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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Patient wishes opposed

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/132679923.html

I read with sadness the Oct. 21 article about Anne Rostecki, Alleged deprivation of senior probed, by Alexandra Paul.

My mother died in a similar situation. A mild stroke led to her involuntary starvation and dehydration in a Nova Scotia care facility.

There is now a push in Canada to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia as a supposed voluntary choice. But as evidenced by my mother's and Rostecki's cases, doctors now impose their wishes on patients without their consent.

Doctors cannot be trusted with the power they have. Legalizing assisted suicide or euthanasia would give them even more power to effect patient deaths. The idea that legalizing these practices will somehow give patients more autonomy and choice indicates a society gone mad.

KATE KELLY
Coral Harbour, Nunavut

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"How exactly are we going to detect the victimization when we can’t do it now?"

Dear Editor:

Patrick Stewart concedes that legalizing assisted suicide would be a problem if “you can bump off your old granny.” [“Spare the dying . . .,” Oct. 15].  This is a major reason why assisted suicide must not be legalized in Canada.  As a Vancouver family doctor I see elder abuse in my practice, often perpetrated by family members and caregivers.  A desire for money or an inheritance is typical.  To make it worse, the victims protect the perpetrators.  In one case, an older woman knew that her son was robbing her blind and lied to protect him.  Why? Family loyalty, shame, and fear that confronting the abuser will cost love and care.


The result: elder abuse is often a hidden and unreported situation.  Indeed, a 2008 government poll found that “96% of Canadians think most of the abuse experienced by adults is hidden or goes undetected.” [1]    
Under current law, abusers take their victims to the bank and to the lawyer for a new will.  With legal assisted suicide, the next stop would be the doctor’s office for a lethal prescription.  How exactly are we going to detect the victimization when we can’t do it now?
Will Johnston   MD
Chair
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of BC
[1]  For the poll source, scroll down at this link: http://www.seniors.gc.ca/c.4nt.2nt@.jsp?lang=eng&geo=110&cid=154#f

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Assisted Suicide Too Easily Abused

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Assisted+suicide+easily+abused/5525325/story.html

By John Coppard, Times ColonistOctober 9, 2011

Re: "Assisted dying should be an option," Oct. 4.

The danger in legalizing assisted suicide is that people's choices can so easily be undermined and abused. Whether it's greedy relatives hoping to speed up their inheritance, or cash-strapped bureaucrats looking to save on health-care costs, the weak and vulnerable can be all-tooeasily steered toward a death they do not truly want.

In Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal and the government health plan is empowered to steer patients to suicide, two cases have gained public prominence - Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup. Both wanted treatment, but their plan offered them suicide instead. Canadian laws prohibiting assisted suicide exist for a reason. Let's keep it that way.

John Coppard Victoria