Canadian Broadcasting Corporation propaganda promotes couple euthanasia as a love story

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On June 4, CBC News published a story written by Sara Fraser that cannot be ignored because it dangerously promotes couple euthanasia (Medical Assistance in Dying–MAiD) propaganda as a love story. 

The story concerns Bob & Margi Wilson who recently died by euthanasia.  The story is also about a family who agreed to talk to CBC News about the death to celebrate their parents’ “bravery” and to reduce any stigma around MAiD.

The story states that the couple’s daughter brought up the concept of MAiD with her mother, as her mother was approaching death.

Fraser really plays up the “perfect ending” to the “love story.”

In the last weeks, the grandchildren gathered in their grandparents’ room to keep them company, doing crafts and playing music. They reminisced about fun times the close-knit family had spent together. Nothing went unsaid. 

“It was bittersweet,” Scott said of the scene. 

“I joked with my mom, I said it’s almost Romeo and Juliet without the poison,” Scott said. “We use humour in our family as a coping mechanism. In a way, there was somewhat of a relief that a decision had been made, because it was very up and down.”

Even with this “love” story, death does not come without controversy. Fraser reports:

Margi lost consciousness in the days before, and the family thought she might die naturally before the agreed-upon date… 

At 7 a.m. on May 25, doctors came into the room for a final check. They took the family to a different room, away from their parents, and briefed them on the procedure.

Even though Margi wasn’t able to verbally consent, recent changes to the assisted dying law made it possible for doctors to carry out her wishes. Bob indicated to the doctors that he wanted to go through with it, too. 

Margi was not able to consent at the time of death and yet death was “her choice.”

This story was written to sell the idea of couples dying by euthanasia.

You may remember the 2007 assisted suicide propaganda film, The Suicide Tourist, a documentary featuring George & Betty Coumbias. George had significant medical issues but Betty was healthy. 

George wanted to die by assisted suicide at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland and Betty, who was healthy, wanted to die with him, because she couldn’t live without him. But Betty died first, of cancer, in 2009, and George–whom Betty couldn’t live without– remarried and lived with his heart condition until his natural death in 2016.

Stories that are designed to sell more euthanasia have a “contagion” effect and create a false portrayal of what euthanasia is, that being, killing people with lethal drug cocktails.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.