Editor’s note. On March 16, Nancy Elliott, a former three-term New Hampshire state representative and a member of the board of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition – International, spoke at a press conference in Montréal hosted by the Physicians for Social Justice. She explained why New Hampshire overwhelmingly rejected assisted suicide 219-66 and why progressive societies like Quebec should reject euthanasia. This overview of her remarks and other presenters appeared at www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1793534#ixzz2wGmN84yK
There are many similarities between the New Hampshire legislation and Quebec’s. Both proposals leave the door wide open for abuse of people in medical facilities. Definitions of eligibility in both Bills are vague and wide open. Medical predictions are not always correct. Many people who are written off outlive their doctors’ predictions. There are medical conditions where people are not necessarily dying and may have many more years of life to live with treatment. Ms. Elliott gave the example of Richard Bloom from New Hampshire who was given 18 months to live with pancreatic cancer. Initially he was refused treatment and after battling with his medical providers was able to procure treatment and doing well 9 years later.
Both bills leave the door open for family abuse, particularly those who can gain from an inheritance. Senior abuse in the community has been estimated at 4-6% and is probably higher in institutional care facilities according to the World Health Organization.
In summary Nancy Elliott states that
“euthanasia is a prescription for all types of abuse of people at the most vulnerable times of their lives.”
Also present at the conference was Lisa D’Amico President of Le fonds d’aide aux victimes d’erreurs médicales (FAVEM) who described the need to protect people with disabilities from the abuses of euthanasia. She explained how disabled people like herself contribute to society and are a benefit to their communities. Medical research needs to be done to treat medically challenged people and this contributes to research and development which is an investment to the economy. The payback is better functioning citizens who contribute back to society.
She also reminded us that not all people with disabilities are born with them, some develop them later in life, and others may even have accidents even at an early age. All of society has an invested interest to encourage better medical care for our fellow citizens so they can better contribute.
In the Video: “Quebecers call to stop euthanasia,” 16 year old Nadine described how she survived leukemia and a bone marrow transplant when she was 14 years ago. She described how young people need love and support to get through and do not need the deadly seduction of euthanasia.
Dr. Sylvia Baribeau, a family physician emphasized the need to treat and support those who need medical care and not abandon them when they need it most.
“Euthanasia is not medical care, it is the cruelest abandonment and abuse of our fellow human beings.”
Dr. Paul Saba who is President of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice reminds us that
“over 9 million doctors in over 100 countries represented by the World Medical Association reject euthanasia and request physicians not to euthanize people in countries or jurisdictions where it is permitted. It also is contrary to United Nations conventions and agreements.”