Canadian policy on physician-assisted dying sets ‘dangerous precedent’: family doctor

A family doctor said CanadaThe policy of physician-assisted dying sets a “dangerous precedent” which has opened the door to other scenarios in which people may be denied medical care or their lives terminated prematurely.

“In terms of expansion, we first change the criteria, then we increasingly facilitate the elimination of people who are facing life’s challenges, health problems,” said Paul Saba, Montreal family doctor and co-founder of Alliance of Physicians Against Euthanasia in Quebec, The Epoch Times said Wednesday.

“To me, this is really a very sad statement of the affairs of our society, and of what we have become, in terms of the devaluation of human life.”

Saba’s comments come after Bill C-7, federal legislation on medical assistance in dying (MAiD) received Royal Assent in March, expanding eligibility to those who experience intolerable suffering but are not close to imminent death. It will eventually expand to include people who only suffer from mental illness.

Life assessment: triage protocol

“I think an even bigger issue is how we value life. Once you open that door to end people’s lives and value people’s lives, you have the whole question of [COVID-19] and the triage system that was supported, and the guidelines put in place for not caring for sick people, ”Saba said.

Saba was referring to the Ontario government’s “triage protocol,” a color-coded scoring system that instructs hospitals in the province to categorize and distribute resources to patients based on their death rate, which was. released January 18.

In response to major outbreaks of COVID-19 that could result in the need to ration medical resources and intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, the protocol states that in the most severe ‘level 3 triage’ scenario, only patients achieved more than 70 percent the chances of survival beyond 12 months will be a priority for intensive care.

“Once the government begins to assess lives and not see it as its mission – health care is a mission of caring for people who need care – then we will decide who needs care, who needs care. will not be treated, who lives, who dies. And that’s why it’s so important that we… push it back, ”Saba said.

The family doctor began his fight against abortion, euthanasia and medically assisted dying by fighting to save his daughter’s life. In 2009, Saba and his wife learned that their unborn baby, Jessica, suffered from a severe congenital heart defect (her heart’s pulmonary valve was almost completely sealed), making her survival nearly impossible. The couple were offered the option of abortion, but they refused.

Thanks to skilled medical operations, Jessica lived and is today a healthy 12-year-old girl. Its history is detailed in the book of Saba “Made to live, Which was released in 2020.

The upsurge in MA cases continues

About 7,600 Canadians died as a result of medical assistance in dying in 2020, a 35% increase from about 5,600 cases in 2019, a number that was itself up 26% from some 4,500 cases in 2018, according to the senior official of Health Canada Abby Hoffmann.

Extrapolating from existing statistics, Saba said about 25,000 people have been euthanized in Canada since Bill C-14, Bill C-7predecessor of, which was adopted in 2016.

“What was supposed to be reserved for people at the end of their life at the end of their life has now been expanded to include people with disabilities, who have chronic illnesses… and they study and study for people who have mental health problems,” Saba said. mentionned.

Parliament also heard arguments (pdf) to extend medical assistance in dying to children.

“So basically death has to be accessible to everyone,” Saba said.

Impact on Canadians

There are approximately 6.2 million people disabilities in Canada, which represents about 15 percent of the Canadian population.

According to Saba’s calculations, about 70 percent of Canadians would be eligible for medical assistance in dying, adding people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental health issues.

Saba condemned the passage of Bill C-7 during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time “when people are most vulnerable.”

“We encourage and support… killing people with disabilities. Because we know that they have been marginalized, that they are struggling and that it doesn’t take much to push people to their limits, ”Saba said.

He said the media has helped make assisted deaths glamorous and socially acceptable.

“What they always do [is] they’re looking for great photoshoots, but… people who struggle with life’s illnesses don’t always look so good, ”Saba said. “But this is where our responsibility lies: to surround people when they are not so beautiful, [when] they don’t look so young, when they are not the prettiest, we will be there, we will watch them, we will fix their hair, we will do whatever it takes to support them.

Saba is a signatory to a number of petitions against physician-assisted dying, including one petition against the MA launched last December and signed by nearly 1,500 doctors.

“Ultimately, I hope that one day assisted suicide and euthanasia will be reversed in our country because it is… a dangerous policy and a dangerous precedent.”

About Norman Griggs

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