October 2, 2019
In September we received a call from a family whose brother, Alan, died by euthanasia in July in Chilliwack, B.C. The family was upset about his death because he did not qualify under the law for euthanasia since he was physically healthy but lived with chronic depression. The family tried to stop it but the doctors refused to intervene.
Avis Favaro, the medical correspondent for CTV News, produced an excellent report published on September 24 featuring Alan Nichols’ story. This story is important since he was depressed and did not have a physical illness; his natural death was not “reasonably foreseeable.”
Further to that, recently a Québec court struck down the provision in the law that “natural death must be reasonably foreseeable” to qualify for euthanasia. Alan Nichols’ death shows what happens when the law permits euthanasia for physical or psychological conditions, without requiring that the person must also be dying.
The Québec court decision, if not appealed, opens the door to euthanasia for psychological reasons alone. The euthanasia law permitted euthanasia for physical and psychological suffering so long as “natural death is reasonably foreseeable.” By striking down the terminal illness provision, the court is also extending euthanasia to people for psychological reasons alone, such as in the Nichols case. We are urging the Attorney General to appeal the decision.
Nichols did not qualify under Canada’s law but still died by euthanasia. How many others have died by euthanasia who did not “fit” the criteria of the law? Stories such as Alan’s enable us to explain why the euthanasia law does not work. Personal stories have the power to change hearts and minds.
We need these types of stories for our five-year review of the euthanasia law that will begin in June 2020. Please contact us if you have a story concerning euthanasia. Sadly, many people have died by euthanasia already.
We held a successful one-day conference on September 20 in conjunction with the MaterCare Conference in Rome. The timing was perfect. Since the Italian court was releasing its assisted suicide decision on September 24, there were more than 30 articles published in relation to the conference.
We also had a meeting in Rome to update our leadership team for EPC-International. The new team includes: Alex Schadenberg, EPC (Chair), Gordon Macdonald, Care Not Killing Alliance UK (Vice Chair), Nancy Elliott, EPC-USA, Alice Neffe, ADF International, Fabian Stahle (a researcher from Sweden), and Dr. Paul Saba (Québec, Canada), Canada Physicians for Social Justice. More team members will be added soon.
Summer has always been a slow time for donations. This month we helped the Nichols family expose the abuse of Canada’s euthanasia law. We can only help other families and make the truth known with your help. Please consider making a donation this month and/or becoming a monthly donor. Regular donors are the life-blood of our non-profit organization.
We are incredibly thankful for your continued financial support,