By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition [EPC]
On October 25, 2016, EPC reported that Elizabeth Wettlaufer, 49, a nurse from Woodstock, was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in what is being called possibly the worst case of a serial killer in Canadian history.
EPC responded to this news by demanding an in-depth investigation into care homes in Canada, especially now that euthanasia is legal.
Wettlaufer is now facing six more changes related to the abuse of patients in Woodstock and Paris Ontario. She is charged with four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault.
It is important to note that Wettlauffer’s alleged acts of murder , which took place between 2007 and 2014, were not uncovered by an investigation or by “quality control” but rather by a tip received by Wettlaufer’s psychiatrist.
Wettlaufer is not the only example. On December 7, the London Free Press reported that Susan Muzylowsky, a nurse who worked at the Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care in London Ontario, confessed to charges of professional misconduct relating to 19 patients, including verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, and withholding medications.
As Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, I regularly receive calls from people who believe their loved one was prematurely killed or neglected in a hospital or nursing home. These cases are frustrating because, based on privacy, it is nearly impossible to prove that such an act has occurred and the financial and personal costs associated with gaining justice is prohibitive.
I am convinced that Elizabeth Wettlaufer is one of many “care-givers” who have caused the death, neglected, or abused patients in care homes. In fact, I am convinced that if an honest, third-party, in-depth investigation was done into the care of vulnerable persons in Canada that a significant number of horrific cases would be uncovered.
Now that euthanasia is legal in Canada, should you be concerned?
There is no effective oversight of Canada’s euthanasia law. If a person dies by euthanasia, the reporting procedure requires the doctor or nurse practitioner who did the lethal injection to submit a report to the authorities. Therefore, the person who causes the death is required to self-report about the death. There is no effective oversight of the law.
Further to that, the flawed language in Canada’s euthanasia law provides legal immunity to anyone who participates, in any way, in an act of euthanasia or assisted suicide. The law states:
Section 241(3): No person is a party to an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.
No other jurisdiction in the world provides this level of blanket immunity for euthanasia.
Legalizing euthanasia in Canada has given medical professionals the ability to cover up acts of murder, abuse, negligence or medical error.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.