To the Editor:
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Ontario Inc. has been formed to prepare a well-informed, and broadly based, network of groups and individuals to support measures that will create an effective social barrier to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
Many Canadians seem to be supportive of measures that would decriminalize forms of euthanasia or assisted suicide for many reasons, including: fear of suffering uncontrolled pain; fear of becoming a burden on others; fear of becoming abandoned; fear of living with disabilities; the loss of personal autonomy; or the fear of receiving extraordinary medical attention without consent.
We recognize that all these fears and concerns are real, but we also realize that these fears can be minimized through compassionate means, such as palliative-hospice care, rather than killing. The reality is that in our society, there is no reason for people to suffer uncontrollable pain, to be a burden on family members, to be abandoned in their time of need, or to fear receiving medical treatment without their consent.
We are concerned that if some form of euthanasia or assisted suicide is decriminalized, it would: erode society's respect for human life and negatively affect the trusting relationship that exists between medical professionals and their patients. It would also result in less research and promotion for pain-control techniques, palliative-hospice care and other life-giving options, and directly threaten the lives of marginalized persons in society (the disabled, the elderly, the chronically ill, and the poor).
We are particularly concerned about people who are experiencing depression. How many requests for death would be granted, rather than having these requests recognized as a need for help? The disabled community is concerned about medical treatments being denied them based on their "quality of life." How often would euthanasia or assisted suicide become the only option offered to those who are living with disabilities?
We believe that support for euthanasia and assisted suicide represents a failure to provide positive care to people in need. We believe that it threatens the common good of all in society. We believe that killing is never an acceptable solution to problems. We believe that these problems are best solved through caring options. We believe that the current prohibitions against euthanasia and assisted suicide should be maintained and enforced. We believe that governments should be pressured to give greater support to palliative-hospice care and research into better pain-control medications and techniques.
In Holland, euthanasia is a common practice performed not only in extreme cases, but also for conditions such as depression, anorexia nervosa, and other non-terminal conditions. This has happened because of the failure to prosecute doctors and because courts have not convicted doctors who regularly bypass the prescription-notification process and the "safeguards" that have been set up. All this has happened without a change in the law! We should learn from the Dutch experience and be on guard against any court case or legislation that would result in relaxing our Canadian law.
We are convinced that by being pro-active, by promoting palliative-hospice care and encouraging other caring options, and by creating a coalition of people and groups that are broadly based in opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide, we will be capable of preventing legalization of these practices and create an effective social barrier to their acceptance.
Dr. LL. de Veber, President
To the Editor:
The July issue of The Interim featured Paul Swope's insightful piece discussing the effectiveness of pro-life communication strategies. The gist of his article was that while pro-lifers have fundamental truths to share, how well these are apprehended by the public - in other words, our effectiveness - depends on how they are communicated. Strategies that avoid shocking or polarizing our audience are sometimes apparently more successful than those that elicit a strong response.
Could the pro-life movement not benefit from Swope's research by examining its other communication strategies? Consider the Show the Truth exhibit. Anecdotal evidence aside, are public, graphic depictions really effective? For whose benefit are they? Might there not be a better way to communicate the same underlying truth?
And how about Life Chains? On the one hand, they reinforce our connection to local and national pro-life communities. The sight of hundreds, and even thousands, of pro-lifers also serves as a powerful witness. But what, explicitly, are we communicating to the uncommitted?
One prominent sign seems to be, "Abortion Kills Children." The statement is absolutely true. Yet how many hearts and minds will this change? Perhaps a less polarizing message would be more effective. I wish I had some alternatives, but I'm sure Life Chain organizers can devise "sign bites" more in tune with Swope's research. After all, there is nothing wrong with being "as wise as serpents."
To the Editor:
Regarding the Show the Truth posters at the North Bay Heritage Festival. I didn't attend the festival but I've heard remarks like, "They shouldn't show these (posters) where there are children. They're gruesome."
My response is, "Let kids see the truth." The same people who resent these posters are the same ones who think kids should know all about sex and reproductive choices. So these posters are reality - right in your face. I agree, it's not a pretty picture.
More power to you, "brave souls."
To the Editor:
I was not surprised to read that Rev. Ken Campbell ("Campbell's Vriend ad draws fire," August 1998), has written to Premier Mike Harris requesting that Ontario Human Rights Commission chairman Keith Norton be urged to "step aside because of a conflict of interest." The OHRC is being asked by a Toronto homosexual to rule on whether Rev. Campbell's Globe & Mail ad on the Vriend case incited hatred of homosexuals.
In the July 14, 1996 issue of the Ottawa Citizen, columnist Jim Coyle quoted Keith Norton as saying he had "developed a respect" for the activists involved in Act Up, a militant homosexual organization. Although Mr. Norton said he was uncomfortable with the group's tactics, his acknowledgment of support for this group was outrageous.
In the October 1994 issue of the U.S. magazine Crisis, Act Up was described by William Donohue, president of the U.S. Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, as "a gay terrorist organization" that "had broken into St. Patrick's Cathedral (New York) in 1989, interrupting mass and spitting the communion host on the floor."
Besides Norton, two homosexual activists - Carmen Paquette, a volunteer with Pink Triangle Services, and Tom Warner of the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights - have also been members of the 12-member Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Ontario voters should write or phone Premier Harris and insist that the Ontario Human Rights Commission be abolished. In a past ruling, a $10,000 fine was levied against the Christian mayor of London, Ont., Dianne Haskett, because she refused to proclaim a so-called "gay pride week."
What will be next? A Catholic priest being hauled up before the Commission for describing homosexual acts as "grave depravity" (as per The Catechism of The Catholic Church)?
To the Editor:
As a keynote speaker at this year's National Pro-Life Conference, David Mainse referred to the devaluing of human life as the "greatest horror visited on the human family. Whether at the beginning or end," he added, "life is sacred. Only God has the right to do with it what He will do." Because "every man, woman and child is made in the image of God," the value of each is "infinite."
Indeed, that is the crux of the matter, and we ought to be horrified if not surprised. Modern civilization's tragic flaw has been its failure to provide its members with even the slightest trace of self worth.
To the Editor:
My husband and I have had three miscarriages and are currently searching for a child to adopt.
Over the past 30 years, the face of adoption has changed dramatically. The road to adoption can be a bumpy one and couples like us often feel alone on the journey.
Few Canadian girls give their children up for adoption. Unfortunately, unwanted children are often aborted; or, they're kept by the birth mother, even if she is very young. Therefore, we face a problem of many searching couples and few available babies.
Why don't more young women consider adoption? I believe some girls are not properly counselled and are thus unaware of their options.
Many childless couples are ready, willing and able to parent these "unwanted" children - it would be a dream come true for infertile couples. Adoption is a mature, selfless decision on the part of a birth mother that should be applauded. She wants to offer her child a better life. I believe that adoption is an excellent option for many "unwanted" children.
While Canada has a few abandoned children, the former Soviet Union has 600,000 orphans and China even more. However, red tape, bureaucracy and high costs make it difficult to adopt abroad. We need to eliminate these barriers and unite Canadian couples with these orphans who so desperately need homes.
Let's put the children first! Smoothing over the bumps on the road to adoption might make this wish a reality.
To the Editor:
The reason to focus on the child in the abortion debate is to make a woman realize what it is she is doing - destroying a human being, "a gift from God."
The dangers of abortion and its effects on the body and soul are already known, but because they do not see the child in the womb as a person, women feel no connection with him or her.
In our narcissistic society, women are always considering themselves first. Now is the time for women to see themselves as keepers of the new life within, as the womb is the only source of food and shelter for the unborn. Every woman has a choice, but the child does not.
This choice - before, not after, pregnancy - will, in the long run, help women refocus on a positive image of themselves, and not on one that depicts them as destroyers of life.
To the Editor:
I am surprised and disillusioned by many who downplay the negative. The problem, as I see it, is that they do not see the end result of negativity.
If a baby touches a hot stove, it will get burned and suffer, and thus learn not to touch the stove. God gave us Ten Commandments, eight of them in the negative, including, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." The result of following this Commandment is that a man continues in a good, loving, caring relationship with his wife. If he commits adultery, he and his family suffer. Relationships are hurt and sometimes destroyed forever. The same applies for the Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" - therefore, no abortions.
Yes, all negatives have a positive ending. I am thankful for the United Church, which I was brought up in as a child and in my teen years. I have been a Free Methodist for many years and continue to teach what I was taught in years gone by - not to drink intoxicating wine or alcohol and not to smoke. I signed a pledge in my teens not to use these and God has helped me to abstain from them.
Today, our governments are spending large sums of money encouraging youth not to smoke. One reason is the great cost to the taxpayer because of related sicknesses from the use of alcohol and tobacco. The loss of life by drunk drivers on our highways over the past several years has exceeded the loss of life on the battlefield in two Great Wars.
We, within the church, must continue to echo and spell out the "Thou shalt nots."
Site developed by