Filtered By - Euthanasia
Let’s not become Belgium when it comes to assisted suicide
Tuesday June 7th, 2016
In February, the archbishop of Edmonton announced that in the event of legalized euthanasia, physicians and other health-care workers of Covenant Health Hospital would not be participating in the active termination of patients’ lives. In response last month, Alberta’s associate health minister Brandy Payne stated that Covenant Health’s conscientious objection woul...
Let palliative care enough time to prove itself
Thursday December 3rd, 2015
A euphemism is, the dictionary tells us, “a mild or indirect expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.” And we live in an age where avoidance of the unpleasant is something of a mania. Especially where death is concerned. “Pregnancy termination” sounds better than “abortion.&rdq...
The decision to die is a private matter; its execution should be, too
Friday August 7th, 2015
On the surface, Gill Pharoah was an English woman much like myself – a healthy septuagenarian with grey hair, living with a partner she loved, also in good health, a mother of two like me, a grandmother, mentally fit, not subject to depression or other mood disorders. Pharoah did have some physical aches and pains, as do I, but none that actually needed more than over-the-counter m...
Keep the state out of the killing rooms of the nation
Wednesday February 11th, 2015
Commentary following last Friday’s Supreme Court decision on assisted suicide has filled the pages of this and other Canadian publications. Opinion for and against the ruling has been intelligently debated. But I have yet to see a column that focuses directly on my own concerns, so here is my two cents. I am firmly in the anti-euthanasia camp, as my last two columns have indi...
No one really wants euthanasia. Suffering people want an end to their pain
Wednesday February 4th, 2015
I return this week to the topic of my last column: Euthanasia, considered until mere decades ago an audacious, immoral notion, has shed its aura of transgression. State endorsement was pioneered in the Netherlands, then taken up by Belgium, Luxembourg and, most recently, Quebec. Assisted suicide, euthanasia with a friendlier face, is legal in the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon, Montan...
Euthanasia is so accepted that doctors must now justify prolonging a life
Wednesday January 28th, 2015
In 1994, Dutch journalist Gerbert van Loenen’s partner Niek underwent surgery to remove what was thought to be a pea-sized brain tumour. More complicated than predicted, the operation resulted in a brain injury that left Niek permanently disabled, yet still able to enjoy quality of life. Van Loenen willingly reorganized his life to care for Niek at home. But after four years,...
Beware euthanasia’s friendly face
Wednesday November 19th, 2014
Comfort and palliative care should be available to anyone for whom death is an approaching certainty, especially when technological intervention and sustenance is not only futile, but a source of further anguish in itself. Right now, though, palliative care is accessible to less than a third of the population. And in Quebec, if Bill 52, the proposed law to decriminalize euthanasia,...
Suicide is none of Medicare’s business
Wednesday October 15th, 2014
So far the issue of assisted suicide has been framed in polar terms. You’re for it or you’re against it. It’s a human right or it isn’t a human right. It’s a sin or it’s an act of compassion. Human dignity is inherent, whether one is independent or dependent, or human dignity ends when diapers enter the frame. ‘Who owns my life?’...
Euthanasia’s damage to the human soul
Tuesday September 30th, 2014
Well, here we go again. Another controversial plan for assisted suicide – not surprisingly in Belgium, as so often in the past – and a first for a couple seeking an exit from life together, as they have lived for 63 years. Identified only as Francis, 89, and Anne, 86, they are both disabled. Francis has needed daily morphine for 20 years, while his wife Anne is quite de...
Euthanize your dog, if you like. But hands off me
Wednesday June 25th, 2014
Quebec’s euthanasia law, Bill C-52, has now passed. My side lost that battle. Did we lose “fair and square” though? I personally felt that the rhetorical quality of public discussion leading up to its passage was low, with the pro-euthanasia side dominated by emotive narratives of heartbreaking, but near-uniquely hard cases, pundits’ personal fears and a narrow un...
Fear the slippery slope
Wednesday November 27th, 2013
Quebec’s advocates for legalized euthanasia approve of Belgium’s system, which makes accommodation for unbearable mental as well as physical pain. But as this week’s Post series on legalized euthanasia in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg demonstrate, the subjective nature of what constitutes unbearable mental pain has led to euthanizations that cause many observe...
Be careful about calling it ‘death with dignity’
Wednesday January 23rd, 2013
I have always found it odd that the same people who feel the death penalty is barbaric often look benignly on euthanasia. And it does show that words matter. One person’s stark “state killing” is to another, as in Quebec’s pitch to legalize euthanasia, “dying with dignity.” But the final result is still a human being’s life purposefully ended by his ...
Holy Post: My life, my choice
Thursday November 26th, 2009
Barbara Kay responds to Matt Gurney Posted: November 25, 2009, 3:14 PM by Matt Gurney Barbara Kay, Euthanasia, Holy Post Matt Gurney’s November 24 column, “My life, my choice” reprises the stock arguments for euthanasia: “every individual has the right to define the value they place on their own existence” and “just because euthan...
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