An Oregon doctor: « Quebec’s proposed euthanasia law is a license to kill »

Jeanette Hall, is thrilled to be alive 13 years after Dr Kenneth Stevens,  a practicing cancer doctor with more than 40 years’ experience, talked her out of « doing » Oregon’s law, i.e., killing herself with a lethal dose of barbiturates.

In 2000, Jeanette was diagnosed with cancer by another doctor and told that she had six months to a year to live.  This was without treatment.  The other doctor had referred her to Dr. Stevens for radiation and chemotherapy.  Jeanette, however, had voted for Oregon’s law.  She had made a firm decision to go forward with Oregon’s law instead.

Jeanette Hall shares her story with Dr Paul Saba

Dr Kenneth Stevens is a Professor Emeritus and a former Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, Oregon.  He has treated thousands of patients with cancer.

In a press conference this morning in Montreal, Dr. Stevens spoke about how the mere existence of legal assisted suicide steered Jeanette Hall to suicide.  He also discussed how financial incentives in Oregon’s government health plan steer patients to suicide.

Dr. Stevens offered a warning to Quebecers, and any place looking to legalize Euthanasia:

…if assisted suicide or euthanasia is legalized in Quebec, for example, then the Quebec government health program could follow a similar pattern—that is, to pay for people to die, but not to live.

Dr. Paul Saba, a family physician and co-president of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice believes that Québec’s proposed euthanasia law will encourage people, including young adults with treatable conditions, to agree to euthanasia and throw away their lives.  The Coalition’s position against euthanasia is supported by the World Medical Association representing nine million physicians.

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Physician-assisted suicide encourages people with years to live to throw away their lives: an Oregon cancer doctor and his patient tell their story and warns Quebecers

Date: October 25, 2013
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Auberge Bonaparte
447, rue Saint-François-Xavier
Montréal, QC H2Y 2T1
(Beside the Centaur Theatre)

The Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice presents a doctor and his patient from Oregon where assisted suicide is legal.

Dr Kenneth StevensDr Kenneth Stevens is a practicing cancer doctor with more than 40 years’ experience. He is also a Professor Emeritus and a former Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, Oregon. He has treated thousands of patients with cancer.

Jeanette Hall, Dr. Stevens’ patient, is thrilled to be alive 13 years after he talked her out of “doing” Oregon’s law, i.e., killing herself with a lethal dose of barbiturates.

In 2000, Jeanette was diagnosed with cancer by another doctor and told that she had six months to a year to live. This was without treatment. The other doctor had referred her to Dr. Stevens for radiation and chemotherapy. Jeanette, however, had voted for Oregon’s law. She had made a firm decision to go forward with Oregon’s law instead.

Dr. Stevens did not believe in assisted suicide. He also believed that Jeanette’s prospects for treatment were good. He convinced her to be treated instead of doing Oregon’s law.

Dr. Stevens will talk about how the mere existence of legal assisted suicide steered Jeanette Hall to suicide. He will also talk about how financial incentives in Oregon’s government health plan also steer patients to suicide. Dr. Stevens warns how if assisted suicide or euthanasia is legalized in Quebec, then the Quebec government health program could follow a similar pattern—that is, to pay for people to die, but not to live.

Dr. SabaDr. Paul Saba, a family physician and co-president of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice will demonstrate how Québec’s proposed euthanasia law will encourage people, including young adults with treatable conditions, to agree to euthanasia and throw away their lives.

The Coalition’s position against euthanasia is supported by the World Medical Association representing nine million physicians.

Saving Money, not Lives. Oregon limits life extending cancer treatment, offers assisted suicide instead

VIDEO:Barbara Wagner – Denied Cancer Treatment, encouraged to take assisted suicide instead

 

In 2008, Barbara Wagner wanted to continue fighting for her life and continuing cancer treatment. Her doctor recommended a treatment that could help extend her life, but the government sent her a letter declining coverage for the drug, but offering to pay for comfort care including physician aid in dying…

Read more from the article:

Letter noting assisted suicide raises questions

By Susan Harding

 

 

The coalition questions the legality of bill 52 #Canada #Quebec

The Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice denounced Bill 52 which appears to be illegal since euthanasia doctors could be prosecuted criminally and the Quebec legislature could be brought before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Coalition implored the public to look at the casualties of the Belgian experience
MONTREAL, Oct. 15, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – At a press conference, the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice announced the legal means they plan to use to stop Bill 52 which is dangerous to the health and safety of Quebecers at the end of life and those not at the end of life. « This bill is illegal in many ways », said Dr. Paul Saba.

Mr. Dominique Talarico, a lawyer, announced that the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice will ask permission to intervene in the case of Gloria Taylor and Kathleen Carter in British Columbia if the recent decision of the Court of Appeal of British Columbia is appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In addition, in the case of Taylor and Carter, Mr. Talarico supports the decision of Judge Newbury and Judge Saunders of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. « It is clear that the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the case of Sue Rodriguez against British Columbia in 1993, could not be ignored in British Columbia, as it cannot be in Quebec. The Quebec government is going the wrong way by trying to legislate on the issue of euthanasia through a medical « re-branding » whereas euthanasia is exclusively the jurisdiction of the federal parliament regarding the criminal nature arising from the fact that euthanasia is a death caused by another individual. Although the term is not used by the Quebec legislature, it is clear that euthanasia is in fact euthanasia – the act of a person administering a fatal dose of a drug or lethal substance to end the life of another person. The « deception » relates to the misleading term « end-of-life care ». This does not change the application and scope of the federal law, which defines euthanasia as murder. If Quebec passes Bill 52, we will do everything we can to suspend the application of this law from the moment that it is adopted. Furthermore, we will ask the Court to pronounce the law as being invalid. If necessary, we will fight all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. »

Mr. Talarico explained how the Quebec Bar, which supports the bill, still recognizes that « assisted suicide and other forms of euthanasia remain criminal… » To circumvent this difficulty, the Quebec Bar states that « It is no longer at all certain that criminal law fulfills its true mission in end-of-life care for people at the end of life. » The Quebec Bar proposes to adopt guidelines to be published by the Quebec Attorney General for attorneys assigned to criminal and penal prosecutions in Quebec similar to those adopted in 2010 by the Prosecutor in Britain. The Bar added: « These guidelines, issued in 2010, should be adopted if the Attorney General of Quebec decides to follow this path in order to integrate the evolution of the application of the law that we propose in our present brief. » It is a Band-Aid solution to stop hemorrhaging. The Attorney General in Britain is in charge of all criminal attorneys to achieve a smooth and consistent application of the law throughout the country. In contrast, the Attorney General of Quebec has jurisdiction over attorneys practicing only in Quebec, and although the application of the Criminal Code is the responsibility of each province, the resulting application of the law would be potentially different in Quebec and could be discriminatory and subject to legal challenge. This solution is ephemeral and cannot reassure doctors from prosecution who commit a criminal offense of euthanasia.

Dr. Georges Casteur a Belgian family physician and former director of a neurological rehabilitation center in Ostend, Belgium (1976-2012), denounced the slippery slope of the Belgian euthanasia law. « The criteria appeared at first restrictive but then became increasingly wide open. The interpretation of the law is so liberal that any person may be euthanized for any reason. » He also demonstrated that the proposed Bill 52 is very broad and predicts that the same abuses that are occurring in Belgium will happen in Quebec. Currently in Belgium people who are tired of life or depressed can be euthanized on demand.

He cited the example of a 64-year-old woman who was euthanized for depression following the break-up of a relationship. A young woman with anorexia nervosa was a victim of euthanasia after an abusive sexual relationship with her ​​psychiatrist. These cases demonstrate a slippery slope and the « permissive attitude towards euthanasia which is promoted by euthanasia doctors ».

« Furthermore, people are being denied « free and informed consent » for the following reasons: family influence (exhaustion of caregivers, enticement of early inheritance); nurses or orderlies overwhelmed at work and lacking resources; and some doctors, favourable towards euthanasia.

Dr. Paul Saba, a family physician and co-president of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice, denounced euthanasia which has no place in the practice of modern medicine in Quebec. The position against euthanasia is supported by the World Medical Association representing nine million physicians. Is the government going to euthanize people who should not be euthanized – depressed people, people with disorders and/or disabilities, young people with diseases or depression encouraged to abandon medical treatment pre-maturely, people manipulated by their families or doctors? Dr. Saba insists that Bill 52 is a diversion for the real needs in our health care system. « It’s easy to promote the lethal injection that costs $10 when emergency rooms are overflowing and people do not have family physicians, wait months for tests and surgeries, and worry about their health. »

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For further information:
Dr. Paul Saba
514-886-3447
514-249-8541
pauljsaba@gmail.com
Coalitionmd.org

Study: 10 yrs of Euthanasia in Belgium – Should Quebec Embark on This Lethal Journey

On the last day of public hearings on  » end of life care , » the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice invited Dr. Georges Casteur , former medical director of a neurological rehabilitation center in Ostend , Belgium(1976 to 2012) to present results of 10 years of euthanasia in his country. According to Dr. Casteur, safeguards and controls in Belgium do not provide complete protection. According to studies, one-third of patients “euthanized” were not able to give free and informed consent. Almost 50% of “euthanasia cases” were not reported to authorities. He described the steep slippery slope and “the culture of death” that is now installed in Belgium. He gave several examples of people “exhausted of life, or depressed » who were given lethal injections without prior notification to their family members. Recently a 44 year old patient named Nathan Verhelst ( » Nancy « ) unhappy with a sex-change surgery was euthanized on Sept. 30, 2013. In contrast, several of Dr. Casteur’s patients have changed their decisions to end their lives after talking with him or his colleagues. Last year one of his patients with severe quadriplegia, following an accident, was referred to a Brussels hospital for three weeks of rehabilitation after euthanasia was already programmed. After a chance conversation with a physician at the clinic, he changed his mind and is now enjoying life. He also described how pressures such as financial problems, family members, heirs, health care providers and administrators lacking hospital beds, can prevent people from making “free and unbiased decisions.” Also there is a lack of independence of the second consulting physician who is often a member of the same team with a goal of promoting euthanasia. He showed the similarities of the Belgian and proposed Quebec law. He argued that the same tragic consequences will happen if euthanasia is legalized in Quebec. Furthermore Dr Casteur is astonished that the word euthanasia is not used in the Bill 52. However there is one major difference: Belgian law is a federal law unlike the proposed Quebec law which is a provincial.

Also present were a couple from Lachine, Quebec, Jacques Ro:y and his wife Diane Bergevin, whose life has been challenged since 2011 by two tumors, one behind the left eye and another in her lung. Despite the severity of the diagnosis, they are both relieved by the good response to treatment. Mr. Roy discussed the potential dangers of a poor prognosis given by some doctors and a variety of external pressures that may endanger the health and survival of patients. He is concerned that the new law will « encourage people to look for the easiest and the fastest fix- the deadly needle. Administrators, government and some doctors will benefit. It is clear that it is more expensive to treat diseases. So even though there may be a chance to survive or live longer, some doctors will quickly ship patients off to funeral homes.  »

Dr. Paul Saba who is a family physician and co-chair of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice explained the fatal consequences of euthanasia and the loss of individual autonomy if Bill 52 is passed. Euthanasia also creates significant risks such as premature deaths in those with potentially reversible conditions. In Oregon, before the government agrees to pay the cost of medical care even for young people, cancer treatment must obtain a success rate of over 50% for 24 months. People who could potentially live a long time or even get cured from a cancer diagnosis must pay out of pocket or accept the free lethal cocktail.

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