Euphemisms obscure truth about assisted suicide

We need to take extraordinary care in defining the terms of medically-assisted death in Canada

Euphemisms obscure truth about assisted suicideIn a debate as significant to the nation as that about medically-assisted death, every word matters. Bill C-14, introduced in the House of Commons on April 14, is titled “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying).” The phrase “medical assistance in dying” is used…

Money alone won’t solve the Attawapiskat crisis

To stop the tragedy of youth suicide, Canadians must reach out in real human ways to mentor and support

Money alone won’t solve the Attawapiskat crisisThe recognition that a youth suicide pact was in place in Attawapiskat, an indigenous community in Northern Ontario, has sent shockwaves throughout Canada. Like many First Nation reserves, Attawapiskat is an isolated community; this one has just slightly more than 2,000 souls. As a rule, reserves in Canada lack essential services and suffer disproportionate unemployment, mental illness, and drug…

Why we need a made-in-Canada approach to assisted suicide

As Canadians weigh in on Bill C-14, some will say it has gone far enough. Others will insist it must go further

Why we need a made-in-Canada approach to assisted suicideAutonomy, it would seem, is an intoxicant. The more we have, the more we want. In tabling its draft legislation on physician-hastened death, the Federal Government has rejected several key recommendations made by the Parliamentary Committee on Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID). In the days ahead, as Canadians weigh in on Bill C-14, some will…

Waiting for things to get better in Astawapiskat not an option

The time for waiting is over. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, per the cliché, is the definition of insanity

Waiting for things to get better in Astawapiskat not an optionWhat do you do when times get really bad where you are, and when your loved ones are at risk? Well, you either stay where you are, and hope that things finally get better. Or you move. Around here, that question isn't an abstraction. Around here, a majority of Calgary's residents came from somewhere else,…

The puzzle of physician-hastened death

Putting the pieces together in a coherent and just fashion

The puzzle of physician-hastened deathPhysician-hastened death is a puzzle that, despite its complexity, society is required to assemble. Some of its pieces are so different it is hard to imagine how they might fit into a cohesive whole. And yet, by June 6 – the deadline set by the Supreme Court of Canada – whatever the state of assembly may…

Advanced directives for assisted-dying a dangerous step

The ‘quick and efficient’ decision of the parliamentary committee on assisted dying not in the best interest of the patient

Advanced directives for assisted-dying a dangerous stepThe moment we are born, our lives take flight; and the longer we are airborne, the greater the chance of encountering turbulence along the way. While every flight is destined to land, some landings are harder to contemplate than others. The parliamentary committee tasked with advising the federal government on how to roll out physician-hastened…

Assisted suicide roll out fraught with peril

The second of a three-part series on assisted suicide

Assisted suicide roll out fraught with perilOn June 6, the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision making physician-hastened death legal will come into effect. Canada’s health system is not nearly prepared. A parliamentary committee asked to help the government plot how that would roll out has made far-reaching recommendations, well beyond what was contemplated by the court in Carter vs. Canada. The…

Assisted suicide for those with mental illness a risky proposition

Who but those who have experienced it can appreciate the soul-crushing anguish of mental illness?

Assisted suicide for those with mental illness a risky propositionWho but those who have experienced it can appreciate the soul-crushing anguish of mental illness? Afflictions of the mind can be paralyzing and fundamentally change the way we perceive ourselves (I am worthless), anticipate the future (my prospects are hopeless), and experience the world (life is unfair and unforgiving). The combination of self-loathing, hopelessness and…

Physician-assisted suicide no substitute for adequate care

Physician-assisted death may serve as a substitute for effective support for people with mental health problems

Physician-assisted suicide no substitute for adequate careBy Jennifer A. Chandler and Simon Hatcher University of Ottawa The federal government committee looking at physician assisted dying released its long-awaited recommendations recently to much debate. The permissive approach it recommends reflects the spirit of the Supreme Court of Canada declaration that the prohibition of physician assisted dying violates the fundamental human right to…

Assisted suicide a deadly new form of normal

The Supreme Court's Carter decision set the floor, not the ceiling, according to one proponent

Assisted suicide a deadly new form of normalEuthanasia? Assisted suicide? There’s an app for that. Or there soon might be, the executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association told a joint Senate-Commons committee this week. The committee is studying legislative responses to replace the Criminal Code prohibition on helping someone end his or her life. That provision was struck down, of…