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March 31, 2020

Dear Friends,

All plans: all speaking engagements, all travel has changed or is postponed. A month ago, the Covid-19 crisis was a concern, but now it has become the dominant concern. We have postponed the April 4 rally in support of the Delta Hospice Society in Victoria BC and the June 6 Euthanasia Symposium until October. We will try to keep the EPC website’s Events page (linked here) up-to-date.

We mourn the loss of life from Covid-19 and are concerned for those who are sick. We recognize that many of those who are dying from the virus are elderly or have health conditions. We hope that a renewed concern for people’s lives will lead to a change in attitude concerning killing by euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Canadian government is debating Bill C-7, a bill to extend (MAiD) euthanasia to people who are not terminally ill and to incompetent people who made a prior request. Due to the temporary shut-downs, Bill C-7 is on hold. The longer Parliament is shut down, the less sense it makes for the government to pass the bill knowing that they also plan to begin a five-year review of the euthanasia law in June 2020.

Several US states were debating bills to legalize assisted suicide while Hawaii was debating a bill to expand its assisted suicide law. Now that the state legislatures have temporarily shut down, it is unlikely that these assisted suicide bills will pass this year. The bad news is that the Washington state bill to research expanding the assisted suicide law passed and the New Hampshire assisted suicide study bill also passed.

The assisted suicide lobby has used the Covid-19 crisis to allow assisted suicide approval by telehealth.

Spain and Portugal are also debating bills to legalize euthanasia. With the legislative shut-downs in both countries and the tragic Covid-19 deaths, it is our hope that these bills will be stopped. In Portugal, groups opposing euthanasia collected enough signatures for a referendum on euthanasia.

We expect that the Covid-19 crisis will temporarily result in fewer euthanasia (MAiD) deaths in Canada. Several Canadian regions determined that MAiD was not an essential service, redeploying health professionals for other essential tasks. The Netherlands euthanasia clinic temporarily shut down. Sadly, the Victoria, BC and Toronto, ON regions decided that MAiD is an essential “health” service.

Our work continues and our voice is more effective during this health crisis. We have been able to quarterback several initiatives and we continue to co-ordinate efforts to protect people.

The Covid-19 crisis has affected us, most notably in a drop in donations. Our monthly/regular donors are more important than ever, whether by direct deposit, credit card or PayPal. These donors enable us to continue our work and plan for the future. I understand that many of you are facing financial uncertainty which makes every dollar even more appreciated.

We are ever thankful for your support,

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director

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