The Assisted Dying Debate Goes On
Regarding your June editorial on Bill C-14 and the issue of medical assistance in dying, the real question is: Do we have control over our own lives or not? If several European countries have laws allowing assisted death without problems (at least none publicized), is it not reasonable to assume that Canadians could be expected to be at least as responsible as those in other countries who have for very real reasons chosen to ask for assistance to end their suffering legally?
I want to weigh in on your take on medical aid in dying (MAID). You start out linking MAID with suicide. The term “suicide” is an outdated description where MAID is concerned. To be helped to die as in MAID is a public, peaceful, and benevolent process done in agreement with caregivers and family who acknowledge their loved one’s right to choice in dying. Any patient who takes this route to a good death is grateful to be relieved of suffering and to go in peace surrounded by loving family. This is not a violent act. Suicide is. By using the term “suicide,” you encourage your readers to regard MAID as a nasty, horrible, and violent act of desperation. MAID is anything but that.
More Funding for Palliative Care
As a retired hospice/palliative-care and hospital chaplain, I have great concern regarding the results of Bill C-14. More funding for palliative care and support for caregivers is a more compassionate answer than asking a doctor who has trained to save lives to kill someone. After journeying with numerous people in their final stages, I cannot recall any person who died in uncontrollable pain. All had good support from a compassionate medical team.
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