions should be
asked. The client will be unprotected against others in the event he
changes his mind after the lethal prescription is filled and decides
that he wants to live. This would seem especially important for patients
with money. There is, regardless, a loss of control.
2. Prognoses can be wrong
The Act applies to adults determined by an "attending
physician" and a "consulting physician" to have a disease
expected to produce death within six months. But what if the doctors
are wrong? This is the point of a recent Seattle Weekly
article: Even patients with cancer can live years beyond
expectations. The article states:
Since the day [the patient] was given two to four months to live, [she]
has gone with her children on a series of vacations . . . . "We
almost lost her because she was having too much fun, not from
cancer" [her son chuckles].
As lawyers, we often advise our clients of worst-case scenarios. This
is our obligation, regardless of whether it is politically correct to do
so. The Death with Dignity Act is not about dignity or choice. It is
about enabling people to pressure others to an early death or even cause
it. The Act may also encourage patients with years to live to give up
hope. We should advise our clients accordingly.
Margaret Dore is an attorney admitted to practice in 1986. Her
practice has included probate, guardianship, and appeals. She is the
immediate past chair of the Elder Law Committee of the ABA Family Law
Section. She is a former chair of what is now the King County Bar
Guardianship and Elder Law Section. She is also a former law clerk to
both the Washington State Supreme Court and the Washington State Court
of Appeals. For more information on Ms. Dore, see www.margaretdore.com.
1. I-1000 Pamphlet, "Paid for by Yes! on 1000."
2. RCW §§ 70.245.030 and .220 state that one of two required
witnesses to the lethal dose request form cannot be the patient's heir
or other person who will benefit from the patient's death; the other
witness may be an heir or other person who will benefit from the death.
4. See Entire Act, Chapter 70.245 RCW.
7. RCW 70.245.040(1)(a) and RCW 70.245.050.
8. The following Act provisions address the issue of competency in
conjunction with the lethal dose request, not later. See: RCW
70.245.010(3); RCW 70.245.010(5); RCW 70.245.010(11); RCW 70.245.020;
RCW 70.245.030(1); RCW 70.245.040(1)(a); RCW 70.245.040(1)(d); RCW
70.245.050; RCW 70.245.120(3) & (4); and RCW 70.245.220 (regarding
the patient's appearing to be of "sound mind"). There is no
provision that requires the patient to be competent or even aware at the
time of administration. See Entire Act, Chapter 70.245 RCW.
9. The following provisions require that a determination of
whether a patient is acting "voluntarily" be made in
conjunction with the lethal dose request, not later. See RCW
70.245.020(1); RCW 70.245.030(1); RCW 70.245.040(1)(a); RCW
70.245.040(1)(d); RCW 70.245.050; RCW 70.245.120(3) and (4); and RCW
70.245.220. There is no provision that requires the patient to be acting
voluntarily and/or give consent at the time of administration. See
Entire Act, Chapter 70.245 RCW ("consent" not mentioned).
10. See Entire Act, Chapter 70.245 RCW.
11. See RCW 70.245.010(7); RCW 70.245.010(12); RCW 70.245.020(1);
RCW 70.245.090; RCW 70.245.140; RCW 70.245.170; RCW 70.245.180(1); and
12. Webster's New World College Dictionary at www.yourdictionary.com/ingest
defines "ingest" as: "to take (food, drugs, etc.) into
the body, as by swallowing, inhaling or absorbing." Someone putting
the lethal dose in the patient's mouth qualifies as
"self-administration" because the patient will thereby
"ingest" the dose.
13. Someone putting the lethal dose in a feeding tube or IV
nutrition bag qualifies as "self-administration" because the
patient will thereby "ingest" the dose.
14. Cf. RCW 9A.32.010 (defining "homicide"); RCW
9A.32.020 (regarding premeditation); and RCW 9A.32.030 (defining
15. RCW 70.245.100.
. . . ..
22. RCW 70.245.040(1)(a); RCW 70.245.050; and RCW 70.245.010(13).
23. Shapiro, Nina, "Terminal Uncertainty — Washington's new
'Death with Dignity' law allows doctors to help people commit suicide
— once they've determined that the patient has only six months to
live. But what if they're wrong?" Seattle Weekly, January
14, 2009, www.seattleweekly.com/2009-01-14/news/terminal-uncertainty.
here to read the whole of the article immediately above on the
website of the Washington State Bar Association.
Canadian Doctors Do Not Have
the Right to Remove Life-Sustaining Treatment against the Wishes of the
By Alex Schadenberg, President of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
WINNIPEG, June 10, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Jocelyn Downie, the
Canada Research Chair of Health Law and Policy said at an End-of-Life
Ethics & Decision-Making conference at the University of Manitoba in
Winnipeg yesterday that doctors do not have the legal right to withdraw
life-sustaining medical treatment against a patient's wishes.
Downie, who is Canada's foremost player in interpreting health law
issues, stated that there is no legal precedent in Canada that gives
doctors the authority to remove a feeding tube or issue a
do-not-resuscitate order against a patient's wishes.
Downie directly contradicted a notice from the College of Physicians
and Surgeons of Manitoba, who asserted in their February 1, 2008 policy
statement that a physician could unilaterally decide to remove
life-sustaining treatment, including fluids and food, in certain
The statement said that even when a patient is likely to regain a
level of self-awareness, the physician could still withdraw
life-sustaining medical treatment if the doctor obtains agreement from
at least one other physician. The doctor also must seek agreement with
the family, but if agreement cannot be achieved, the doctor must give a
96-hour notice before removing life-sustaining treatment, including
fluids and food.
Downie said that the guidelines need to be revised because they go
too far. Doctors can't medically determine whether a life is worth
living. "I think it's taking too much authority for physicians and
I don't think it's legally acceptable or ethical," stated Downie.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons stated in turn that Manitoba
courts have recognized a doctor's power to pull the plug on a patient
without the consent of the patient or their family. The college's
registrar said: "Basically, we disagree with her."
The comments made by Downie may also affect the case of Samuel
Golubchuk, an orthodox Jewish man, whose family is seeking to have his
life-sustaining treatment continued while Grace Hospital in Winnipeg is
seeking to withdraw it.
Jocelyn Downie is also one of Canada's leading proponents of
legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Investigation into Nova Scotia Woman’s Assisted Suicide
By Hilary White
HALIFAX, June 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At the request of the
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, RCMP in Halifax are investigating the
death of a Nova Scotia woman at the infamous euthanasia ‘clinic’ in
Switzerland, called “Dignitas.” Depending on the outcome of the
investigation, charges of aiding or counselling to commit suicide may be
laid against the woman’s husband, . . . , who was with her when she
died of an overdose of barbiturates in the Zurich facility.
Elizabeth Jeanette MacDonald of Windsor, 38, who died June 8,
suffered from severe multiple sclerosis and was confined to a
wheelchair. MacDonald told the Halifax Chronicle Herald in an interview
that she had attempted suicide a year ago.
In a public statement, RCMP said, “On or about the 8th of June 2007
Elizabeth MacDonald a terminally ill patient from Windsor N.S. was
euthanized at a clinic in Zurich, Switzerland which is legal to do in
that country. Southwest Nova Major Crime will conduct an investigation
to determine if there are any grounds for an offence to have been
committed in this country.”
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition asked the RCMP to investigate last
week after her obituary appeared in the local paper, in which the family
thanked the operators of the assisted suicide facility. “Last, but not
least, we would like to thank Herr Ludwig Minelli, and the members of
Dignitas in Zurich (Bernard and ‘Gaby’, in particular), for helping
Elizabeth deliver herself from the burden of a life which had become too
great to bear,” the obituary ran.
Coalition executive director, Alex Schadenberg, told LifeSiteNews.com
that their concern is simple: Was Elizabeth MacDonald counselled in this
country to commit suicide?
“In Canada, it is against the law to aid and abet suicide,” said
Schadenberg. “Who says she wasn’t aided or counselled to commit
suicide? I have no idea whether [the family] have broken the law. Our
argument is simple and to the point. These laws exist to protect
vulnerable people; that’s what the law on assisted suicide is
[Her husband] told the Halifax Herald that he has done nothing
illegal. “She asked me to accompany her. It was the last loving thing
I could do for her.” He called the coalition “a bunch of
“We just believe due process should happen,” Schadenberg said.
“Without this process, whatever the outcome of this case, vulnerable
disabled people are at risk of a no-holds barred situation where they
are not adequately protected under the law.”
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Obituary Notice Leaves Evidence That Canadian Woman Was Killed at
Zurich's Assisted Suicide Clinic
let us kill disabled babies
[from The Sunday Times online
ONE of Britain’s royal medical colleges is calling
on the health profession to consider permitting the
euthanasia of seriously disabled newborn babies.
The proposal by the Royal College of Obstetricians
and Gynaecology is a reaction to the number of such
children surviving because of medical advances. The
college is arguing that “active euthanasia” should
be considered for the overall good of families, to
spare parents the emotional burden and financial
hardship of bringing up the sickest babies.
“A very disabled child can mean a disabled
family,” it says. “If life-shortening and
deliberate interventions to kill infants were
available, they might have an impact on obstetric
decision-making, even preventing some late abortions,
as some parents would be more confident about
continuing a pregnancy and taking a risk on
Geneticists and medical ethicists supported the
proposal — as did the mother of a severely disabled
child — but a prominent children’s doctor
described it as “social engineering”.
The college called for “active euthanasia” of
newborns to be considered as part of an inquiry into
the ethical issues raised by the policy of prolonging
life in newborn babies. The inquiry is being carried
out by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
here to read the whole article on The Sunday
would give Manitoba docs power to stop treatment
CBC News online, October 13, 2006
The body overseeing Manitoba's doctors is considering giving
physicians the authority to stop or withhold medical treatment, even if
the patient or family disagrees.
CBC News has obtained a draft document from Manitoba's College of
Physicians and Surgeons that sets out proposed policies surrounding
end-of-life decisions in hospitals.
The draft policy spells out the process that doctors must follow when
deciding whether to withhold or withdraw respirators, breathing tubes
and feeding tubes, or continue with treatments like dialysis.
It concludes doctors have the authority to make the final decision
concerning treatments, but would give families 96 hours notice of the
decision and the right to appeal it through a second opinion or court
College registrar Dr. Bill Pope said physicians make these kinds of
decisions every day.
"This actually puts some boundaries around the ability of
physicians to, as you put it, play God," said Pope.
"The fact remains that these decisions are being made all the
time, so this gives some direction to them and to patients as to how
they may access assistance."
Some patient advocates across the country are worried the proposed
policy could set a precedent that other provinces will eventually
Jocelyn Downie, a law and medicine professor at Dalhousie University
in Halifax, says the final decision should rest with patients and their
"At stake is decision-making at the end of life. Deciding when
we should stop treating and recognizing the decision doesn't belong to
physicians," said Downie.
People with disabilities say the draft policy goes beyond end-of-life
care to include patients who are conscious and can speak for themselves.
Jim Derksen, who has had polio since he was a child, uses a
respirator at night.
"I have friends who use respirators, who have had feeding tubes
for decades. That a document would give a doctor the power to withdraw
the respirator or the feeding tube, this is a concern to people who are
aware of how fragile life is and who depend on these kinds of
Patients need time, says B.C. family
The daughter of a Vancouver man says she's concerned the Manitoba
proposal will cause doctors to make patient-care decisions too quickly.
Last year, 62-year-old Harvbhajian Bath had a heart attack. Within 12
hours, doctors said he was brain dead and recommended he not be given
The family called a lawyer and eventually, Bath rallied to the point
that he was sent home.
His daughter, Ruby Bhullar, said Bath still has serious brain damage,
but that he shows emotions and hugs his grandson. Two weeks ago, he
attended a family wedding.
"Maybe there could be someone like my dad that recovers somewhat
or could recover fully if they had the time to do so," said Bhullar.
"That's what I would be afraid of, that those families aren't
going to have the time to see that family member could have made some
sort of recovery."
Singer: And I repeat, I would kill Disabled Infants
He is consistent. States "there is no sharp distinction between the
foetus and the newborn baby"
By John-Henry Westen
PRINCETON, September 12, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a question and
answer article published in the UK's Independent today, controversial
Princeton University Professor Peter Singer repeats his notorious stand
on the killing of disabled newborns. Asked, "Would you kill a
disabled baby?", Singer responded, "Yes, if that was in the
best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole."
People who oppose Singer's position have maintained that Singer is
the logical extension of the culture of death and that society will
eventually embrace his stance if there is no shift to the culture of
life. Alex Scadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia
Prevention Coalition commented to LifeSiteNews.com about Singer saying,
"at least he's consistent." In fact, Singer himself uses
the abortion debate to justify his murderous stance.
"Many people find this shocking," continued Singer,
"yet they support a woman's right to have an abortion."
Concluding his point, Singer said, "One point on which I agree with
opponents of abortion is that, from the point of view of ethics rather
than the law, there is no sharp distinction between the foetus and the
Singer's position, similar to the culture of death, is that there is
no inherent dignity in man, there is no sanctity of human life.
Man deserves no special treatment since, Singer rejects that man was
created in the image and likeness of God.
Asked about the choice between killing 10 cows or a human, Singer
said he would kill the cows, but not because they were of less value,
but because humans would mourn the death more. "I've written
that it is much worse to kill a being who is aware of having a past and
a future, and who plans for the future. Normal humans have such plans,
but I don't think cows do. And normal humans have family and friends who
will grieve their death in ways more vivid and longer-lasting than the
way cows may care about other cows. (Although a cow certainly misses her
calf for a long time, if the calf is taken from her. That's why there is
a major ethical problem with dairy products.) If I really had to make
such a decision, I'd kill the cows."
Schadenberg commented saying, "Once again Singer is making
distinctions between human beings he would consider normal and those he
would consider not normal, thus he is deciding who is a person and who
is not. Non-persons are allowed to be killed." The
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition leader concluded, "even though
Singer does not like to be compared to the Nazi's especially since his
parents died in the Holocaust, his philosophical position is identical
to what the Nazi's proposed. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
is primarily concerned for the lives of people with disabilities and
other vulnerable persons."
See the whole interview:
UK Man Goes to European Court
Asking that He not be Starved to Death in Hospital
By Gudrun Schultz
LANCASTER, England, May 3, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A 45-year-old
man who fears his doctors may refuse him food and water has taken his
case to the European Court of Human Rights, reported the BBC today.
Les Burke suffers from a brain illness, cerebella ataxia, which may
result in his eventual paralysis. He faces a likely future of being
unable to move or speak, but with full mental capacity.
Under General Medical Council guidelines, his doctors would be
permitted to withdraw food and water from him once his condition
deteriorates. Mr. Burke is trying to ensure that does not happen.
A British High Court ruling that would have prevented his doctors
from withdrawing essential nutrition from him was overturned last year
when the GMC appealed the ruling. Mr. Burke was refused the right to
appeal to the Lords.
Mr. Burke’s lawyer, Muiris Lyons, told the BBC, “We were very
surprised that the Lords said the case did not have a significant public
interest.” Mr. Lyons said denying Mr. Burke food and water would be a
denial of his human rights.
Health officials said the original ruling left too much room for
patients to make further treatment demands, and the GMC said doctors
would be in an impossible position if Mr. Burke wins his case.
A proposed amendment to a Mental Capacity Bill that would have
prevented common removal of food and water from terminal patients was
defeated in the UK parliament in December 2004.
The pro-life group LIFE warned at the time that the bill as it stood
could “open the floodgates” for euthanasia, describing the bill as
“[an] underhand attempt to licence euthanasia by omission – which
would surely be the first step to licensing euthanasia by a direct
action, i.e. by commission.”
European Court Refuses To Guarantee Ill
British Man Won't Be Dehydrated to Death
By Hilary White
LANCASTER, August 9, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The European Court of
Human Rights has ruled that Leslie Burke, a 46 year-old Lancaster man
suffering from a degenerative neurological disease, has no reason to
fear that he will be dehydrated to death when his illness renders him
unable to speak.
The court has rejected Burke's attempt to ensure that he will not be
dehydrated or starved to death in the final stages of his ultimately
fatal illness. This in spite of the growing number of instances of death
by dehydration in Britain and abroad – most notably the dehydration
death of Terri Schindler-Schiavo in 2005 – and the growth in influence
in Britain of the euthanasia movement.
Burke had taken his fight all the way through the British court system,
which ruled last year in favour of the General Medical Council (GMC).
The GMC argued that it must reserve the right to dehydrate patients to
death at a doctor’s discretion. Burke argued that GMC guidelines left
too much latitude to individual doctors to decide when a patient’s
life was no longer worth living.
The European court has ruled that there are adequate protections in
British law against the premature removal of “artificial nutrition and
Burke told the BBC, however, that he had no confidence in the assurances
of the British public health system in which doctors regularly decide
that continuing a person’s life is no longer in his “best
“I only hope that if I am lucky enough to be in hospital, that the
doctors treating me will not believe at some stage that it will be in my
best interests for ANH to be withdrawn,” Burke said.
Britain, with a number of European countries, classifies nutrition and
hydration as “medical treatment” that can be withdrawn at a doctor
or a patient’s request, when life no longer seems sustainable.
Anti-euthanasia activists warn that this ethics policy, added to the
pressure of increasingly cash-strapped socialized medical systems
looking for ways to remove patients from beds, places the onus on
vulnerable patients to prove that their lives should be sustained.
While Mr. Burke was fighting in the British courts for his right to
life, a bioethics expert for the British Department of Health, Elizabeth
Woodeson, filed a brief with the appeals court saying that Burke’s
request of a guarantee undermines the authority of doctors to make the
“clinical judgment,” according to the government-approved
Woodeson said the government had established National Institute for
Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), a bioethics think tank, to create
guidelines for cases such as Mr. Burke’s, based partly on economic
Woodeson, wrote, “An assessment is made of the cost of the treatment
per additional year of life which it brings, and per quality adjusted
life year (QALY)...which takes into consideration the quality of life of
the patient during any additional time for which their life will be
prolonged. The clinical and cost effectiveness of the treatment under
review is then used as the basis for a recommendation as to whether or
not...the treatment should be provided in the NHS.”
The government’s conclusion was that it should be free to follow the
NICE guidelines, “without being obliged to accede to patient
demands...If that principle were undermined, there would be considerable
risk of inefficient use of NHS resources.”
The head of Canada’s Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg
told LifeSiteNews.com that the European court “erred significantly,”
and that with this decision, patients all over Europe are at risk.
“Leslie burke was fighting not only for himself, but for others. He
was trying to set a precedent that if you did not want to die that you
had the right to make sure of that,” Schadenberg said.
Schadenberg said that it is the longstanding custom in medicine that
doctors can withhold treatment that they consider futile or burdensome
and that there does come a point when a patient who is very close to
death can no longer assimilate food or water.
The problem now is that doctors are no longer required to limit that
judgement to purely medical considerations. “Modern bioethics
philosophy has rejected the concept of purely medical futility. The
treatment is not considered futile; the patient is considered futile,”
In the U.S.A.:
Upholds Oregon's Suicide Law
Says federal law regulates illicit drug dealing
and trafficking, not "medicine." [Excerpt from article posted 01/17/2006 | on
Christianity Today website]
The United States attorney general overstepped his bounds when he
tried to stop the state of Oregon from implementing its 1997
physician-assisted suicide bill, the Supreme Court ruled
Tuesday in a 6-3 decision.
In 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a
directive "that assisting suicide is not a 'legitimate medical
purpose' … and that prescribing, dispensing, or administering
federally controlled substances to assist suicide violates the CSA
[Controlled Substances Act]."
Using such drugs to assist with suicide could lead to
"suspension or revocation" of a doctor's medical license,
Writing for the majority,
Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the Controlled Substances
Act did not give Ashcroft "such broad and unusual authority."
The attorney general, the Court said, has no expertise in medical
"The statute and our case law amply support the
conclusion that Congress regulates medical practice insofar as it bars
doctors from using their prescription-writing powers as a means to
engage in illicit drug dealing and trafficking as conventionally
understood," Kennedy wrote. "Beyond this, however, the statute
manifests no intent to regulate the practice of medicine
In his dissent, Justice
Antonin Scalia argued that the CSA's "legitimate medical
purpose" clause is not limited to the regulation of illicit drugs.
"If the term 'legitimate medical purpose' has
any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce
death," Scalia wrote.
Scalia was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas and
Chief Justice John Roberts, for whom this was his first dissent. ....
Suicide Opponents Marshal Arguments
an article by Deboral Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News, Ottawa,
Western Catholic Reporter,
last updated Oct. 26, 2005
In advance of the Oct. 31 House of Commons debate on assisted suicide,
opponents are searching for the best strategies to defend the rights of
the disabled and the elderly.
Politicians had some help from disabled rights activist Mark Pickup, who
told an Oct. 25 Parliament Hill luncheon gathering any attempt to
legalize euthanasia represents blatant discrimination against disabled
Pickup, who lives with multiple sclerosis, said nobody would consider
allowing able-bodied people to seek assisted suicide.
In fact society would advocate hospitalizing them until the crisis is
past, he said.
"Only when we talk about disability, do we talk about the right for
self-determination," he told about 30 MPs, staffers and advocates.
Pickup said Bloc Quebecois MP Francine
Lalonde's Private Members' Bill C-407 would give people "the right
to kill the sick and depressed with impunity."
Sponsored by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), the luncheon
drew about a dozen MPs, mostly from the Conservative Party of Canada,
Hill staffers and representatives from pro-life organizations. [More
of this article in the Western Catholic Reporter online]
Opposing Assisted Suicide to Send to All Members of the House of Commons
of the Canadian Parliament
[The letter that follows is written
in such a way that it is suitable for sending to members of
parliament who either oppose or support assisted suicide. ]
Members of Parliament
Canadian House of Commons
Members of Parliament:
In view of proposals to legalize assisted suicide, I am writing to you
to urge you to vote against any bill that may be forthcoming to make
so-called "mercy-killing" legal.
proposal to legalize assisted suicide poses a danger to the disabled, to
the elderly, and ultimately to all Canadians. It should be
noted that in the Netherlands the toleration of assisted suicide has
resulted in the deaths of many, even without their consent.
Any law to legalize this practice in Canada can be expected to create a
slippery slope in this country similar to the situation in the
appreciate a reply to this letter stating your position on proposals to
legalize assisted suicide.
[name of person sending the letter]
[address of person sending the letter]
change as opposition to euthanasia ends
Long-standing opposition among doctors to euthanasia was
effectively dropped by the BMA yesterday.
Doctors voted at their conference to change the association's policy and
adopt a neutral position, which means, in practice, that they will
neither campaign for nor against any future change in the law. [More]
Excerpt from an article by Licia Corbella in
Calgary Sun, Nov. 6, 2005:
The big lie about euthanasia
Legalizing the right to kill in the name of mercy
threatens our children's lives
. . . . Canada's Justice Minister Irwin Cotler mused last week that
he won't support Bill C-407, the private member's bill of Bloc Quebecois
MP Francine Lalonde, because it is too broad and didn't have enough
Unfortunately however, he still believes Canada should look at
legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide.
But the reports out of Holland prove that despite strict controls,
many innocent people are killed against their will at the whim of their
The first of these reports that prove this was called "Medical
Decisions About the End of Life," also known as The Remmelink
Report -- named after Prof. Jan Remmelink, attorney general of the High
Council of the Netherlands, who led the study committee.
The Remmelink Report was released in September 1991.
It made shocking revelations. It found that in 1990 alone:
n 1,031 people were killed "without the patient's request."
In other words, an average of three people a day were actively killed
by their doctors without the patient's consent or knowledge.
Of those 1,031 people:
n 14% were found to be fully competent;
n 72% had never expressed that they would want their lives ended;
n and in 8% of the cases, doctors performed "involuntary
euthanasia," even though they believed other options were still
In 1990, there were 128,824 deaths in Holland. According to the
Remmelink Report, 2.9% of those deaths were caused intentionally by
doctors and fully 0.8% of people who died were killed without the
This was all done prior to euthanasia being legal in Holland and not
one doctor was sent to jail for killing their patients without their
So-called right-to-die advocates often claim euthanasia is an issue
But the experience in the Netherlands shows that when voluntary
euthanasia and assisted suicide are accepted practice, an alarming
number of people end up having no choice at all -- ever again.
Just in case you're thinking 1990 was an anomaly, another extensive
and similar report was conducted in Holland in 1995. Of the 135,676
people who died in Holland that year, 0.7%, or 950 people, were killed
without the patient's request.
A slight improvement by one-tenth of a percent, but still totally and
Dr. Margaret Somerville, founding director of McGill University's
Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, who is both a professor of law and
a professor in the faculty of medicine, points out that at first
euthanasia in Holland was restricted to people in terrible pain. No
"In the Netherlands, euthanasia was initially allowed to be
performed on only those suffering from unbearable, intractable pain and
the terminally ill. The patient had to be adult and competent at the
time of euthanasia. Now none of those conditions any longer apply,"
said Somerville, from her office in Montreal.
Just this past Sept. 29, the Dutch government announced it would
establish guidelines for when it is acceptable to kill infants who are
born less than perfect -- including babies born with spina bifida,
cerebral palsy and Down's Syndrome.
This is not a slippery slope, it's Niagara Falls. It is a cliff. . .
read the whole article in The Calgary Sun online, click
Excerpt from an article by Mark
Pickup in Western Catholic Reporter, Week of October 10, 2005:
God grants death with dignity
euthanasia law gives licence to kill
. . . .
Bill C-407 is officially dubbed
"An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (right to die with
dignity.)" It is a dangerous bill. It is not an act for the right
to die with dignity; it is an act for the right to kill the sick and
depressed with impunity. The bill proposes to:
anyone to kill a suicidal depressed or sick person, not just the
suicidal person only needs to be suffering from severe physical or
mental pain. (Depression could easily qualify.)
suicidal person to be killed must be at least 18 years of age. (That
opens the door for killing depressed teenagers.)
suicidal person does not need to have tried all suitable therapies.
They can have even refused available treatments.
suicidal person must "appear" to be lucid (not necessarily
be lucid). The person making the assessment of lucidity need not be
psychologically or medically qualified to decide on such matters.
suicidal person must request suicide twice over more than 10 days
apart. It doesn't even need to be in writing. The only thing that
needs to be in writing is who the suicidal person wants to kill
themself. And that designated person does not need to be a doctor,
only assisted by a "team of persons entitled under the laws of
a province to provide health services."
the person to be killed does not appear to be lucid, then he must be
euthanized by a physician.
. . . . [Click
here to read the whole article in Western Catholic Reporter
By Mary-Jane Egan, London Free Press Reporter, July 5, 2005
Canadians should be vigilant in battling a bill that would legalize
assisted suicide in this country, a meeting of the London City Kiwanis
"Make no mistake that this bill introduces the slippery slope
we’ve seen in the Netherlands where people who don’t want to be
euthanized are," warned Jean Echlin, a longtime palliative care
nurse and vice-president of the national Euthanasia Prevention
"Canadians have to wake up because it’s coming."
Echlin said Bill C-407 — a private member’s bill tabled late last
month by Bloc Québécois
MP Francine Lalonde — should be met by a strong lobby effort to stop
The bill would amend the Criminal Code to make it legal to help a
To illustrate her concern, Echlin asked for a show of hands from any
Kiwanians who had heard of the bill.
Not a hand was raised in her audience of about 30.
"I worry they’re going to rush this through without
consultation with all Canadians," said Echlin.
"Of course, when a person’s in pain that isn’t properly
managed, they’re going to ask for euthanasia.
"But people need to understand they have the right to good
palliative care and good pain management."
Echlin, a palliative care pioneer, called it
"unconscionable" the bill has been introduced now —
"just as palliative care is coming into its own."
She noted Ontario medical schools such as the University of Western
Ontario’s Schulich School of Medicine have just introduced a one-year
fellowship training program in palliative care that will ultimately go
The program will help abolish the myth, Echlin said, that offering
sufficient pain control through narcotics such as morphine could lead to
"There is absolutely no excuse in 2005 for a person to face the
end of life with pain when so much can be done now to relieve that
pain," Echlin said.
She said the bill has the potential to lead to out-and-out murder of
the poor, powerless and vulnerable.
Under Lalonde’s bill, the patient must "appear to be
lucid" and make two requests more than 10 days apart stating their
"free and informed will to die."
The person who aids the patient must be a medical practitioner or be
assisted by a medical practitioner.
Echlin said the bill is rife with flaws: "Must appear to be
lucid — what does that mean?"
She said the Netherlands, where some elderly wear armbands asking not
to be euthanized if rolled into emergency, should serve as a warning to
Echlin, whose coalition has appealed to federal Justice Minister
Irwin Cotler to oppose the bill, urged the group to lobby their MP’s
to do the same.
You as a group of Kiwanians, have tremendous power to lobby,"
Burke wants to live; the National Health Service has a second opinion.
The Weekly Standard
May 30, 2005
THE MOST IMPORTANT BIOETHICS
LITIGATION in the world today involves a 45-year-old Englishman, Leslie
Burke. He isn't asking for very much. Burke has a progressive
neurological disease that may one day deprive him of the ability to
swallow. If that happens, Burke wants to receive food and water through
a tube. Knowing that Britain's National Health Service (NHS) rations
care, Burke sued to ensure that he will not be forced to endure death by
dehydration against his wishes.
Burke's lawsuit is even more important
to the future of medical ethics than was the Terri Schiavo case. Schiavo
was dehydrated to death--a bitter and profound injustice--because Judge
George W. Greer ruled both that Terri was in a persistent vegetative
state and (based on statements she allegedly made during casual
conversations some 20 years ago) that she would not want to live under
such circumstances. In other words, Terri Schiavo lost her life in order
to safeguard her personal autonomy, though she never made the actual
decision to die.
But Burke, who is fully competent,
worries that his wishes will be ignored precisely because he wants food
and water even if he becomes totally paralyzed. Receiving food and water
when it is wanted certainly seems the least each of us should be able to
expect. But, it turns out, whether Burke lives or dies by dehydration
may not be up to him. According to National Health Service treatment
guidelines, doctors, rather than patients or their families, have the
final say about
providing or withholding care. [Read
the whole article on the "Centre for Science and Culture"
Wake of Terri's Death Saves Grandmother From Starvation and Dehydration
LaGrange, GA., April 11, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A repeat of the
Terri Shiavo death was averted on Friday when Mae Magouirk, an 81 year
old Georgia widow who had undergone 10 days of being deprived of food
and hydration, was airlifted to the University of Alabama-Birmingham
Medical Center where, according to her nephew, she is receiving food,
fluids, cardiac care and neurological help.
Magouirk, who was not terminally-ill, comatose, nor in a persistent
vegetative state, was a patient at Hospice-LaGrange in Georgia. Her
guardian, 36 year old granddaughter, Elizabeth ("Beth") Gaddy
of Hoganville, Ga., had requested that the hospice begin withholding
food and water from the patient. When WorldNetDaily (WND) first broke
this story it quoted Ms. Gaddy, an elementary school teacher and holder
of Magouirk's power of attorney who had been taking care of her
grandmother for 10 years, as saying "Grandmama is old and I think
it is time she went home to Jesus, … She has glaucoma and now this
heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like
Ms. Gaddy's decision, which was in direct contravention of Mae
Magouirk's living will, greatly disturbed Magourik's nephew, Ken
Mullinax, prompting him to contact WND with the story. The subsequent
response by readers saved his aunt's life and in gratitude Mr. Mullinax
called WND and stated:
"Because of your articles and all of the friends of Terri, my
Aunt Mae Magouirk is now in the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical
Center and is receiving food, fluids, cardiac care and neurological
help. We are overjoyed.
Praise be the name of the Lord, praise be all of the friends of Terri
Schindler [Schiavo]. We could never have mobilized public sentiment and
pressure on these people in LaGrange, Ga. - at Hospice, the LaGrange,
Ga., doctors or the probate judge - unless the friends of Terri and the
wonderful media of WorldNetDaily.com had become involved. Thank you
Reminiscent of the family struggle that surrounded the Terri Shiavo
case there were legal struggles between Magouirk's grand-daughter and
her sister Lonnie Ruth Mullinax, 74, of Birmingham, and her brother, A.B.
McLeod, 64, of Anniston, Ala.. Mae's siblings protested and
attempted to have their sister removed from the hospice and transported
to UAB Medical Center for treatment. However. Ms. Gaddy and her
brother, Michael Shane Magouirk obtained an emergency injunction from
Troup County Probate Judge Donald Boyd to prevent the planned air
Thankfully, in this case, those who sought to preserve life
Granddaughter yanks grandma's feeding tube
'Grandma' airlifted to medical center
PINELLAS PARK, Fla.
- (KRT) - Barring any unprecedented action by Gov.
Jeb Bush, it appears that no person, no court and no law stands
in the way of Terri Schiavo's death.
The U.S. Supreme Court quickly rejected Bob and Mary
Schindler's desperate plea to reinsert their daughter's feeding
tube Thursday morning. Hours later a state court judge did the
same, ratcheting up the pressure on Florida's governor.
But as activists turned their anger on the Schindlers' most
public advocate, assailing the governor for failing to use his
executive powers to take their daughter into protective custody,
Bush indicated his hands were tied.
"I cannot go beyond what my powers are, nor would I want
to," he said from Tallahassee, where he had canceled plans
for a state tour to work on the Schiavo case.
On Thursday, her sixth full day without food or water,
Schiavo, 41, was described by distraught family members as
looking like an Auschwitz survivor, and by an attorney for her
husband, Michael, as "peaceful."
The terse one-page order from the nation's highest court may
not be the last word in the gut-wrenching legal saga that has
divided her loved ones and polarized the nation, but it was the
most definitive. Justices did not indicate how they voted, or
why, but since the full court considered the Schindlers'
request, the order is final.
As news of the Supreme Court's ruling reached the hospice
where Schiavo is dying, some protesters who have kept a
round-the-clock vigil wept. Others were visibly shaken.
Addressing them with a bullhorn, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney,
director of the Christian Defense Coalition, summoned them to
pray for the governor.
"At this point and time, it appears that every legal
option has been exhausted. Gov. Bush is now the only practical
hope for Terri Schiavo," Mahoney said. "We pray you
will give him the strength and courage to resist this judicial
action. Father, we pray for Governor Bush."
Issued less than 12 hours after the Schindlers filed their
appeal, the high court ruling was followed by a state court
hearing and two back-to-back orders from Pinellas Circuit Judge
George W. Greer that dealt more setbacks to the governor and the
Each had hoped new evidence of abuse and of Terri Schiavo's
medical condition alleged by the state Department of Children
& Families on Wednesday would allow the agency to take her
into protective custody and resume her artificial feedings. But,
it did not
Greer, who has consistently agreed with Michael Schiavo that
his wife is in a persistent vegetative state and would chose to
end the artificial feedings that have kept her alive for 15
years, ruled that the agency's attempted intervention
"appears to be brought for the purpose of
circumventing" his court orders.
As Greer conducted hearings on other matters, a group of
about 30 protestors gathered outside the Clearwater courthouse
and prayed for a change of heart.
"Lord, let your mercy triumph over this wicked judge's
unjust judgments," said Natalie Patton, kneeling outside
Court deputies refused to allow a smaller group to gather
outside his courtroom, citing recent death threats against the
judge, who is escorted to and from work by armed deputies.
DCF appealed Greer's order to the Florida Supreme Court,
which dismissed the appeal Thursday night. Meanwhile, Michael
Schiavo's lawyer urged a cease-fire in the legal war, and a
peaceful end for Terri Schiavo as Easter approaches.
"This case is over," George Felos said, shortly
after the Supreme Court ruled. "Her wishes should be
carried out and, in that spirit, I hope that the parents do not
continue pursing fruitless legal options to the end. I think
their time would be better served in reflection."
Distraught and desperate, Bob and Mary Schindler, however,
would not give up. Following the setbacks in state court, their
attorneys returned to federal court in Tampa Thursday evening,
begging the same judge who once already this week refused to
order their daughter's feeding tube reinserted to change his
mind. U.S. District Judge James Whittemore had not ruled late
The Schindlers won the right to take their case to the
federal court after Congress passed an extraordinary act on Palm
Sunday in the hope that it would force a federal judge to order
the tube's reinsertion.
The whirlwind of unsuccessful legal activity left activists
to rest their fleeting hopes on the governor. Florida lawmakers
are no longer players in this epic struggle. They recessed for
Easter after the Senate narrowly rejected a bill Wednesday that
would have prevented the removal of feeding tubes from patients
in vegetative patients who, like Terri Schiavo, did not leave
written instructions about their wishes.
In Tallahassee, conservative activists Alan Keyes, a
commentator and frequent Republican candidate, and Larry Klayman,
the former president of Judicial Watch, met briefly with a Bush
aide to press their views that the governor had a constitutional
obligation to defy court and legislative actions that could
result in Terri Schiavo's death.
"The judges don't get to tell the governor what is
constitutional in his use of executive power," Keyes said
outside the state Capitol. "He is oath-bound to make that
judgment for himself."
But Joseph Little, a constitutional law expert at the
University of Florida, said Bush has no constitutional authority
to defy court rulings. . . . .
Still, Terri Schiavo's supporters were not giving up. Randall
Terry, a longtime anti-abortion activist and a spokesman for
Schiavo's parents, rounded up a bus load of people that left
Pinellas Park late Thursday for Tallahassee in order to protest
in front of the governor's mansion today.
"I promise you, if she dies, there will be hell to
pay," Terry said.
As night fell and Terri Schiavo's seventh day without
ustenance or hydration approached, hundreds stood outside the
hospice chanting, "Give Terri water! Give Terri
. . . .
(Orlando Sentinel correspondents John Kennedy and Tamara
Lytle contributed to this report.)
© 2005, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).
Visit the Sentinel on the World Wide Web at http://www.orlandosentinel.com.
On America Online, use keyword: OSO.
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.
Governor Bush Appeals Schiavo Case to US Supreme Court
October 25, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Florida Governor Jeb Bush is
appealing a Florida Supreme Court decision to overturn the Florida
electorate-created Terri's Law.
The Florida high court ruled last month that the Florida legislature
overstepped its authority by creating the Law, enacted last year to halt
brain-damaged Terri Schiavo's euthanasia by her estranged husband,
Michael. At the same time, Terri's parents are appealing a separate
ruling by a local court, to examine Terri Schiavo's true wishes to be
kept alive in her current condition.
"This case is not only about Terri Schiavo, but also about the role
of the courts and the Legislature and the governor," attorney for
Bush, Ken Connor, told The Tampa Tribune news. "Who is going to be
the chief architect of policy in this state?" he said. "The
largely unelected judiciary or the elected branches with the most
Connor also asked local judge, George Greer, for a stay of the order
allowing Michael Schiavo to remove Terri's feeding tube, which Michael
Schiavo said he would do as early as Friday. Greer said the feeding tube
must remain until December 6, allowing Terri's parents time to appeal a
separate ruling made by Greer Friday, denying the Schindler's a new
trial regarding their daughter's wishes.
Bob and Mary Schindler requested an appeal of Greer's order, to impart
proof that -- assuming Michael Schiavo's charge that Terri said she
would not want to be kept alive in the event of her disability was true
-- Terri would have changed her mind about being kept alive if she had
knowledge of Pope John Paul II's March address to an international
congress on the subject.
See the related LifeSiteNews.com Special Report:
Commentary on the address by Pope John Paul II to the participants in
the International Congress on "Life-Sustaining Treatments and
Vegetative State: Scientific Advances and Ethical Dilemmas"
See Friday's LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Schiavo's Life at Risk: Gov Bush Denied Appeal to Save Her
Schiavo "Very Much Alive and Responsive" according to
PINELLAS PARK, Florida, January 5, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Terri
Schiavo, the now famous, brain-disabled daughter of Robert and Mary
Schindler, is "very much alive and responsive," according to
the attorneys of Schiavo's parents.
The Schindler's were allowed a rare visit Christmas Eve; they were
accompanied by their new attorneys, David Gibbs III and Barbara Weller.
Gibbs and Weller, of Gibbs Law Firm in Seminole, FL, took on the role of
lead counsel for the Schindlers in September of 2004.
The Christmas Eve visit was the first time either of the attorneys had
been able to see Terri since taking the case. They made the visit with
Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, and members of her immediate
Counsel was able to personally verify the fact that Terri is not in a
coma or even in a comatose state. She was purposefully interactive,
curious and expressive with her parents during the entire 45-minute
visit. Mrs. Weller wrote a moving narrative describing in detail her
reactions and observations during this visit.
"When she heard their voices, and particularly her mother's voice,
Terri instantly turned her head towards them and smiled," Weller
said. "Terri established eye contact with her family, particularly
with her mother, who spent the most time with her during our visit. It
was obvious that she recognized the voices in the room with the
exception of one."
Read Weller's narrative
Medical Association "Preferred Bioethicist" Says Infanticide
January 26, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - John Harris, the British Medical
Association's "preferred bioethicist" and Manchester
University professor of ethics revealed yesterday that he felt
infanticide was justifiable for disabled children.
During an unreported debate last week on sex selection, Harris told the
Commons Science and Technology Committee that he did not see a
difference between killing a child at 40 weeks gestation versus killing
the child after it was born. He also said that infanticide is accepted
in most countries and that it was for families to decide the fate of
their child. "I don't think infanticide is always unjustifiable. I
don't think it is plausible to think that there is any moral change that
occurs during the journey down the birth canal," he said.
The comments sparked fury from Pro life groups. Spokeswoman for the UK
ProLife Party, Julia Millington, who posed the question, said "It
is frightening to think that university students are being educated by
somebody who endorses the killing of new-born babies, and equally
worrying to discover that such a person is the establishment's
'preferred' bioethicist. Prof. Harris is a member of the Human Genetics
Commission, and has acted as ethical consultant to the Department of
Health and to numerous international bodies. In such a climate is it any
wonder that a baby has been aborted in the UK at seven months for a
Reverend Joanna Jepson, curate of the Church of England, who is going to
the High Court to try to block late abortions for trivial reasons such
as a cleft palate, said "It is frightening to hear anyone endorsing
infanticide but it is shocking when the person is responsible for
Read local coverage at:
MD to Make New Suicide Machine"
"SAN DIEGO Jan. 12
 — An Australian doctor plans to build a new machine for
people to kill themselves with carbon monoxide after his prototype was
seized as he left his native country, he told a euthanasia conference
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Demands an Investigation into
theProduction and Distribution of the Exit Bag-Homicide Bag in Canada.
A statement issued on July
10, 2002 by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. in the wake of the
Evelyn Martyns case, reads in part:
"The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is
disappointed with the lack of enforcement by Canadian legal authorities
concerning the production and distribution of the Exit Bag - Homicide
Bag by the Right to Die Society of Canada.
"The Exit Bag is a suicide/homicide bag that is made of
heavy-duty plastic that has been designed for optimum effectiveness in
killing persons who wear the bag. The Canadian made Exit Bag is
distributed with an instruction booklet entitled: The Art &
Science of Suicide
"The Exit Bag is not only tailor-made for committing suicide,
but it is also a device that can be put over the head of an unsuspecting
elderly person or person with a disability. The production and
distribution of the Exit Bag directly threatens people with disabilities
and other vulnerable Canadians who are pressured by their
"care-givers" or killed without their consent because they are
considered a burden.
"In August 2001, Wesley Smith, lawyer, consumer advocate, and
author of the award winning book: Culture of Death, exposed
Australia’s Doctor Death, Philip Nitschke, and his Voluntary
Euthanasia Research Foundation for breaking Australian law by promoting
the Canadian made Exit Bag. Australian law states that it is illegal to
Counsel or Aid someone to commit suicide. Australian authorities
acted by banning the import of the Exit Bag into Australia because it
contravened their criminal code.
"Canada and Australia share the same laws concerning the
counselling and aiding of suicide. Section 241 of the Criminal Code
states: Every one who (a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or
(b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide
ensues or not, is guilty of an offense and liable to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding fourteen years.
"In September 2001, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
collected and disseminated information concerning the Right to Die
Society of Canada’s involvement in producing and distributing the Exit
Bag on a world-wide basis. We then sent all of our information to the
RCMP with a formal letter requesting that an investigation be done into
the production and distribution of the Exit Bag in Canada. No response
was ever received.
"In October 2001, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition produced a
10 minute video concerning the Exit Bag that featured Wesley Smith,
Richard Marchak, a Canadian attorney, and Adrian Dieleman, a disabled
Canadian who had a friend who used an Exit Bag to commit suicide. After
we had the video professionally produced and copied we sent copies
(December 2001) to members of parliament, as well as the Solicitor
General and the Department of Justice. Minimal response has been
"On January 15, 2002 we took part in a one hour call-in
television show concerning the Exit Bag. The show featured Ruth von
Fuchs from the Toronto chapter of the Right to Die Society of Canada;
Hugh Scher, Constitutional lawyer and former chair of the Council of
Canadians with Disabilities Human Rights Committee; and Alex Schadenberg,
executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Copies of
this programme have been distributed throughout Canada.
"On that program Ruth von Fuchs clearly explains how and what
the Exit Bag is used for and consequently reveals how her organization
is disregarding Canadian law. Hugh Scher explained that the only reason
the Right to Die Society is getting away with breaking the law is that
those who use the Exit Bag do so quietly. Hugh Scher stated that:
"These are criminal code offenses for good reason. Particularly
they are there to protect the vulnerable, they are there to protect
victims whose lives will be taken with or without consent."
"Statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
show that 95% of all people who attempt or commit suicide are
experiencing severe depression. Depression is treatable.
"Last week, researchers in Oregon released a study that found
that almost 90% of those who request assistance in suicide in Oregon,
change their minds when they are provided the proper care. Dr. Susan
Tolle, director of the Center for Ethics in Health Care stated that:
"most seriously ill people who ask about doctor-assisted suicide
are actually afraid of pain or other issues and need to be reassured.
Doctors should ask ‘What are you afraid of? What are you worried
about?’" They should then provide the necessary care.
"We are concerned that vulnerable and/or depressed Canadians who
have been abandoned or who fear medical treatment or have not received
the best medical care, may be counselled, pressured, aided or abetted by
the Right to Die Society to commit suicide with assistance. The Right to
Die Society has shown disregard for Canadian law and is politically
motivated rather than compassionately based.
"The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition asks Canadian legal
authorities why the production and distribution of the Exit Bag by the
Right to Die Society of Canada has not been stopped? . . . .
"We question why the judge placed a publication ban on the facts
concerning the deaths of Leyanne Burchall of Vancouver and Monique
Charest of Duncan BC . . .
"The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition demands that the current
laws be enforced in order to protect every Canadian and that the full
weight of the law be used to stop the death activists from killing or
pressuring others to kill themselves.
"The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition will continue to support
and direct people toward the compassionate care that they need."
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Tel: (519) 439-3348 or 1-877-439-3348
Woman Faces Assisted Suicide Charge
from an article by Louise Dickson, Vancouver Sun, Saturday, June
VICTORIA -- A Greater Victoria woman has been charged with helping
64-year-old Monique Charest of Duncan commit suicide.
Evelyn Marie Martens, 71, has also been charged with counselling
former nun, to commit suicide on Jan. 7.
Martens was arrested on the Patricia Bay Highway on Wednesday evening
getting off the ferry from Vancouver. She appeared in Duncan provincial
court on Thursday and remains in custody.
Duncan RCMP Sergeant Derek Crawford said he could not release details of
the investigation because a publication ban on the proceedings had been
imposed in court.
Regional coroner Lisa Lapointe said her office had been investigating
case along with the RCMP from the date of Charest's death. An autopsy
been performed but Lapointe said she could not release the cause of
any finding while the criminal investigation was still under way.
Martens is to appear in Duncan provincial court again for a bail hearing
July 2. Her sister said she did not want to speak about the case.
Counselling a person to commit suicide and aiding and abetting a person
commit suicide are indictable offences. If found guilty, a person is
to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.
Martens' name is mentioned in a brief published on the Internet by John
Hofsess, founder of The Right to Die Society of Canada. The society was
formed in 1991 to give Canadians a practical means of changing the law
permit choice in dying. . . . .
Supreme Court Denies Latimer
By SUE BAILEY-- Canadian Press
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
OTTAWA (CP) -- The country's highest court won't reopen the Robert
The Supreme Court of Canada offered no reasons Tuesday as it dismissed
application to rehear the emotionally charged case of the Saskatchewan
farmer who killed his disabled daughter in what he maintains was an act
Letters which Latimer sent the top court were treated as a motion to
a verdict handed down in January 2001. Judgments are rarely
and usually only if a new issue has come to light.
Latimer, 48, entered prison almost 16 months ago after losing his court
fight for a lesser sentence in a ruling that still stirs powerful and
The high court said Latimer must serve the minimum, mandatory sentence
second-degree murder -- life with no full parole for 10 years.
He can apply for day parole in six years.
Latimer held to the end that he killed 12-year-old Tracy with exhaust
in 1993 to spare her further agony from surgery to ease severe cerebral
Tracy's mental age was about three months and she could not walk, talk
feed herself. Chronic pain from a dislocated hip and previous operations
intense in her final months and death was "the best thing for
Latimer started writing to the top court last June about its decision to
deny his appeal. He wrote on at least three other occasions, including a
request for information on court processes.
The Supreme Court informed Latimer last February that his letters would
treated as a motion for re-hearing the case.
Latimer has inspired campaigns both for his early release and in support
the minimum, mandatory jail term.
To some, he is the victim of unjust minimum sentences that prohibit
compassion in special circumstances. To others, he is a murderer who
jailed to the extent of the law as a strong signal that society's
will be protected.
After Latimer's 1997 conviction, the jury recommended one year in jail
another year of house arrest on his farm near Wilkie, Sask.
The trial judge allowed the reduced sentence by giving Latimer a rare
constitutional exemption from life in prison without chance of parole
years, as required by law.
To do otherwise would be "cruel and unusual" given the facts
of the case, he
But the trial judge was overruled by the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.
restored the mandatory minimum sentence and was later upheld by the top
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Kills Euthanasia Bill
Thursday, May 2, 2002 Star
"A bill to legalize assisted suicide
in Hawaii failed . . . ." [article
in Honolulu Star-Bulletin]
From Tuesday, 1 January, 2002, 09:36
GMT BBC News:
Legalises "Mercy Killing"
". . . . The Netherlands has become the first country in the world
to legalise euthanasia, giving terminally ill patients the right to end
"The new law means that doctors no longer face prosecution for
carrying out mercy killings if they are performed with due care."
the BBC article.]
"Dutch medics back 'euthanasia' doctor"
"About 5,000 Dutch people are helped to die each year"
By Geraldine Coughlan at The Hague
"In the Netherlands a group of doctors have announced that they
have set up
a fund to pay the legal costs of one of their colleagues who is
against a murder conviction for assisting the death of a patient who had
"The case widens the debate on mercy killings in the Netherlands,
became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia on the 1
"A Dutch court found Dr Wilfred van Ooijen guilty of murder last
year but did
not sentence him.
"The doctor helped an 84-year-old woman to die in a Christian
"The patient was terminally ill and in a coma, but had not
euthanasia - one of the conditions required for a doctor to end a
"Dr van Ooijen also failed to meet another requirement when he did
a second medical opinion.
"The doctor's supporters claim the case is not about euthanasia but
ethics, and that doctors encounter similar situations regularly.
"An estimated 5,000 people die from euthanasia in the Netherlands
year, but only half of these cases are reported. "
"Under the new law doctors can no longer be prosecuted if they
euthanasia with due care. The authorities hope this will encourage more
"But some doctors like Dr van Ooijen do not always adhere to the
medical guidelines, when they take the decision to help a patient with a
"And some experts feel the cases of many mercy killings will
continue to go
unreported, while doctors fear that they, like Dr van Ooijen, could end
being labelled a murderer. . . . ." [BBC
Princeton University Professor
--Associated Press Report
By Harry R. Weber, Associated Press, 10/5/2001
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) Bioethicist Peter Singer got a respectful reception
Friday as he told advocates for the disabled it is morally acceptable to
severely disabled newborns.
The Governor's Commission on Disability was harshly criticized for
Singer to Friday's conference because of that stance, first enunciated
But only about 20 people protested outside, and few in the audience of
about 200 heeded requests from critics that they refrain from applauding
when Singer spoke.
Many of the protesters defended Singer's right to his views, but said it
outrageous for a state agency to sponsor his visit.
''Singer has a right to say what he wants. That doesn't mean we have to
him a forum,'' said Daniel Itse, a Republican state representative from
Singer acknowledged the controversy over his appearance and the
underlying issue of free speech by quoting Voltaire: ''I may not agree
what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.''
The Princeton University professor then lived up to his reputation as a
provocative thinker and speaker.
''I do think that it is sometimes appropriate to kill a human
infant,'' he said,
adding that he does not believe a newborn has a right to life until it
some minimum level of consciousness.
''For me, the relevant question is, what makes it so seriously wrong to
a life?'' Singer asked. ''Those of you who are not vegetarians are
for taking a life every time you eat. Species is no more relevant than
making these judgments.'' [emphasis added by BCPTL
Singer said society condones other efforts by parents to influence their
future children's attributes. On some Ivy League campuses, ads in
papers offer big money to entice female students to donate eggs.
''This is clearly the genetic supermarket at an early stage,'' he said.
If it is all right for people to try to breed children with high IQs and
desirable characteristics, Singer asked, what is wrong with euthanizing
newborns who would suffer throughout their lives because of a severe
Before the speech, Itse held a sign saying, ''Singer's got the wrong
He said his 7-year-old son, Jarrod, was born with a severe brain injury,
doctors gave him only a few weeks to live. But he said the boy has
''Though he can't communicate, he grunts and groans and makes himself
known and, remarkably, he's quite effective at it,'' Itse said.
Another protester, Tom Cagle, 50, of Henniker, wore a T-shirt with the
of a disability rights group, ''Not Dead Yet.''
''Peter Singer is absolutely notorious for misquoting disabled people,''
Cagle, who has multiple sclerosis. ''He's a bad scientist because he's
Commission Director Michael Jenkins said his group abhors Singer's
positions, but wanted him as a speaker to prompt debate on important
issues. When the Executive Council, an elected body that reviews
contracts, refused to approve Singer's $2,000 fee, Singer agreed to
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Gordon Humphrey, who arrived after
entered the conference, criticized Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen for
rescinding Singer's invitation.
''It's an outrage she let in this cruel crackpot who advocates killing
''No civilized government in America should give him an honored place to
Shaheen's spokeswoman Pamela Walsh said the governor doesn't support
Singer's views, but believes he had a right to express them. She said
commission wanted a chance to confront Singer.
''I have no idea why Gordon Humphrey is making this an issue,'' Walsh
Humphrey lost to Shaheen last year but is expected to run again next
His vote against the Americans with Disabilities Act when he was a U.S.
senator in 1990 became an issue in last year's campaign.
Other speakers at the conference said Singer's views are a sign that the
struggle for equal rights for the disabled is far from over, especially
''I do know that I don't want others judging me by my genetic
and I don't want others to have access to that information,'' said Paul
Miller, a lawyer with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Miller, who has a form of dwarfism, added, ''No employer should ever
your genetic records along with your resume.''
On the Net:
Not Dead Yet: http://www.notdeadyet.org
Governor's Commission on Disability: http://webster.state.nh.us/disability
Princeton's Center for Human Values: http://www.princeton.edu/(tilde)uchv
We are indebted to Pro-Life E-News for the immediately
foregoing article. We repeat below the statement from that
'The material contained in this file is
available courtesy contributors and editors of
"Copying of this material is free for non-commercial
educational and research use. Unless explicitly stated,
copyright of this material is owned by the author
and/or sponsoring organization, and/or newswire services."
PRI Weekly Briefing 16 October 2001 Vol. 3/ No. 26
Claims Robert Latimer Started a Trend.
A University of Alberta psychologist says that Robert
Latimer's killing of his daughter started a trend. After the start
of his trial, "altruistic filicide" rose 54%. Lawyers
who defended Latimer expressed skepticism regarding the professor's
April 3, 2002, article in the National Post Online.]
Defense of Life
Delivered in Parliamentary Euthanasia Debate"
OTTAWA, October 30, 2001 (LSN.ca) - In a debate in the House of Commons
Friday, Canadian Alliance MP Jason Kenney made a spirited defense of the
right to life in remarks against euthanasia. Kenney spoke to a private
members bill on the issue of lenient penalties for those who claim to
murder the disabled out of misguided sympathy.
The bill was presented by NDP MP Wendy Lill, with
Kenney, Grant McNally and
Karen Kraft Sloan speaking in favour of the motion. The official
government response delivered by Lynn Myers (Parliamentary Secretary to
Solicitor General of Canada), obfuscated by talking around the motion
rather than addressing it. She outlined the history and nature of the
Prerogative of Mercy, which the bill asks not be given to those who kill
disabled out of supposed "mercy".
Kenney said, "we cannot and must not make distinctions between
persons and their right to life." He called the
"sanctity of human life,"
the "first principle" of "our entire legal structure,
legal system and, I
would suggest, western civilization." Thus "to take the
individuals because of the circumstances of their life, be it their
ethnicity, religion, age, social or economic condition or their physical
and mental condition is to violate the very first premise upon which a
society founded on the rule of law exists," he said.
Kenney interpreted the preamble to the Constitution "Whereas Canada
founded upon principles which recognize the supremacy of God and the
of law" to mean that "the rights which we possess, the rights
of which the
charter speaks, are not rights granted by the state, by a legislature or
a court, nor are they rights that can be abrogated by any of those
institutions. Rather, these are rights that are inherent and inalienable
the human person. No man, no parliament, no father, even a father in
emotional turmoil and confusion, has the right to suspend and to violate
the inalienable dignity of the human person."
He reminded the House that a "horrific example" of a state
which "made a
qualitative distinction between different human beings based on
criteria" was the Nazi system. He recalled that the
"Nazi movement started
its reign of terror and death, not with the execution of Jews in the
Holocaust but rather with the eugenics program which sought to eliminate
those who were deemed imperfect because of some condition of life, such
being mentally or physically disabled."
"Dutch Doctor Convicted in
Euthanasia Test Case"
(By Jana Sanchez, Yahoo News, December 7, 2001)
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch doctor was convicted on Thursday of
assisting suicide in a test case that sought to define the limits of
euthanasia in the Netherlands, the first country to make it legal.
An appeals court in Amsterdam found physician Philip Sutorius guilty but
did not give him a jail sentence, court spokeswoman Liesbeth Dubois told
Euthanasia supporters criticised the verdict, saying it too narrowly
the medical justification for euthanasia, and hoped the doctor would
to the country's highest court.
Sutorius aided former Senator Edward Brongersma in taking his life in
Brongersma was suffering from incontinence, dizziness and immobility and
said he was tired of life.
``The reason he was found guilty was because he did not act for medical
reasons, but rather because the patient was tired of life,'' Dubois
``But the court did not sentence him because he acted out of compassion
for his patient and because the court viewed this as a test case by the
prosecutor,'' she added.
The prosecution hopes to use the case to define the limits of
she said. The prosecution had appealed against an earlier judgment from
Haarlem court which acquitted Sutorius. That court found the doctor had
fulfilled all the criteria for assisting Brongersma in ending his life.
Although the assisted suicide happened before the law was enacted, the
court considered the current law in its judgment, Dubois said.
Under the new law, passed in April, doctors can still be prosecuted if
fail to follow strict rules which insist that adult patients must make a
voluntary, well-considered and lasting request to die.
Patients must face a future of unbearable suffering and there must be no
reasonable alternative in order to be allowed to die. A second doctor
be consulted and the assisted suicide must be carried out in a medically
Supporters of euthanasia said the ruling was wrong.
``Mr Brongersma's death was according to the law now and in 1998,'' said
Rob Jonquiere, managing director of the Dutch Voluntary Euthanasia
``He didn't have a real illness like cancer, but he was tired of life
and he had
minor physical problems. He suffered from his situation,'' said
Sutorius is now deciding whether to appeal to the nation's highest
``We hope he will appeal, but it costs a lot emotionally.''
The Dutch Medical Federation (KNMG), which represents 33,000 Dutch
physicians, said that although it found the court's judgment a little
did not think the doctor's actions were within the bounds of the current
``We think it was beyond the bounds of the current law. There was no
unbearable physical or psychiatric suffering. We don't think being fed
with life is a reason for euthanasia,'' Paul de Vries, spokesman for the
KNMG told Reuters. [source]
Bending the rules?"
[A] . . . study found that in 1995 almost two thirds of
cases of euthanasia and physicial-assisted suicide went
unreported." [from BBC
News Online: background briefings, Nov., 2000]