Euthanasia is an act or omission of an act that is done to directly and intentionally cause the death of another person in order to end suffering. Assisted suicide occurs when one person aids or encourages another person to suicide.
Some people want to die by euthanasia or assisted suicide because they are fearful
- They fear experiencing uncontrollable pain.
- They fear being abandoned or being left alone in their final days.
- They fear receiving unwanted medical treatment without consent.
- They fear being a burden on family members and other caregivers.
- They fear living with terminal illness and losing their abilities or personal autonomy.
- They fear the process of dying naturally.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide are not necessary
- Everyone has the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment.
- Withholding or withdrawing medical treatment is a legal and common medical practice.
- Withholding or withdrawing medical treatment is not the same as euthanasia or assisted suicide.
- Pain management and palliative care can effectively control almost all types of physical pain.
- They threaten the lives of people with disabilities, the elderly, and the chronically ill who may be vulnerable to friends, family members and /or medical care givers who question their quality of life.
- People may be pressured into “choosing” death by lethal injection or killed without giving informed consent. One person’s freedom to “choose” death may be the only “choice” offered to someone else.
- Elder abuse and the abuse of people with disabilities is a prevalent social scourge. Safeguards will never protect vulnerable persons.
- If killing is an acceptable solution for one problem, what other problems will killing become a solution for?
Proper Palliative /Hospice Care
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms.
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process.
- Neither hastens nor postpones death.
- Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care
- Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death.
- Offers a support system to help the family cope throughout a patient’s illness and during bereavement.
- Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families.
- Enhances quality of life, and can positively affect the course of illness.
- Is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are needed to prolong life, and include, investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.
Definition: International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (www.HospiceCare.com)
sourced from Caring not Killing www.CompassionateCommunityCare.org
If you need advice, help and support regarding euthanasia, assisted suicide or end –of-life treatment issues, call 1.855.675.8749. It is confidential and free
There are many concerns regarding the use of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. Alex Schadenberg Executive Director and International Chair of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition presented an informational lecture in NL