Your attitude is everything.
Advance directives are legal documents that allow patients to spell out their wishes concerning end-of-life care. When medical decisions are required, the document helps to avoid confusion about one's true desires in case of ailing health or incapacity.
I don't want to die any more than anyone else. And as a psychologist I take suicide prevention very seriously. But when I deal with a suicidal individual it is with the conviction that, if the person can get through this difficult period, a better and more normal life awaits. When someone is facing a degenerative condition there is no returning to normal.
The Quebec government is not on board.
Publicly-funded hospitals are not constituted "primarily for religious purposes." All Ontario hospitals, Catholic and others, exist to deliver medically necessary services, and all are funded by provinces for that purpose. All hospitals offer the aid and support of religious counsel to families that request it. All hospitals have quiet spaces for reflection and prayer.
It will be five years before Canada's assisted suicide and euthanasia regime has to report back to the nation. These two stories offer reasons why that report will fail to reveal those depressed patients, far from death, who are steered to suicide by others and by their untreated mental illness.
Though assisted death is now officially legal in our fair country, we have yet to formalize a national framework and the debate over the specifics of the regulations seem to omit the most critical voice -- that of the individuals and families who have and continue to be subject to archaic mindsets that deny certain patients the right to end their own life, and control their own destiny. It is imperative we hear these voices -- and so here is mine.
Bill C-14, the government's response to the Carter v. Canada Supreme Court ruling on medical assistance in dying, is generating a lot of criticism from diametrically opposed perspectives -- those who think it too permissive and those who think it is too restrictive.
The boundary established in Bill C-14 for reasonable foreseeability of natural death will serve as an essential safeguard to protect vulnerable persons from being induced to commit suicide through the system. From our perspective, anyone who is not dying, but who is nonetheless seeking death, is by definition vulnerable.
“We were not appointed to govern."