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January 03, 2019

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your generous support in 2018! We hope that we can count on you through the challenges of 2019.

The Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) reports examining: child euthanasia, euthanasia of incompetent people who made an advanced request, and euthanasia for people based on psychiatric problems alone, were published on December 12. The reports offered useful information for opposing euthanasia in other jurisdictions.

The report on allowing euthanasia for incompetent people based on advanced requests stated: “Removing a requirement for express consent immediately prior to the MAID procedure raises the possibility that a person might receive MAID against their wishes.”

The report on euthanasia based on psychiatric reasons stated: “Having a mental disorder is one of the most strongly associated risk factors for suicide…up to 90% of those who die by suicide may have had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder…Furthermore, there is some evidence that some people who have sought psychiatric euthanasia and assisted suicide in jurisdictions that permit it share certain characteristics with people who attempt suicide.”

Child euthanasia is very unpopular in Canada. We will continue to pressure governments to reject it and continue to promote the petition opposing the extension of euthanasia to children.

We expect that at least 20 US states will debate assisted suicide in 2019. The New Mexico (HB 90) assisted suicide bill is the most radical legislation that I have ever seen. Either the assisted suicide lobby is using New Mexico to
expand the scope of assisted suicide in the US or the sponsor of the bill has taken a more radical position.

EPC has organized the Stopping Assisted Suicide in Your State Campaign Training Session for Friday, January 25 (1 – 5 pm) followed by a 7 pm screening of Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death. The Conference is Saturday, January 26 (9 am – 5 pm). Both events will be at the Ramada Midtown Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

You can register to attend the events or you can watch the Saturday conference live via the internet.

Registration for Friday’s training session is $35, Saturday’s conference is $50 or attend both days for $80. Register to watch the conference live online from anywhere in the world for $30. We will email you a link.

Speakers include: Nick Goiran – Member of Parliament in Western Australia, Kevin Yuill (UK) – Author of the book Assisted suicide: The Liberal Humanist case Against Legalization, Diane Coleman – Not Dead Yet, Fabian Stahle – Swedish Researcher, Nancy Elliott – EPC-USA President, Amy Hasbrouck – EPC President, Dr. Annette Hanson – Forensic Psychiatrist, Catherine Glenn Foster – President of AUL, Margaret Dore – President, Choice is an Illusion, Kevin Dunn – Producer of Fatal Flaws, and Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director.

For more information, go to “Events” in the navigation above, click on the image in the left-hand column or email info@epcc.ca.

Nova Scotia Catholic hospital facing pressure to permit euthanasia.

The long-time “academic” euthanasia activist, Jocelyn Downie, launched a campaign to force St. Martha’s Hospital in Antigonish to participate in euthanasia on December 17. On December 28, CBC News joined the campaign. During the CBC interview, the assisted suicide lobby group, Dying With Dignity, predicted that a court case will be launched as part of a campaign to force all religiously affiliated medical institutions to kill their patients.

EPC will intervene in cases to defend medical institutions and professionals who refuse to participate in euthanasia.

The third Québec Euthanasia Commission report was released on December 10.

Amy Hasbrouck, EPC President, and Taylor Hyatt, the researcher for Toujours Vivant – Not Dead Yet, completed a thorough analysis of the third Québec euthanasia report and found that the number of euthanasia deaths increased significantly; there were 142 missing death reports and 10% of the deaths did not comply with the law. The report that concerned the Québec euthanasia data from July 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018 indicated that there were 845 euthanasia deaths but they only received 703 death reports. Under-reporting is a problem in the Netherlands and Belgium. In 2015, it was reported that 23% of Netherlands’ assisted deaths were not reported.

It is concerning that 10% of the deaths did not comply with the law. Seven percent of the deaths were non-compliant because there was not sufficient information provided, while 3% of the deaths did not comply with the eligibility criteria. Three deaths were done on a person without a “serious and incurable illness” and two deaths were approved and done on the same day that the doctor met the person. Notice that the government did not charge these doctors.

McGill study found that euthanasia is becoming the first resort not the last resort.

Amy Hasbrouck and Taylor Hyatt also analysed research from a McGill University study concerning how euthanasia is being done. The study looked at 80 euthanasia requests representing 43 euthanasia deaths. The study found that people are not receiving pain and symptom management before they ask for euthanasia and euthanasia is becoming the first resort rather than the last resort. The study indicated that only 14 of the 80 people, who requested euthanasia, had a palliative care consult before requesting euthanasia. The study also indicates that the 10-day waiting period, in the euthanasia law, is essentially being ignored.

We predict that 2019 will have challenges as the euthanasia lobby in Canada continues to promote the extension of euthanasia and pressures medical professionals and institutions to participate in euthanasia. In America, the assisted suicide lobby will introduce legislation in at least 20 states and they will try to expand the scope of the laws.

We ask you to become more active in the issues by renewing your membership, attending or watching the New Mexico conference online on January 26 and by supporting our work. Thank you for your continued support!

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director & International Chair

P.S. Please consider becoming a monthly or regular EPC donor enabling us to better budget and plan our work.

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