Discussion

Assisted Suicide: “Once we start up this ride, we won't be able to get off”

Alex Schadenberg - 3 hours 28 min ago
This article was published by HOPE Australia on December 15, 2017
Federal Member for Perth Tim Hammond spoke out against assisted suicide, pointing to the dangers it could lead to and the need for more comprehensive palliative care.

Hammond had to watch his father die of a long-running illness when he was only 54, as well as his sister-in-law, who passed away from an incurable cancer at the age of 42.

He also worked as a lawyer on behalf on individuals with Mesothelioma. Having contracted the cancer from working with deadly asbestos dust, his clients usually only had around nine months to live. He worked to bring retribution to these individuals and their families.

Hammond articulately defends his position, citing the need for better palliative care and the danger of giving the same doctors who are supposed to save lives the ability to take them:How do we reconcile the fundamental ethical obligation of our physicians not to be “involved in interventions that have as their primary intention the ending of a person’s life”, yet under this legislation, they are integral to the process of knowingly ending a person’s life prematurely?” There is a world of difference between a doctor not taking active steps to preserve the life of someone at the end stages of their disease and unequivocally ending another person’s life, which is what this legislation contemplates. … Perhaps the most troubling thing about the prospect of lawful euthanasia is that we don’t know where it will end up… I have a terrible feeling that once we start up this ride, we won’t be able to get off it.He also states explicitly that he would have opposed the Victorian legislation.

It is a shame that the legislators in Victoria did not share Hammond’s view. However, it is encouraging to see an Australian politician that is willing to take a stand against assisted suicide, and protect the lives of vulnerable individuals.
Categories: Discussion

Abortion pills: a safer, easier and more convenient option? The evidence says ‘no’

Christian Medical Fellowship - 7 hours 39 min ago

 The President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Professor Lesley Regan, has joined in calls for women to be able to take abortion pills ‘in the comfort of their own homes’, rather than an abortion clinic or hospital under medical supervision. Scotland has already revealed plans to change the law and Regan has pledged to campaign for the right for women to do so in England and Wales. She has been busy doing so across the media this week in The Times, Woman’s Hour, The Guardian, Daily Mail etc.

Both Regan and Anne Furedi, CEO of British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), one of Britain’s leading abortion providers, claim that this is ‘safe and sensible’ and that ‘it is unacceptable for any woman to be made to risk miscarrying on her way home from a clinic.’  It is also potentially time-consuming and cumbersome in that each visit may involve rearranging work and childcare commitments.’  Despite presenting no hard evidence for these claims, they remain unchallenged in the media.

Current practice
Medical abortions accounted for 62% of total abortions in England and Wales in 2016 – a big increase from the 30% of medical abortions carried out in 2006. In Scotland, medical abortions account for 81% of the total.

Medical abortions are most commonly used for early abortions, up to nine weeks, but can also be used after 13 weeks of pregnancy. A woman is given an oral dose of Mifegyne (mifepristone, also known as RU486) at a clinic/hospital to kill the fetus. Following a short wait to ensure that the drug has absorbed properly, women leave the hospital or clinic. The second stage of the abortion involves attendance at the hospital or clinic, up to 48 hours later, when misoprostol is administered, either orally or vaginally. This causes uterine cramping to expel the dead fetus.

Section 1(3) of the Abortion Act 1967 says treatment for early medical abortion can only take place in a NHS hospital or approved independent sector place. According to NHS guidance, the courts have decided that this means that both mifepristone and misoprostol must be taken in the hospital or approved independent sector place. Women leave the premises after the first dose and may be given the choice to either stay on the premises or to go home, after taking misoprostol, for the expulsion of the fetus. A follow up visit is advised 7-14 days later to ensure that the abortion is complete and there are no complications.

Those campaigning for a change want the woman to take the second set of pills at home. They say it will be easier for women to take it on a Friday, to have the final part of the abortion at the weekend, and it would give more comfort and privacy.

Regan admitted on Woman’s Hour that there is no hard evidence or data showing that women are having problems with the current arrangements, relying instead on anecdotal evidence. Presumably the driver is her desire to make the whole process of abortion even easier and less regulated.

In all the coverage, no mention has been made of the medical evidence on taking abortion drugs. Yet there are many reasons why taking them is far from ‘safe’ and ‘easy’ and why changing practice will be to the detriment of women’s physical and emotional health.

  1. Although campaigners say that the patient’s home should be the location where misoprostol is taken, once she leaves the clinic there is nothing to stop the abortion pill being taken at other locations such as schools, colleges etc. It is not clear how the NHS could ensure the pills are taken at home – they lose all control over that once the woman leaves the clinic. In reality, the pills can be taken anywhere.
  1. It removes all medical information, supervision and support for a medical procedure. While this is of concern for all women it is particularly so with teenage girls or other vulnerable women. There is no control over when, where or even who is taking the pills. Taking such strong drugs is not to be taken lightly; in trials, almost all women using mifepristone for medical abortions experienced abdominal pain or uterine cramping; and a significant number experienced nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. But the complications can be worse than this as I will show.
  1. Contrary to claims by the Scottish Government, and indeed most people’s assumption, medical abortions are not safer than surgical. A study of 42,600 first trimester abortions in Finland (where there is good registry data, unlike the UK) found that six weeks post abortion the incidence of complications after medical abortion was four times higher than surgical – 20% compared to 5.6%. 
  1. For later medical abortions, after 13 weeks gestation, the proportion of incomplete medical abortions that needed subsequent surgical intervention varies widely between studies, ranging from 2.5% in one study up to 53% in a UK multicentre study.
  1. Even for early medical abortions, up to 9 weeks gestation, the RCOG reports (p41) a Finnish study that found 6% of women needed subsequent surgical intervention compared with less than 1% of those having surgical abortions. Part of the reason for this is that high doses of the abortion drugs can lead to unacceptably high levels of side effects, but with lower doses some failures will occur and then abortion by another method is needed. 
  1. Women may be unaware that their abortion is incomplete and therefore only seek medical help when infection develops. Taking the pill outside of medical supervision will compound this.
  1. Vaginal bleeding or spotting lasts on average 9-16 days, while up to 8% of patients bleed for 30 days or more. This is hardly surprising, since during medical abortion loss of the placenta and fetus continues gradually for some days/weeks afterwards, until the uterus is empty. The RCOG reports that women are more likely to seek medical help for bleeding after medical abortion than after surgical, and to report heavier bleeding than they expected, and for longer.
  1. The incidence of haemorrhage is much higher in women undergoing medical abortion, (although there are discrepancies in reported rates due to ill-defined criteria in reporting). The Finnish record-linkage study of 42,600 women found rates of consultation for haemorrhage were 15.6% after medical compared to 2.1% after surgical abortion.
  1. Hospitalisation rates, while low overall, are worse for medical abortions. Government stats for England and Wales show complications involving hospitalisation are more than twice as likely after medical abortions than after surgical ones: 206 compared to 88. However the RCOG acknowledges that a lack of standardisation in reporting in the UK hampers collection of accurate data so this number is likely to be higher. Statistics are usually drawn from clinic or hospital records that will under-represent the true rate as some women experiencing complications follow up elsewhere.
  1. Abortion clinics (mainly run byBPAS and Marie Stopes International) are not routinely required to record the woman’s NHS number, thus subsequent women’s health events cannot easily be linked backed to the abortion, and longitudinal research is almost impossible. This lack of data means that the outcomes of abortion (any adverse effects) cannot be easily tracked in England and Wales. In other words, many complications are missed off records and not collected by Government stats.  So, Regan and Furedi have no reliable data to verify their claims of safety. Until abortion clinics record NHS numbers routinely, they are failing to take responsibility for the long-term health of women.  We do however have evidence from the CQC that there are major safety flaws and serious incidents at some Marie Stopes International clinics.
  1. We know from anecdotal data that the psychological fall out from medical abortions completed at home can be severe, partly because women usually see the fetus, which they then have to flush away themselves. It is not hidden from them in the way a surgical abortion keeps the fetus from view of the woman. Moreover, the reminder of the abortion is always in the home, not in an anonymous clinic that they can leave behind.

One young girl describes her own experience of having a medical abortion at home:

‘I had to go from two appointments for the abortion on the Thursday and the Saturday. I took the first pill and then went back on the Saturday for the second. I think the best way of describing what happened next is to read out a bit from [boyfriend’s] version of events: 

‘The day she took the final pill and came back to my flat to wait for it to pass truly drew a new line in the sand. The hours of pain she suffered, it utterly ripped me apart to see her writhing in agony, interspersed with trips to the toilet as the process started. It culminated in one trip from which she didn’t return, all I heard was sobs, drained of energy she couldn’t even cry with the force the pain deserved. I soon discovered that it wasn’t the pain the sobs were for, it was for what she had seen in the toilet. A recognisable shape. Then flushed away.

Categories: Discussion

Jerusalem, Israel's Capital: Watch the Masks Fall

Gatestone Institute - 9 hours 57 min ago
When the actual announcement came, nothing happened. Those who were exploiting sensitivities related to Jerusalem -- especially political Islamists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah -- come mainly from the axis of resistance, led by Iran. While mainstream
Categories: Discussion

Think the Alabama result has derailed Donald Trump? Think again

Gatestone Institute - 11 hours 57 min ago
Pundits are furiously assessing the broader consequences of the Democrats' upset Senate victory in Alabama on Tuesday, but there is less there than meets the eye. True, the Republican Senate majority now hangs by a thread, forcing even harder fights for
Categories: Discussion

Disabled lives are worth living. Euthanasia implies otherwise.

Alex Schadenberg - Thu, 2017-12-14 21:21
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The New Zealand government is now officially debating a bill to legalize euthanasia. Today Stuff News published an excellent article by Claire Freeman, who writes from the disability perpective.

Claire FreemanFreeman opposes euthanasia based on her personal experience. Freeman notes that the bill is not limited to people who are terminally ill. Freeman wrote:
However, the bill contains another clause which states that anyone with a grievous and irremediable medical condition will also qualify for euthanasia.  This is a very important aspect but seems to be often omitted. This "grievous and irremediable" definition covers many people, especially those with severe disabilities, and this is where my concern lies.Freeman wrote about a time in her life when she was suicidal.
As someone who has attempted suicide more than once, I know at first-hand how it feels like to be in a state where death seems a legitimate and desired option. I blamed my condition - tetraplegia - for my poor mental health at the time, but in hindsight it was my misguided coping mechanisms that were the problem, along with a very stressful and unsupported lifestyle and work environment. I was driven to explore the option of euthanasia in other countries but the cost was prohibitive. Had that option been available in New Zealand, I would very likely have qualified because of the severity of my injury. At that time, I perceived that my life was not worth living, but that perception changed.
Freeman then tells us how her life has changed.Since changing my lifestyle completely and getting the support and sleep I so desperately needed, I am now in a really good space and have been for the past two years. I am studying towards a PhD, and through social media I believe I am making a positive difference in the lives of others facing similar problems. My life has new meaning and purpose and I have never felt happier. Realising my spinal injury or tetraplegia were not the cause of my mental health problems was a groundbreaking moment for me and I am so thankful that euthanasia or assisted suicide was not an option available to me in New Zealand. I think most of us underestimate what kind of hardships we can cope with but we are adaptable and find strength to battle on - even with a serious injury like paralysis. The silver lining to my injury is that it has made me more compassionate, humble, creative and adaptable. It has also made me more fearless. I have travelled to Europe, Japan, Canada, China and the United States, and if something does go wrong I know it’s OK, because I’m alive, I’m experiencing life and seeing it through new eyes.Freeman ends her article by restating why legalizing euthanasia implies that her life is not worth living.
In one sense, I’ve been given a second chance at life. While it is commendable that we are discussing euthanasia, we need to be extremely careful not to make assumptions about the quality of life of others like myself – people with grievous and irremediable medical conditions. When the majority of health professionals believe that lives like mine are not worth living, we have a problem. From my own personal experience, during my darkest moments, I was encouraged to seek overseas euthanasia options from medical professionals so it comes as no surprise this clause has been included in the bill. What message does this bill send to those with disabilities if we decide it is acceptable to end one's life without any real understanding of those lives? Because I believe my life is of value.Diane Coleman (Not Dead Yet) letter to the Victoria legislation opposing assisted suicide.
Categories: Discussion

How Many Muslims in Europe? Pew's Projections Fall Short

Gatestone Institute - Thu, 2017-12-14 10:00
Pew's baseline estimate of the number of Muslims currently in Europe — the estimate upon which its future projections are calculated — has been undercounted by at least five million Muslims. The UCIDE figures — which posit that there are roughly 750,000
Categories: Discussion

Palestinians: Arab Rulers are Traitors, Cowards

Gatestone Institute - Thu, 2017-12-14 09:30
The decision to boycott a visit later this month by US Vice President Mike Pence comes in the context of absorbing the anger of the street. Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have also made it clear that they no longer consider the Trump administration
Categories: Discussion

Islamic Terrorism vs. Political Correctness

Gatestone Institute - Thu, 2017-12-14 09:00
Religion (in this instance, Islam) plays a smaller part in what makes terrorists tick than "the [human] need for... personal significance... Especially when it comes to violence that is shunned by most religions and most cultures, you need validation
Categories: Discussion

CBC aires propaganda programming promoting assisted death

Alex Schadenberg - Wed, 2017-12-13 20:43
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
CBC is once again promoting euthanasia.
CBC radio, the Current, aired the propaganda program - Will Pegg will die an assisted death. He couldn't feel more alive on December 11 and CBC News aired the propaganda program - Parkinson's patient forced to battle bureaucracy around assisted death on December 12.
The CBC radio (the Current) program focuses on Will Pegg who has bone cancer. This program normalizes euthanasia and details the assisted death process.
The CBC News program focuses on Nancy Vickers, who has Parkinsons. This television mini documentary is normalizing and promoting the extension of euthanasia to people who are not terminally ill and also airs the assisted death process.
The CBC Corporation, a Canadian Federal Crown Corporation receives more than $1 Billion in federal government funding.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is concerned about the suicide contagion effect related to the recent CBC propaganda programs and we are also concerned about the one-sided promotion of euthanasia by the CBC.
Last year the World Health Organization (WHO) updated their guide: Preventing suicide: a resource for media professionals. The summary of the WHO guide states:
  • Don't place stories about suicide prominently and do not unduly repeat such stories,
  • Don't use language which sensationalizes or normalizes suicide, or presents it as a constructive solution to problems,
  • Don't explicitly describe the method used,
  • Don't provide details about the site/location,
  • Don't sensationalize headlines,
  • Don't use photographs, video footage or social media links.
These CBC programs have broken nearly all of these guidelines.
Kevin Dunn, the Director of Fatal Flaws Film, responded to the CBC News program with this article: CBC Camera's roll as doctor gives lethal injection to patient.
We need you to write to the CBC Ombudsman at:ombudsman@cbc.caor write to the CBC Current at:http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/contact
Tell CBC to stop producing one-sided propaganda programs on assisted death and to redress these programs by airing the Euthanasia Deception documentary.
Categories: Discussion

CBC cameras roll as doctor gives lethal injection to patient

Alex Schadenberg - Wed, 2017-12-13 19:35
This article was published on the Fatal Flaws Film website on December 13, 2017.

By Kevin Dunn, the Director of the Fatal Flaws Film

Kevin DunnLast night, the CBC (Canada’s public broadcaster) aired a mini-doc about an assisted suicide party. It ended with (audio of) the doctor giving patient Nancy Vickers a lethal injection under the provisions of Canada’s “Medical Aid in Dying law”. Nancy had Parkinson’s disease.

Two years ago this doctor could have been charged with homicide under Canada’s criminal code. Today, he is lauded by the media as a trailblazer.

Link: Fatal Flaws Film: Legalizing Assisted Death (Early Preview).

Please understand I have incredible empathy for what Nancy was going through. Parkinson’s is a horrible, debilitating disease. I can understand why she would become so hopeless about her condition, so fearful of what was to come – that she would want to access Canada’s new law which allows for an assisted death under certain conditions. I get it. I truly do. A very dear family friend recently passed away (naturally) from a Parkinson’s related disease. It was heartbreaking to see her deteriorate and struggle as she did. I loved her dearly.

But this post is not about Nancy’s (so-called) right to an assisted death. Nor is it about my friend who died of her disease naturally. It is not about demonizing doctors – or anyone for that matter.

It is, however, about the underlying message that these stories send to the rest of society.

The headline reads ‘My life these days is hell on Earth and I don’t want to be here anymore’. With all due respect and compassion for how she felt at the time, it is the use of this headline scares the hell out of me. And it should scare all of us. Why? Each of us probably knows someone who has uttered similar words. Perhaps we have had thought them ourselves.

We can talk about safeguards and due criteria all we want, however the underlying motive is clear. Stories like this are about ‘normalizing’ the the idea of having someone end our lives when we are facing significant suffering, fear, burden or depression. Or perhaps we become just ‘tired of life’. Am I crazy for suggesting such things? Look at the Completed Life bill in the Netherlands.

This is about a radical culture shift; one that society seems so eager to embrace.

Dr. Watkins (the doctor who gave the lethal injection) says about the law, “This is very progressive for us as a country.” Yet progressive by definition means ‘happening in stages’. We have to ask ourselves what these next stages might be – especially at a time when the current law is being challenged in radical ways.

Take for example the pressure to remove “reasonably foreseeable (death)” from the language of the law. And the request to extend the law to “mature minors” and those with psychological conditions. Are these indeed ‘progressive’ moves?

Kevin Dunn outside the Netherlands euthanasia clinicHow commonplace will euthanasia clinics, like the one pictured here in The Netherlands, be in North America in the near future? Will we be able to stop abuse and coercion in a society where healthcare costs are spiralling out of control? Which of us will soon become ‘disposable’ when our quality of life is deemed unworthy of support? These are not radical considerations. These are serious questions being asked by disability rights groups and advocacy groups in America and around the world. Not many realize there is a silent majority actively opposing such laws and who have been relatively successful in holding back a tsunami of legislation.

The CBC article quotes the doctor as saying to the patient “You know, of course, you can change your mind at any time, It doesn’t affect any of the medical care you get.” An appropriate measure given the irreversible decision about to be made.

Still, I wonder how these laws are going to affect the medical care and research available to us in the future, when assisted death becomes the ‘viable’ option. Already we’ve seen cases where insurance companies will not pay for life sustaining medication while suggesting they will indeed pay for an assisted death.

That’s why we are making this film. To consider what is happening in countries like The Netherlands, Belgium and USA – whose laws have been in place for some 15-20 years.

There is no doubt in my mind that doctors like the one in this story – in fact the entire pro-euthanasia lobby – truly believe they are doing ‘good’ and providing a ‘valuable’ service to those wishing to access assisted dying laws. I disagree with their logic but would never deny their perceived ‘good’ intentions.

No matter your convictions on this issue, I believe it’s time we ask ourselves the major philosophical question of our age: “Is it right to to give doctors – or anyone – the right and law to end the life of another human? And just as important, what do these laws do to the collective conscience of society over time?”

Please consider helping us fund this film.

-Kevin Dunn, Director, Fatal Flaws film
Categories: Discussion

Widespread confusion about 'Assisted Dying" in New Zealand

Alex Schadenberg - Wed, 2017-12-13 18:00
Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:36 amPress Release: Euthanasia Free NZ

Widespread Confusion about ‘Assisted Dying’ - Poll


A new Curia Market Research poll shows New Zealanders are confused about what ‘assisted dying’ even means.

“This groundbreaking poll challenges the validity of most other polls on the issue. It shows that support for euphemisms such as ‘assisted dying’, ‘aid in dying’ or ‘assistance to end their life’ should not be taken as support for a law change,” says Renée Joubert, executive officer of Euthanasia-Free NZ.

The more strongly a person supports ‘assisted dying’, the more likely they are confused about what it includes.

Of those who strongly support ‘assisted dying’:
  • 85% thought it includes turning off life support
  • 79% thought it includes ‘do not resuscitate’ (no CPR) requests
  • 67% thought it includes the stopping of medical tests, treatments and surgeries.
In all three cases a person would die from their underlying medical condition - of natural causes.

These ‘end-of-life choices’ are legal and people can make their wishes known via Advance Care Planning.

Dr Amanda LandersDr Amanda Landers is a palliative care doctor in the South Island, caring for people with a range of life-limiting conditions. She also gives presentations to nurses, doctors and the general public.

She says that many patients, and even some doctors, are unaware that stopping life-prolonging treatment and medication is legal and ethically acceptable. This means the person dies from their underlying illness – which is completely different from an intervention which deliberately ends their life prematurely.

“I was caring for a man in his 60s who was on peritoneal dialysis. He thought he would be committing euthanasia/suicide by stopping it. This belief was weighing heavily on his mind as he thought it was morally wrong.

“Once I explained to him that stopping dialysis was acceptable and that it would allow a natural death from his underlying illness, he stopped it.

“His family was unaware of his fears of dying by suicide/euthanasia and that he wanted to stop the dialysis. It was a very emotional moment for them when they heard how he was feeling, but ultimately they supported him in his choice.”

ACT MP David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill proposes ‘assisted dying’ by administering drugs to end someone’s life, either by injection or ingestion through a tube (euthanasia) or by giving a lethal dose to a person to swallow or administer (assisted suicide).

There are subtle differences between suicide, assisted suicide and euthanasia: It’s suicide when a person ends their own life. It’s assisted suicide when a person receives help to access the means to end their life but then takes the final action themselves. It’s euthanasia when the final action is performed by another person.

Only 62% of the 894 respondents polled thought that ‘assisted dying’ includes receiving deadly drugs to swallow or self-administer (assisted suicide).

Only 68% of respondents thought that ‘assisted dying’ includes receiving deadly drugs by injection (euthanasia).

New Zealanders are significantly less supportive of the administration of lethal drugs to end someone’s life than the notion of ‘assisted dying’ as a whole.

After hearing which practices the proposed Bill would be limited to, support for ‘assisted dying’ dropped from 62% to 55%, opposition rose from 22% to 26% and unsure/refuse responses rose from 6% to 11%.

“We would expect public support to drop even further when people consider the wider implications and unintended consequences of euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation,” says Ms Joubert.

“A case in point is a 2014 UK ComRes poll which showed that public support for the Falconer Assisted Dying Bill dropped as low as 43% when people heard various arguments against changing the law or were provided with certain facts – for example the fact that six out of ten people requesting a lethal prescription in Washington State said a reason for doing so was their concern about being a burden on friends, family or caregivers.”
Categories: Discussion

Islamic Extremism: Who is Purest of Them All?

Gatestone Institute - Wed, 2017-12-13 10:00
In the twentieth century, targets were churches and synagogues; today, they are churches, synagogues, mosques, temples -- wherever there is a faith, even a Muslim one, that these Islamic fundamentalists want to "purify". Radical Islam has declared war on
Categories: Discussion

Locked up in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Gatestone Institute - Wed, 2017-12-13 09:30
What is genuinely troubling was the way in which Robert Levinson's fate has been kept largely secret. The Iranian authorities have never revealed who captured him, who currently holds him, what charges have been laid against him, or even if he is still
Categories: Discussion

Jihad Festering in America

Gatestone Institute - Wed, 2017-12-13 09:00
Saudi influence on American administrations, and relationships between senior officials in both countries, is behind Washington's ignoring Riyadh's "well-established... involvement in supporting terrorism and terrorist groups." — Report by the Institute
Categories: Discussion

Two years of euthanasia in Quebec: the facts

Alex Schadenberg - Tue, 2017-12-12 19:08
This article was published by Mercatornet on December 12, 2017
By Aubert MartinThe Canadian province is accelerating past BelgiumThe law that legalized euthanasia in Quebec – under the euphemism “medical aid in dying” – came into effect exactly two years ago, on December 10, 2015. Many promises preceded its intrusion into our health system: that this would be an exceptional measure for exceptional cases, that there would be safeguards to prevent abuse, and that very strict criteria would protect vulnerable people. In any case, they told us, it was “first and foremost a law about access to quality palliative care throughout the province.”

Today, we have concrete experience, from right here at home, that allows us to respond to a crucial question: what are the facts after two years?

First of all, the statistics blew reassuring forecasts out of the water, so much so that, in the public discourse, exceptional measures rapidly transformed into a response to a need. In fact, while we were offered a hundred or so requests in the first year, the final result shows that 469 people died by euthanasia in 2015-2016, and 638 in the following year.

In comparing our numbers to those of Belgium (as a percentage of total deaths), we observe that the first year in Quebec corresponds to the sixth year in Belgium, and that our second year is between the seventh and eighth years following the Belgian law. This is to say that Quebec threw itself headlong into death as a solution to suffering.

With respect to the “safeguards”, it is already clear that they do not work. First, let us recall that these safeguards are based on a biased foundation: that of self-reporting. In fact, the physician who evaluates the patient and makes the diagnosis is also the one who causes the patient’s death, and the one who then completes the declaration form to explain to the oversight commission the conformity of his act.

Yet, despite this conflict-of-interest situation which works in favour of the people who administer the deadly injection, the Commission sur les soins de fin de vie (CSFV), in charge of evaluating the application of the law, concluded that there were 21 cases of abuse during the first year and then 31 cases of abuse in the following year. Needless to say, so many infringements put vulnerable people at great risk. However, the most dramatic failure came from the College of Physicians, which judged that “no case justified a punitive intervention.” In doing so, it opened the door wide to repeated violations of the law, justifying their impunity.

Meanwhile, these two years of euthanasia in Quebec have turned the exceptional measure into a promotable solution: safeguards became barriers to access, and the strict criteria – intended to protect vulnerable people – became cruel and discriminatory.

Unsurprisingly, we are also seeing strong pressure to expand access, particularly to people who are not at the end of life, who are unable or too young to consent, or who suffer from psychiatric disorders. By the same token, the tendency that is taking shape before our eyes is transforming euthanasia, originally sold as a personal choice – which nevertheless involves the whole of society – into a choice… for another person.

In conclusion, the facts show that, for the past two years, the situation in Quebec is falling increasingly out of control. Moreover, there has been no effective follow-up on access to palliative care as priority is given only to euthanasia. Thus, for the second year in a row, the Commission mentioned in its report that the “variability of reported information with respect to the number of individuals at the end-of-life who received palliative care does not allow for the processing of these data at this time” (CSFV Report 3.2.1).

Of course, once euthanasia has been sold as a benefit, a gesture of compassion and even a form of health care, this reversal of collective thought is far from surprising.

Yet as a young French writer recently wrote, better to fight so that the last caress of a physician to comfort a patient in her last anguish be by a hand that heals and not one that kills. And so that the last glance received be one of love, humanity, and life.

And while waiting for this salutary reversal, we should ask ourselves, in the light of the facts after two years of euthanasia in Quebec, what is the purpose of having a law, an oversight committee and criteria if it is optional to respect them?

Aubert Martin is the Executive Director of Vivre dans la Dignité (Living with Dignity), a Quebec-based organisation.
Categories: Discussion

Germany's Batty Plan to Deter Migrants

Gatestone Institute - Tue, 2017-12-12 10:00
Every German knows that hardly any asylum seekers whose applications are rejected are forced to leave Germany. But if their application is rejected and they do decide to return to their home country, they are rewarded with an allowance of between €1000
Categories: Discussion

"Eurosion": Muslim Majority in Thirty Years?

Gatestone Institute - Tue, 2017-12-12 09:30
Even if all current 28 EU members, plus Norway and Switzerland, closed their borders to migrants, the Islamic population will continue to exponentiate.... Today, it is an increase of six million in seven years. And tomorrow? What will happen in major
Categories: Discussion

Trump's Jerusalem Declaration Long Overdue

Gatestone Institute - Tue, 2017-12-12 09:00
President Trump's announcement Wednesday that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was both correct and prudent from America's perspective. Much more remains to be done to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Categories: Discussion

President Trump: The Courage to Act

Gatestone Institute - Mon, 2017-12-11 10:30
The reaction around the world in recent days has been a reminder of the one central truth of the whole conflict. Those who cannot accept that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel tend to be exactly the same as those who cannot accept the State
Categories: Discussion

Firebombing Jewish Children in Sweden

Gatestone Institute - Mon, 2017-12-11 09:30
On Friday night, an anti-Trump rally in Malmö drew about 200 people, many of whom shouted anti-Jewish remarks and threatened to "shoot the Jews." Saturday's attack on the Gothenburg synagogue may have been immediately triggered by Trump's recognition of
Categories: Discussion

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