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?     

       Marie Robinson
       via e-mail


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 The term “suicide” is an outdated description where MAID is concerned.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.

Dianne Woodruff
Oakville, ON
Having nursed in extended-care facilities for many years, I have seen patients in constant pain with no quality of life being kept going with medications when they wish to move on. It’s inhumane when once-vibrant human beings are in need of someone else to administer all aspects of daily living.
We are all going to die. Let us be able to say when enough is enough and die with dignity.
Helen Bryson
via e-mail
Why do we feel the need to make the dying process longer than is tolerable? Personally, I would like to know that I have the right to choose how and when I die, should living no longer have any quality for me. It isn’t the fact we all have to die—that is a given; the biggest fear for me, and the majority of people, is: How will my life end?
Victoria Stirling
via e-mail
When is a life not worth living? When the person living that life says so.
Janice Abrams       
via e-mail


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.

            Jo Creedon
            Nanaimo, BC


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