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Euthanasia is an accurate term. I oppose killing people.

by | Jul 8, 2024

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On Wednesday June 5 I had the pleasure of speaking on euthanasia (MAiD) in Canada at the legion in Barry’s Bay Ontario. Barry’s Bay is a small community north of Bancroft that in good driving conditions is about 6 hours from my home.

This article is a response to the letter from Dr Katie Forfar, published on June 29 in the Madawaska Valley Current. Dr Forfar attended the presentation and stated in her letter that she has been a MAiD provider for the past three years.

Dr. Forfar challenges some of my comments in her letter. Some of her statements confirm what I said as being correct and some comments are not correct.

Her first emphasis is that I was paid for the presentation. Yes, I was paid for the presentation, but in the same way she is paid for being a MAiD provider. She is not exactly a neutral on the topic.

Her second challenge was based on the fact that I use the word euthanasia and not (MAiD). According to the dictionary, I have used an accurate word, whereas MAiD is a term that was created in Canada to make people feel better about euthanasia. Euthanasia is an act of killing that can be voluntary or involuntary. I did not suggest in my talk that doctors are acting outside of the law, therefore I was not speaking about involuntary euthanasia.

Dr. Forfar stated that I referred to several “atypical” MAiD cases that have been in the Canadian news that she admitted concern her. She states that I suggested that ‘healthy’ people could obtain MAiD just by asking. If she is referring to my comments on the case of the 27-year-old Calgary Autistic woman, well, that is exactly what that court case was about.

She then confirms what I said about how euthanasia deaths occur. Dr Forfar wrote:

It is true that a drug that causes paralysis is given, but it is given last after a large volume of drug is given to cause a deep coma. I have never observed anyone during a MAiD death appear to be in pain, nor short of breath or experiencing fluid in their lungs, nor have a seizure nor urinating or defecating.

I never said anything about urinating or defecating, so that is her emphasis, not my words. Dr. Forfar’s description is accurate. Research indicates that the drugs used for MAiD will shut down the lungs. Once the lungs are shut-down then the heart will stop beating.

The MAiD lobby agrees with my comments. The MAiD Activity Book states:

The third medicine makes the person’s lungs stop breathing and then their heart stops beating. Because of the coma, the person does not notice this happening and it does not hurt. When their heart and lungs stop working, their body dies. It will not start working again. This often happens in just a few minutes, but sometimes (rarely) it can take hours.

I also accurately stated that it is impossible to know whether the person in a deep coma is not experiencing distress as their lungs stop breathing.

Dr. Forfar did not mention my concerns about Canadian veterans with PTSD or with disabilities who have been injured serving our country and being told that MAiD is an option. It is disturbing that veterans are having difficulty receiving the treatment or services that they need; they were offered MAiD through the Federal Veterans Affairs department.

As stated during my presentation, I oppose killing people. MAiD/euthanasia is about killing people. It is sold as freedom or autonomy but rather it is an abandonment of people in their time of need.

Editor’s note. This appears on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia