Yes, the Supreme Court decision mirrors public opinion on assisted suicide. Unfortunately public opinion is ill-informed. Three years ago, our elected MPs showed that they had thought more deeply about the subject than our judges. Showing considerable courage, they defied public opinion and overwhelmingly rejected a bill to legalize assisted suicide. I have been personally touched by this issue. Twenty years ago my terminally ill father asked me to help him kill himself. He didn’t want to be a burden. I pointed out that those he loved would be greatly saddened if he did this. Fortunately a skilled physician managed his pain and he was able to die a dignified, peaceful death.
Ian Gentles, Toronto.
Published in the National Post
Letters | February 17, 2015 | Last Updated: Feb 17 6:00 AM ET
"Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is fundamentally confused. Other societies throughout history have supported physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, infanticide and much more. That does not mean Canada should."
The full story from Dr. Shawn Whatley may be found here, below, or go to: http://shawnwhatley.com/physician-assisted-suicide-3/
Dr. Whatley is a practising physician and is the newest member of the Board of Directors of the deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. Dr. Whatley writes about health, ethics and medical care on his personal website.
This wide-open decision announced by the Supreme Court removes the safety net for the elderly, persons with disabilities and individuals suffering suicidal ideation to name a few. It will allow coercion and intimidation of those costing the healthcare system money.
What will happen to those doctors and nurses who act or are forced to act on the request of a patient who asks for death? Will they develop PTSD, anxiety disorders and depression? Will some enjoy the power which ...is available in putting a person to death? How much of future life and death issues will simply be based on economics?
This ruling reverses the long-standing principle that doctors and other medical professionals are mandated to preserve not destroy human life. It ignores the great danger that legalization poses to the weak and vulnerable, as shown by the Dutch experience, where upwards of 300 people a year are put to death without their knowledge or consent. This decision ignores the representations of people with disabilities who have consistently opposed the legalization of euthanasia.
Professor Ian Gentles PhD, FRHS — Research Director, The deVeber Institute
Today the Supreme Court of Canada released its judgment to rescind legal prohibition on assisted suicide in Canada. The decision now calls on Parliament to draft legislation on the matter as the ruling will not be put into effect for 12 months.