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January 10, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Delta Hospice Society is being coerced by the British Columbia Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, to do euthanasia. The Delta Hospice was given a February 3rd deadline to change their policy. The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians are supporting the Delta Hospice Society. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition recognizes the imperative to protect the Delta Hospice.

We have created a petition demanding that hospice palliative care organizations not be coerced into doing euthanasia. The online petition has close to 15,000 signatures; you can sign it at this link. You can download the paper petition by clicking here. If the Delta Hospice is coerced into doing euthanasia, then all hospice palliative care groups can be coerced to do it.

In December, I did a three-city speaking tour on Vancouver Island. The Island has the highest percentage of MAiD deaths in Canada. During the tour, I met people who are motivated to challenge the attitude towards euthanasia in BC. This motivated us to plan our National Symposium for Saturday June 6, 2020 in Victoria, BC. Please save the date.

Canada’s Justice Minister, David Lametti, will be introducing changes to the euthanasia law after the government did not appeal the Truchon court decision that struck down the “terminal illness” requirement in the law. The federal government has stated that they will do a five-year review of the euthanasia law beginning in June 2020. In a CBC Radio-Canada interview, Lametti said that he may expand Canada’s euthanasia law to include people who are unable to consent to die, but had previously consented, and expand the eligibility age to 14-year-olds. In preparation of the full review of the euthanasia law this summer, the Canadian government released a questionnaire (January 13) on medical assistance in dying (MAID) eligibility criteria and request process. You can complete it online at this link or download the PDF version and submit according to the instructions in the document. The deadline to submit is Monday January 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (PST). You can read my guide to answering the questionnaire by clicking here.

The assisted suicide lobby has launched a major campaign in New York State. Legalization campaigns have also been launched in Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware and New Hampshire. In 2020, we expect the assisted suicide lobby to introduce bills in some new states. Last year, the assisted suicide lobby expanded the eligibility language in several of their assisted suicide bills. Some bills required physicians to refer for assisted suicide while others redefined assisted suicide as part of palliative care.

I have been asked to speak in several US states including New York, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland and Arkansas to provide direction and training for defeating these bills. E-mail me at alex@epcc.ca to inquire about speaking engagements.

January is a great month to renew your EPC Membership ($25 individual, $50 group). We are putting money aside to fix the office roof.

Recently I was contacted by a woman who stated that she had been raped and was so distraught that she wanted to die by euthanasia. I responded to her by acknowledging the pain of being violated, but I urged her to seek justice and not death. She responded by thanking me.

We are thankful for your financial support,

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director

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