Palliative Care Tag

21 Aug 2015 IMPORTANT: Guide for Taking Part in Euthanasia Consultations

UPDATE, Aug 25: The province of Ontario, in conjunction with the other provinces, has now also innitiated its own (very biased) survey about assisted suicide. This one takes about 15 minutes to complete and it is very important that we also share our views with this survey. https://www.ontario.ca/page/doctor-assisted-dying-and-end-life-decisions-consultation  In response to the Carter Supreme Court decision which struck down Canada's assisted suicide laws, the Minister of Health and Minister of Justice have formed a panel to investigate options for a new law. This panel will be meeting with official stakeholders, including ARPA Canada. It is also asking for input from you - the public. Please set aside 20-30 minutes to share your thoughts and concerns with the panel by filling in their extensive online survey. The panel will share these findings with the new government, which will be drafting a new law. It is so important that the new government hears our concerns loud and clear. We are trying to make this as easy as possible by walking through the survey with you and providing some suggested responses you can share. Two Options You can share your views with this panel in two ways. First, you can complete their online "issue book" which is a 20-30 minute survey that asks you to respond to a variety of matters pertaining to assisted suicide and euthanasia (almost all multiple-choice style). Second, you can write your own letter or submission and upload it, to be shared with the panel. Of course you are most welcome to do both! The focus of this article is on option 1.
Read More

24 Jul 2015 Highs and Lows of the 41st Canadian Parliament

On June 18th, the House of Commons adjourned, setting the stage for an election campaign that will end the 41st session of Parliament. This is an appropriate time to look back on the past four years and see what was accomplished, especially through the lens of ARPA Canada and the issues that we focus on. Pre-born Human Rights: When the Conservatives were handed a majority in the last federal election, many Christians hoped that pre-born human rights would finally be addressed. These hopes were in vain. Although some courageous MPs stood up for the pre-born, the leadership of all the political parties in the House of Commons did their utmost to suppress these efforts.   Motion 312, championed by MP Stephen Woodworth, was the first motion that held promise. It asked that “a special committee of the House of Commons be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth.” Local ARPA chapters hosted presentations by Mr. Woodworth on this motion and many ARPA supporters encouraged MPs to support it. But with the party leaders all vocally opposed, the motion died in the House by a vote of 203 to 91. Yet Motion 312 reignited a discussion that was quiet for too long. Momentum for addressing this injustice was building.
Read More

29 Apr 2015 An ethical alternative to euthanasia

The following article was written by Colin Postma in his position as board chair for the Hamilton Area ARPA Chapter. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost Advocates of euthanasia spread the message that death is a tool of convenience for the living to take control of their own lives, and snatch it out of the hands of fate. They paint a picture that the fearful and dark woods of death are indeed wild, but that in contrast to the harsh realities of our cold world, beautiful and restful sleep can be found in its dark embrace. However death should not be the solution to our problems but rather standing fast on the value of human Life! Using death as a tool only undermines human rights, it does not further them. But there is an alternative. A better alternative. An ethical alternative. Palliative Care is the specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal of such therapy is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Modern healthcare aims primarily to resolve the patient’s physical health problems, and not to deal with the mental, spiritual, and emotional problems that are all associated with serious illness. Palliative care fills that gap. At an event held in Hamilton, Ontario on March 27th, Helen ‘t Hart, a palliative care nurse, Dr. Andre Moolman, a physician specializing in palliative care, and Rick Ludwig, a funeral director each spoke about their experiences providing specialized medical and end-of-life care for people with serious illnesses. They addressed challenging questions such as: How should we look after those approaching the end of their life on earth? A majority of Canadians today want to choose death on their own terms, how should we respond? Do we keep  our loved ones alive as long as possible? What do we need to do to prevent doctors taking steps we do not want with our end-of-life care? In answering these questions, the speakers pointed out first and foremost that God is sovereign over life and death. He who gives life has the authority to take it away. They concluded that we do have the ability to ease suffering, and that is what we are called to do, as followers of Christ’s example. By means of a case study they portrayed how a real life situation could develop - how a person deals with it, and how they relate their concerns to others. They also pointed out the importance of end-of-life planning for everyone, to ensure your wishes are met and  that you are not subjected to something you do not agree with.
Read More

26 Feb 2015 Op-ed: Canada Should be Caring, Not Killing

The following op-ed, written by executive director Mark Penninga, was published in the Interior News on February 25, under the title: “Canada Should be Caring, Not Killing”. It was written in response to the BC Civil Liberties Association’s praise for the Carter decision. I was at the Supreme Court hearing on October 15th and was able to listen to Joseph Arvay of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) make the case for state-approved killing. Like their full-page opinion piece in the Interior News, their arguments were laden with misinformation and rhetoric. In many ways the pro-euthanasia lobby is a wolf in sheepskin, claiming to be about dignity and compassion but ultimately denying what we all need most – love and care. Mr. Arvay argued before the court that Parliament has been unable to deal with this issue of assisted suicide and euthanasia so it is time for the court to take the lead. What he failed to acknowledge was that Parliament has examined this issue at least six times, and has always voted against changes to the law. It is not that they were unable or unwilling. It is that the BCCLA, and the Supreme Court judges, were simply unhappy with Parliament’s leadership.
Read More

08 Dec 2014 ARPA Submission to BC Health Committee – End of Life Care

After seeing a note from "Dying with Dignity" encouraging their supporters to make use of the BC government's consultation about health care sustainability and end-of-life care to promote euthanasia, we drafted our own submission (see the attached document). In recent years, there has been a push to redefine end-of-life care to include assisted suicide and euthanasia. This undermines the very concept of care, exploits some of our most vulnerable neighbours, and ignores a much better and proven alternative – palliative care. Promoting palliative care, not euthanasia and assisted suicide, upholds the...

Read More

16 Sep 2014 Contact Your MP: Palliative Care and Assisted Suicide

Amidst the darkening clouds around Canada's laws against assisted suicide, there is an ever-increasing ray of light. The need for an effective palliative care strategy is being understood, and acted upon, by Canada's federal government. Most recently, Canada's Minister of Health Rona Ambrose publicly called for a national palliative care strategy. You can watch a short video interview with her here. This comes after almost complete MP support for MP Charlie Angus's motion, calling for the same thing.  Please take a moment to use our new EasyMail 3.0 technology to...

Read More

29 May 2014 Palliative Care M-456 passed!

Yesterday, the House of Commons passed Charlie Angus' motion for a national palliative care strategy, almost unanimously (with only 1 vote against, by Bloc Québécois MP Jean-Francois Fortin). This motion is non-binding, meaning that it won't necessarily change laws but it certainly has the power to direct the conversation and move towards enacting laws. The motion asks the government to work with provinces and territories to ensure individuals have access to "high-quality, home-based and hospice palliative care," as well as providing more support to caregivers and encouraging Canadians to "discuss...

Read More

23 Apr 2014 Palliative Care and Motion 456

The pressure continues for our Parliament to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. While the push to legalize it through the back door in Québec has stalled, it most likely will be a battle that picks up again very soon. You can read about the battle in that province here. And while the battle in the provincial legislature in Québec raged, the battle for legalizing euthanasia through the courts continues as well, with another appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. And in the federal Parliament, there continue to be calls for legalizing euthanasia, with yet another pair of bills attempting to legalize physician-assisted suicide. So, on three fronts (provincial government, federal government, and in the courts) the battle for life rages. What are we to do? One thing (among many) that we can do is support a new NDP motion on palliative care. Canada needs a national strategy for palliative care. In contrast to a push for legalized euthanasia, Mr. Charlie Angus wants to shift the discussion to how to improve end of life care. With M-456, Mr. Angus has changed the nature of the debate, taking the focus away from terminating people who are suffering, and instead focusing on ways to terminate the suffering in people. Read more...
Read More

24 Nov 2008 Alarmingly Strong Support for Euthanasia

LifeCanada Press Release: Nov. 21, 2008 - Poll finds Canadians conflicted on end of life issues A new Environics poll has found Canadians split on the question of palliative care versus euthanasia. When asked if they would choose palliative care over euthanasia at the end of their lives, 44% of Canadians polled said they would choose palliative care with an equal number choosing euthanasia.
Read More