Smart 55: Assisted suicide law talk creates fear for seniors

A while ago, I received a missive from Daphne Jennings, CGRA, member of parliament 1993-97 and advocate against elder abuse.

Pat Cassidy

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

A while ago, I received a missive from Daphne Jennings, CGRA, member of parliament 1993-97 and advocate against elder abuse, on the topic of assisted suicide/euthanasia.

The elderly population, especially those living in poverty, without family or friends they can trust, those battling addiction of any kind, or with disabilities including depression and other mental health issues, are especially vulnerable to assisted suicide/euthanasia.

The situation in Europe indicates that the slippery slope is the reality.

In spite of strong medical guidelines, Holland’s physicians admitted to killing 1,040 patients without their knowledge or consent from 1981 to 91. (Remmelink Report 1991).

In Belgium, a study published in 2010 found that 32 per cent of the euthanasia deaths in Flanders region of Belgium were done without request or consent. (Canadian Medical Association Journal May 17, 2010).

These statistics are not news to me as when Holland brought in euthanasia, my Dutch brother-in-law told me that in Holland the older people were afraid to be admitted into hospitals for fear of being euthanized. Now if Bill C-14 is passed its beginning to hit home.

What happened to the doctors’ Hippocratic Oath?

The draft federal legislation does not include protection of conscience rights for health care workers and institutions that oppose euthanasia/assisted suicide.

Seniors, eat healthy and exercise and pray that when the time comes for you to be hospitalized that no zealous doctor wanting the bed you occupy will come and jab you with a needle and end your life.

Push for palliative care where you can die in comfort.

On a happier note, the weather is beautiful and Mother’s Day is this weekend.

The Lions Club and the legion both have pancake breakfasts.

The Seniors’ Games fundraising dinner has been postponed until June 5 at the Seniors’ Activity Centre.

The OAPO’s monthly meeting is May 12 at 1 p.m. the potluck supper is May 13 at 5:30 p.m.

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