To the editor: In vigorous response to Mr. Rathje’s letter (Thunder Bay Source, March 26, 2010) I would ask readers to seriously consider the flaws in his argument as well as the negligent misinformation held therein.
To the editor:
In vigorous response to Mr. Rathje’s letter (Thunder Bay Source, March 26, 2010) I would ask readers to seriously consider the flaws in his argument as well as the negligent misinformation held therein.
The writer draws repeatedly on irrelevant references (school shootings, "the unborn," depressed and suicidal teenagers, murder) in an attempt to illicit fear and reactivity from the public in response to Bill C-384 (dubbed by some the "euthanasia bill").
In addition to ignoring the multitude of empirical research findings from the places where concessions for euthanasia and/or physician assisted suicide are allowed by law (e.g. The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Oregon, Washington) which clearly show vulnerable populations have not been targeted by "doctors, special interest groups and government agencies," Mr. Rathje disregards the carefully chosen language of Bill C-384.
The Bill (available online with a simple Google search) explicitly states that informed consent must be obtained from the 18 plus individual, that they be competent to provide that consent, and that they unequivocally request assistance in dying on at least two separate occasions, at least 10 days apart.
Contrary to what Mr. Rathje purports, Bill C-384 does not provide physicians, or anyone else, the right to "apply this philosophy" to any individual against their will or without their knowledge. There is no evidence of any "human tendency to abuse euthanasia."
Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide are not replacements for adequate and compassionate end of life care, but some would argue they can be a legitimate part of it.
I have not personally formed an opinion favouring either side of this debate, but I do vehemently oppose the spread of misinformation and outright fallacies by groups and individuals seemingly for no other reason than to incite fear and limit productive discourse on an issue so important for Canadians.
I encourage everyone with an interest in the topic of ethical end-of-life care, including Mr. Rathje, to inform themselves with careful consideration of the motives and interests of their information sources.
An informed constituent,