Euthanasia

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Quebec euthanasia law challenged

On July 17, two groups, Living with Dignity and the Physicians’ Alliance Against Euthanasia, filed a lawsuit before the Superior Court of Quebec in Montreal challenging the validity of Bill 52, An Act Respecting End-of-Life Care. The Act, proposed by the Parti Quebecois government of Pauline Marois in 2013 and passed by the Liberal government of Philippe Couillard in June, provides for “medical aid in dying,” which they contend is a euphemism for euthanasia. Living with Dignity, which represents 17,000 Quebec ... (Continue reading)

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Schindler fights for vulnerable, nine years after sister’s death

Schindler fights for vulnerable, nine years after sister’s death

Terri (Schindler) Schiavo Nine years ago, most of North America was captivated by the legal drama surrounding Terri (Schindler) Schiavo. The Florida woman sustained severe brain injuries in 1990 after her brain was deprived of oxygen. As a result, Schiavo relied on a feeding tube for nutrition and hydration. Schiavo did not have a living will. Her estranged husband Michael, and parents Mary and Bob Schindler, became involved ... (Continue reading)

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Quebec Liberal government legalizes euthanasia

The Quebec National Assembly passed a bill that effectively legalizes euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, a law pro-life groups say is dangerous and unconstitutional. With the March election call killing Quebec’s Bill 52, which would have effectively legalized euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide, pro-lifers, disabilities groups, and other opponents of the proposed law thought they had more time to work to defeat the bill. When the Parti Quebecois government was defeated by the Liberals, many opponents of euthanasia hoped the new provincial government ... (Continue reading)

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Conservative MP introduces two euthanasia bills

Conservative MP introduces two euthanasia bills

On March 27 MP Steven Fletcher (CPC, Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia), who is a quadriplegic, tabled a pair of private members bills, C-581 and C-582, that would allow euthanasia and assisted-suicide in Canada. Considering that Fletcher is far down the order of precedence, at #240, it is unlikely his bill will be considered in the House of Commons before the October 2015 federal election, but Fletcher says his intention is to ... (Continue reading)

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Unsettled issues

On the question of euthanasia, the people have spoken. In 2010, the late Bloc MP, Francine Lalonde, made her third attempt to weaken Canada’s laws protecting the elderly and the infirm, and her bill was comfortably defeated by a vote in the House of 228 to 59. The will of the people could not be clearer. And yet, just four years after this firm rejection, the previous parliament’s decision is already being second-guessed: Steven Fletcher, the first quadriplegic MP to sit in the House, is bringing forth ... (Continue reading)

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Election scuttles Quebec euthanasia bill

A vote on the Parti Quebecois government’s Bill 52, the Quebec euthanasia bill, died when the Quebec National Assembly recessed on February 20 without voting and the provincial assembly was dissolved on March 5 with an election was called for April 7. Just days prior to the recess, Philippe Couillard, leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, secured extra time for debate just before the budget was introduced. The budget superseded discussion on any other issue on the day before the ... (Continue reading)

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Death becomes us

Death becomes us

Years ago, while covering the case of Robert Latimer, the Saskatchewan farmer who killed his disabled daughter in cold blood, a columnist observed: “A society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. A culture that has lost its faith in life cannot comprehend why it should be endured.” This incisive observation cuts to the heart of the contradiction in Canada’s current debate about euthanasia: when ... (Continue reading)

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Belgium legalizes euthanasia for children

Belgium legalizes euthanasia for children

On Feb. 13, Belgium became the first country to approve euthanasia for children when the Chamber of Representatives passed the measure 86-44 with 12 abstentions. The Senate voted 50-17 in favour of expanding the country’s 12-year-old euthanasia to include children last December. The measure, which permits any child with the “capacity of discernment” to request a lethal injection or concoction of barbiturate drugs with the consent of their parents, was ... (Continue reading)

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Vote on Bill 52 may be scuttled by Quebec politics

Vote on Bill 52 may be scuttled by Quebec politics

Proposed euthanasia law is ‘unconstitutional, imprecise and lethal’: EPC Quebec premier Pauline Marois may face an election before her governments's Bill-52 is passed. The Quebec legislature recessed for two weeks when the latest session of the National Assembly ended Feb. 20, which might help kill Bill 52, the so-called medical-aid-in-dying bill that would ... (Continue reading)

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Liberal Party endorses euthanasi

Liberal Party endorses euthanasi

This past weekend the Liberal Party of Canada adopted a resolution at its biennial policy convention calling for decriminalization of euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide in a vote by show of hands. The resolution said: "Be it resolved that voluntary medically-assisted death be de-criminalized after a public consultation process designed to make recommendations to Parliament with respect to the criteria for access and the appropriate oversight system for medically-assisted end-of-life." It was put forward by both the women's and youth commissions of ... (Continue reading)

Debating euthanasia

Debating euthanasia

It is difficult to imagine how a fair-minded reader of Debating Euthanasia could come to any conclusion but that Keown is right: euthanasia is an unmitigated evil that can never be justified. Emily Jackson and John Keown are two of the foremost experts on the law as it relates to euthanasia in Britain and the United States. Together, they have written a most informative book, Debating Euthanasia, (Hart Publishing, 2011) in which ... (Continue reading)

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The meaning of Rasouli The case’s impact on physicians, patients and Hassan Rasouli

The meaning of Rasouli The case’s impact on physicians, patients and Hassan Rasouli

Hassan Rasouli In a ruling of vital national significance, the Supreme Court of Canada has held in the Rasouli case that the Ontario Health Care Consent Act (HCCA) prohibits a physician from unilaterally terminating life-support for a patient who is incapable of consenting to medical treatment. While this case dealt specifically with Ontario, physicians in other provinces should beware that the Court has signalled in its judgment that it could eventually impose ... (Continue reading)

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Doctors cannot unilaterally pull life support

Doctors cannot unilaterally pull life support

Doctors at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto took their flight to unilaterally withdraw life support from Hassan ... (Continue reading)

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Dignity in Death

Dignity in Death

Dr. Donald Low became a public figure during the Toronto SARS crisis of 2003 when, amid innumerable news conferences, the staid and reassuring microbiologist became a familiar face. He returned to the public’s mind last month after a video was released following his death at age 68. In this video, recorded just one week before he succumbed to natural causes, Low makes an impassioned plea for Canada to change ... (Continue reading)

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Upholding human exceptionalism

Upholding human exceptionalism

At the end of July, the Campaign Life Coalition interns collaborated with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) for weekly street activism. A lady stopped to ask us why embryonic human beings should be considered valuable. After all, we consume chicken embryos when we have eggs for breakfast, don’t we? (Actually no – those eggs have not been fertilized.) She went even further, saying that the enormous human ... (Continue reading)

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