Euthanasia

15 May 2020 Federal Euthanasia Survey Results: Support for Stronger Safeguards

Earlier this year, we encouraged you to fill out the federal government’s survey about Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). The results are in and give reason for both concern and encouragement. Those of you who completed the survey will remember that the first question asked, “Do you think the current safeguards would prevent abuse, pressure, or other kinds of misuse of MAID after eligibility is broadened to people whose death is not reasonably foreseeable?” This basically asks whether we can expand eligibility for MAID to more people without tightening up the...

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caring for others during covid-19

02 Apr 2020 Society waking up to what it means to think of others

Just a few short weeks ago, we shared with you our grave concerns about Bill C-7, a bill introduced to expand euthanasia to those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. This bill would make even more Canadians eligible for, and thus vulnerable to, euthanasia. Thankfully, with Parliament temporarily suspended on account of COVID-19, this bill has also been put on hold. In this holding period, the events unfolding around us have been astounding when we think of the shift in language and behaviour toward the most vulnerable. When hordes of young...

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27 Mar 2020 A Tale of Two Pandemics

by John Sikkema  Every day, COVID-19 numbers make top headlines. So, you probably have some idea of the numbers in Canada. As of today: Total people tested: >175,000 (most tests are negative or results pending) Total cases (confirmed or presumptive): ~4,700 (there are likely many more unknown cases) Total COVID-related deaths: 55 Meanwhile, since Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016, medical practitioners have deliberately killed over 14,000 patients, with legal approval and public funding. And the rate of euthanasia deaths is accelerating. From June to December of 2016, about 1,000 people were...

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20 Mar 2020 Official House of Commons Petition for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Medication

For those who have followed ARPA Canada's work for some time, you may recall a presentation we did in 2016 to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice when they were debating the first euthanasia bill, C-14. ARPA Canada opposed the bill but urged that, if the bill was to pass, the government must do everything in its power to ensure that those who are vulnerable get all the support necessary so that the circumstances that drive a person to request assisted suicide is more or less eliminated. Presenting...

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25 Feb 2020 Government tables Bill C-7 to expand assisted suicide

Yesterday, the federal government proposed legislative amendments to broaden eligibility for “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAiD). Bill C-7 proposes to further liberalize Canada’s current law and endangers the lives of vulnerable Canadians. The bill is constructed around two vague categories – those whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable, or not. The legislation gives discretion to medical practitioners to categorize a patient as one or the other. Currently, doctors are permitted to interpret this foreseeable death requirement loosely. Patients who might have had years to live, but had a condition that would...

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15 Jan 2020 Participate in the Government’s Euthanasia Consultations

Canada’s law on Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) or euthanasia will be changing soon, and likely not for the better. A recent case from Quebec (Truchon v. Attorney General of Canada) struck down the requirement that natural death is reasonably foreseeable in Canada’s current euthanasia legislation. This means that the federal government is now required to revisit the legality of euthanasia and come up with a new law by March 11, 2020. As a part of this legal review, the Government of Canada is consulting with Canadians. Please take 10 minutes to fill...

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euthanasia and organ donation

10 Jan 2020 Euthanasia is increasing organ donations. What should we do?

by Anna Nienhuis Because the time, place, and means of medically assisted deaths are pre-planned, euthanasia makes it easier than ever before to collect human organs and tissue before they spoil. The Ottawa Citizen reports more than a 100% increase in donations from MAiD patients in Ontario since 2017. But this is not a silver lining to legalized euthanasia, as it might first appear, and as it is being portrayed. It confronts Canadians with difficult ethical questions. To name a few that the medical community has also been grappling with: How does...

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euthanasia

13 Dec 2019 Euthanasia: Permitted not Mandated

By Levi Minderhoud   Recent news articles have recounted the fight between Fraser Health and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, BC. Already back in 2016, Fraser Health – the local health authority responsible for serving 1.8 million British Columbians in the Lower Mainland – dictated that all hospices must provide euthanasia. After an outcry by citizens and hospices, Fraser Health softened its directive by allowing faith-based hospices to continue to live out their mission of neither hastening death nor intentionally ending life. Fraser Health still required non-denominational hospices to provide euthanasia. The Irene...

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10 Jul 2019 Merging palliative care and MAiD

Increasing pressure on palliative care providers to offer assisted suicide and euthanasia   At a recent conference hosted by the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers (CAMAP), three doctors presented on how euthanasia could be pushed into palliative care spaces. Evidently, some palliative care physicians and nurses believe that “Medical Assistance in Dying” or “MAiD”* is a natural part of palliative care. But many are strongly opposed to the encroachment of MAiD into palliative care wards and facilities. In May 2019, the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians clarified in a statement...

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31 May 2019 Ontario’s Highest Court Finds a Way Around Physicians’ Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Bodes ill for future fundamental freedom cases by John Sikkema Back in 2008, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) issued a new policy entitled “Physicians and the Ontario Human Rights Code.” That policy informed physicians that they should be prepared to “set aside their personal beliefs” in providing healthcare. It warned that the Human Rights Code has no defence for discriminatory refusals of medical services, “even if the refusal is based on the physician’s moral or religious belief.” The policy did not explain how to determine whether a refusal...

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