Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Assisted Dying

Also known as Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia

Tag: Canada assisted dying legislation

Top Canadian CMA doctors Buchman and Blackmer speak to UK Parliament in support of assisted dying

My thanks to My Death, My Decision for posting this article on their Facebook page.  Ian Wood

Dr Sandy Buchman, President-elect of the Canadian Medical Association addressed a UK Parliamentary group.  December 11, 2018

“I see assisted dying as one more tool in the service of palliative care’s core mission of alleviating suffering” – Dr Sandy Buchman, Canada.

As a palliative care specialist,  Dr Buchman acknowledged that his personal journey towards accepting assisted dying had spanned over two years.  He stressed that it was his belief high quality palliative care was key to good end of life planning, but that assisted dying did not threaten the provision of such care, but somewhat perversely strengthened the case for ensuring that palliative care was accessible and available.

Closing on a personal example, Dr Buchman explained that whilst he was initially hesitant about the prospect of assisted dying, he ultimately decided that helping patients who wanted to decide when and how they died, was an extension of what he had been doing already: helping to relieve suffering.

Dr Buchman explained that when he first participated in an assisted death, for a professor of medicine suffering from Lewy body dementia, he had been struck by the sense of “illumination”, as though “a weight had been lifted”, when he agreed to discuss the prospect of an assisted death, let alone participate.  He explained that whereas before his patient had explained he felt hopeless, especially after exhausting the options of traditional palliative care, the option of an assisted death enabled the patient’s mood to lift, and allowed him the dignity to die from a peaceful death surrounded by those he loved.  

Ian Wood comments: I frequently read how the option of assisted dying, once the patient has been accepted, is palliative in its own right and a tremendous morale booster for that dying person.

Dr Sandy Buchman, the President-elect of Canada’s Medical Association, who was joined by his Vice-President Dr Jeff Blackmer, discussed the role doctors had played in shaping Canada’s decision to legalise assisted dying in 2016. Continue reading

Rev Craig Kilgour, New Zealand. Sermon – My nephew had an assisted death in Canada: it was compassionate, it was humane, it was right and good.

From our friends across the Tasman I have this Sermon in strong support of Assisted Dying from Rev Craig Kilgour, when Interim Moderator at St Columba’s Presbyterian Church, Havelock North, New Zealand..

It is quite unique in that a nephew of Craig had an assisted death in Canada.  The last two paragraphs of the sermon sum up the compassionate Christian approach to Assisted Dying Choice: Let me finish this with what my family members said and repeated often using these words about my nephew’s death: It was compassionate, it was humane, it was right and good. And the family are very proud and humbled with the courage he showed in his battle with cancer. And to me no one has the right to be critical and judgemental of the choice he made.

So for me and my family this is not a philosophical debate, it is not a theological debate, it is not a theoretical debate, it is a reality and it was right and my nephew was fortunate he lived in Canada.

The sermon is posted here with the kind permission of Rev Craig. In response to my question on what was the reaction of his congregation to the sermon Craig replied: the reaction from the congregation was very positive with many copies requested. Copies went wider into the community. I’ve been asked to speak to a retired group of Doctors at Hastings hospital. 

Ian Wood

 

 

Rev Craig Kilgour

Sunday 14 October 2018

Assisted dying

The topic I’ve chosen for the sermon might seem strange for a morning when we celebrate the birth and baptism of Angus, but then I thought when life ends, we celebrate the life lived whatever the length.

I mentioned my dilemma to Granddad David and he said it evens things out!

I want to share with you this morning about what our family has experienced just recently.

I’m going to talk to you about assisted dying, euthanasia, a topic which is difficult to deal with, and it provokes very strong feelings.

The End of life choice Bill is currently with Parliament’s Justice Select Committee. There have been 35 000 submissions – think about terminal illness, a few months to live, sound mind, to allow physician-assisted death.

I with some of the congregation, attended a discussion on the Bill, that our MP Lawrence Yule had called with a panel of experts at our Community Centre a while ago.

The issue has been debated by the General Assembly of our church and they were unanimously opposed against supporting the Bill before Parliament.

After I took the service on 30 September, I went across to Takaka for the memorial service for my nephew who had died in Canada. He was 47 years old. The memorial service was held on Wednesday 3 October in the Pohara Boat Club – a place where he loved racing his yachting.

I did the eulogy and the internment of ashes at the local cemetery.

It was hard taking part in the service but good to spend a week with the family. I got back home last Monday.

So let me give you a background that led up to his death in Canada on 18 September.

My nephew Continue reading

Ian Wood responds to Archbishop Julian Porteous of Tasmania, and his interview – a Christian Alternative to Euthanasia

The Art of Dying – A Christian Alternative to Euthanasia. Archbishop Julian Porteus. His interview on Cradio, Tasmania. https://cradio.org.au/shows-and-audio/exclusive-to-cradio/q-a/art-dying-christian-alternative-euthanasia/#comment-152750

A Christian response to the Archbishop from Ian Wood.

I urge the Archbishop and his listeners on Cradio  to take the time to view two contrasting deaths, from the many I have on file.

The assisted death of John Shields in Canada. “At his own wake” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/world/canada/euthanasia-bill-john-shields-death.html

A fascinating depiction of how John, raised in a Catholic family, was ordained as a priest, but left the Church after being barred from preaching when he challenged the church opposition to birth control. Read about John’s life as a social worker, his diagnosis with terminal neuropathy and then his advocacy for Medical Assistance in Dying, and using that choice at the end.

John Shields says goodbye to friends and family at his own ‘Irish wake’

Please compare John’s death with that of Flora Lormier from Multiple Sclerosis.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/help-die-family-release-heartbreaking-9614060#ICID=sharebar_facebook

Flora became paralysed from the neck down as her MS progressed.  Her daughter Tracey Taylor posted these photos on a Facebook page and in media such as the Mirror, UK, in the hope it would alert MPs to the futile horrific suffering endured by some people as they die.

Warning: disturbing images….. Continue reading

Rose and Ed – two very different ways of dying!

I have previously posted the story of Ed Ness, in his final hours………..

View the video and see for yourself the peaceful and happy emotional state of Ed Ness, pictured here

and in this video link http://www.cheknews.ca/exclusive-ed-ness-dies-peacefully-in-doctor-assisted-death-324498/  

Ed Ness died from terminal lung cancer after requesting and qualifying for assisted death in Canada, where it is legal.  Ed said goodbye to his closest friends and family. He was given medication that made him fall asleep and his last words to everyone were, “this is perfect.  He passed away peacefully within a few minutes.

Rose is pictured dying from an incurable progressive neuro-degenerative disease. ”Absolute torture!”  Rose was pleading for MPs in South Australia  to pass an assisted dying law.   24 MPs voted against the Bill, 23 MPs for the Bill, so Rose was forced to take the other option within current law, and she stopped eating. She took many days to die. Husband Bernie is still traumatised.  I trust her death is etched on the ‘conscience of those 24 MPs who took away the dignity of Rose. View the emotional distress endured by Rose here.  https://www.todaytonightadelaide.com.au/stories/roses-story

We are striving for a change in the law to give compassionate choice to people like Rose.

We fully support palliative care but sometimes PC is not enough, and this extra choice is needed.

A plea to clergy of any faith who support Voluntary Assisted Dying Choice – Please endorse our Statement of Support now

Statement of Christian clergy support for Anne Gabrielides and the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.

Rev. Dr Craig de Vos, B.V.Sc., Dip.P.S., B.Th.(Hons.), Ph.D, highly respected as a theologian in social aspects of the New Testament, is a practising Minister who holds a passion for social justice issues.

Rev. Dr De Vos says, “Our politicians, often guided by dogmatic religious beliefs, continue to deny the majority who want the choice of a death with dignity.”

“Some oppose voluntary euthanasia and voluntary assisted dying choice arguing that it’s wrong because it’s playing God.  Yet so is artificially prolonging life, and so is allowing people to suffer an horrific death when there are more compassionate alternatives.”

Rev. Dr de Vos endorsed the statement by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who has said. “I believe in the sanctity of life. I know that we will all die and that death is a part of life. Terminally ill people have control over their lives, so why should they be refused control over their deaths? Why are so many instead forced to endure terrible pain and suffering against their wishes?”

Rev. Dr de Vos is Patron and member of the Executive of our group, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia.

He concluded, “I have the utmost sympathy for Anne Gabrielides, who is facing an horrific death from rapidly progressing Motor Neurone Disease, and support her plea to NSW members of parliament to give people in her situation choice and control at the end stages of their illness. I hope these MPs will demonstrate true compassion and empathy for Anne when considering the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.”

Signed

Rev. Dr Craig de Vos, B.V.Sc., Dip.P.S., B.Th.(Hons.), Ph.D,

PLEASE  message Ian Wood using the “contact” on our website if you are clergy of any faith who would be prepared to endorse this Statement

Endorsed by

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Authorised by Ian Wood

National co-ordinator and spokesperson for Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia

Villa 1, Hampton Mews, 4 Wills Place, Mittagong NSW  2575  AUSTRALIA

Website: www.Christiansforve.org.au

TO VIEW ANNIE’S VIDEO AND PLEA TO THE NSW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.

Anne (Annie) has rapidly progressing Motor Neurone Disease and her interview together with her family is truly heartrending.  Here> https://www.change.org/p/don-t-leave-me-trapped-in-a-dying-body-allow-me-to-die-peacefully

Canada passes Federal assisted dying law

This is a major positive step in Canada, It is now up to Australia to follow this example.

The most comprehensive analysis of this change in Canada that I have read was posted on Facebook by Marshall Perron, who you may recall was Chief Justice in the Northern Territory . and who initiated the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act there some 20 years ago.

Here is Marshall’s posted article in full –

NEWS FROM CANADA
June 17, 2016: Canadian parliament completes passage of federal aid-in-dying legislation.

Yesterday will be remembered as yet another momentous step forward for our movement to establish the right to aid-in-dying as a fundamental human right.

Yesterday, Friday June 17, the Canadian Senate passed bill C-14 put forward by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which had previously been passed by the House of Commons. This made aid-in-dying fully legal all across Canada, and established a country-wide legal framework for its implementation.

There are many parameters of the new Canadian law which are similar to those of our own Oregon, Washington, Vermont and California laws. The Canadian law allows assisted dying for consenting adults “in an advanced stage of irreversible decline” from a serious and “incurable” disease, illness or disability and for whom natural death is “reasonably foreseeable.”

Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott issued a joint statement, saying: “The legislation strikes the right balance between personal autonomy for those seeking access to medically assisted dying and protecting the vulnerable.” The new law has the strong support of the Canadian Medical Association, which said in a statement that it was “pleased that historic federal legislation on medical aid in dying is now in place.” Cindy Forbes, president of the CMA, said the law brings clarity and balance to assisted dying. “I feel very confident the government has done the right thing.”

A brief summary of the history leading up to this momentous event: In June, 2014, the Canadian province of Quebec passed a groundbreaking and far-reaching aid-in-dying bill, and in February, 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled unanimously (nine to nothing !!!!) that aid-in-dying is a fundamental human right for terminally ill people, part of a broader human right to compassionate care at end of life. On December 10, 2015, the Quebec law went into force. And on June 6, the Canadian Supreme Court’s ruling took effect, invalidating all previously existing laws banning aid-in-dying.

To us in the USA, it’s fascinating that the debate in Canada over the bill has not been about whether aid in dying should be legal, but rather about whether the new law goes far enough, and in particular that it does not help people who suffer from intolerable medical conditions even though they may not be “terminal.” The Canadian Supreme Court’s 2015 decision establishes intolerable physical suffering as a condition for aid in dying without requiring that the person be terminal. However, Ellen Wiebe, a Vancouver doctor who has been assisting in deaths, said she sees the new law as flexible. In her view, patients with advanced multiple sclerosis, who would die if they did not accept treatment, could be deemed to face a “reasonably foreseeable” natural death, and therefore be eligible for medical assistance to end their lives.