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Euthanasia is a prescription for premature deaths of vulnerable Quebecers

by | Mar 31, 2014

Editor’s note. This was distributed Sunday by the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice. The context is Québec’s euthanasia bill 52.

Quebeceuthanasia3Euthanasia is a prescription for premature deaths of Quebecers and must not be legalized in Quebec. It is clear that in the few countries or states where euthanasia is legalized, safeguards and controls do not work and euthanasia is extended to include:

Depressed individuals, a group that is now being euthanized in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Children where the law was recently passed in Belgium and is tolerated in the Netherlands. This practice is currently being recommended by the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Commission.

Moreover, euthanasia causes the premature deaths of people in the following circumstances because of:

  • Incorrect diagnoses
  • Errors in predicting how long people will live
  • People whose illnesses are considered too complicated, may be euthanized on the initiative of either the patient, family members or the medical staff.
  • No system of monitoring can prevent abuse. In Belgium there is a commission to oversee abuses. It is clear that this commission has failed since no remedial action has been taken despite:
  • In Belgium, 32% of patients did not give consent (Canadian Medical Journal Association, 2010) and 47% of cases of euthanasia went unreported (British Medical Journal, 2010).
  • Depressed people and those who are tired of life without any physical illness are euthanized.

Euthanasia should not be an option for any person.

For those who are in the terminal phases of life, good palliative care is an effective and compassionate way to care for our loved ones. The problem is that in Quebec as few as 20% of people have access to palliative care.

In the video: “Quebecers call to stop euthanasia” 16 year old Nadine described how she survived leukemia and a bone marrow transplant when she was 14 years old. She described how young people need love and support to live and do not need euthanasia.

Dr. Sylvia Baribeau, a family physician emphasized the need for medical treatment and support.

“Euthanasia is not medical care, it is the cruelest abandonment and abuse of our fellow human beings.”

Dr. Paul Saba who is President of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice reminds us that

“over 9 million doctors in over 100 countries represented by the World Medical Association reject euthanasia and advise physicians not to euthanize people in countries or jurisdictions where it is permitted. It also is contrary to United Nations conventions and agreements to which all member countries including Canada are bound.”

Categories: Euthanasia