Sunday, July 15, 2012

Harper Moves to Reinstate Fear & Helplessness For Terminally Ill Canadians

That sounds like hyperbole.  It's not.  The Harper government is appealing a B.C. Supreme Court decision upholding the right of the terminally ill to physician-assisted suicide.   Harper wants to restore dreadful fear and hopelessness to the dying.

What's really at stake is not about death, not really.   It is about the quality of life during the dying process we all inevitably face.   It is about relieving the terminally ill of fear of having to endure a protracted, agonizing death.   It is about allowing them to control their final days.

Harper's grotesque appeal won't prevent anyone's death.  It won't "save" anyone, not one.  No one will be somehow rescued.   This is about the terminally ill, those on the brink of death.   These are people on the very verge of death.

This isn't about fearful people making rash decisions.   From my experience, the terminally ill tend to be remarkably rational.   The prospect of near-term death focuses the mind.   It is, after all, their death and their pain.   There are no other "stakeholders" in this process.

Oregon's Death With Dignity Act, dispels all the nonsense about death panels and the vulnerable being pressured into offing themselves.   The Act prescribes an elaborate application, qualification and assessment procedure that specifically address all the inflated criticisms of assisted suicide.  The applicant must be in an advanced state of terminal illness without hope of remission.   The patient must undergo interviews and assessments and then, twice, meet with review panels.   Only when all the qualifications are met and the extensive safeguards satisfied, the patient may be permitted a prescription for lethal medications.

The important part is this.   A great many of those who qualify never fill their prescriptions.   Of those that do, a great many die naturally without using the drugs.   The process merely means that these patients can go through the dying process without fear of having to endure a protracted death of unendurable pain.   And that is relief the Harper government is determined they must be denied.  And that is monstrous.


the salamander said...

This is clearly Stephen Harper's decision.. supporting his ideology, his religious beliefs, his political position, or medical knowledge and personal research of his that Canadians are at this point unaware of. I thought he had trouble enough positioning himself as an 'economist'. Has he somehow become a health care exemplar? I think not. Yes, perhaps a member of his cabinet or his 'party' or supporters or law firms has pushed this nonsense, but we all know who makes decision of this level.. to spend untold millions in legal fees.

Thus all questions should be directed to Stephen Harper for clarification as to why his ideas are more valid than a referendum of Canadians or an enlightened and courageous judge.. or exemplars from the palliative care field.. Attempts to have Harper Party lawyers put forth their tax paid spin or muddle should be held as complete evasion or obstruction. Canadians deserve.. and are required by Canadian law to have their wishes and needs respected.

Like many other issues.. we can expect The Harper Government to try and jam their odd and dangerous ideas or whims down our throats.. and then try to tell us in their disingenuous way, that its good for our health.. in fact, in our best future interest.. even if we are dying.

Our needs re the environment that supports our lives seem irrelevant to this ignorant, arrogant, boorish, dishonest, runway and undemocratic government .. whether in regard to our air, our waters, our lands, our health, our food, or our privacy.. so why should we expect respect.. or even marginal concern or attention regarding dignity or respect during the period leading up to our death?

Anonymous said...

Regardless of their motivation (pseudo religious ideology? personality disorder?), every little thing the Reform Conservatives do is stupidly inhuman and inhumane.

Beijing York said...

This is so distressing. Why must Harper pounce on every single move towards being a compassionate society. He really is revealing himself to be a total insensitive, callous prick. This doesn't cost the economy anything and affords those dying dignity. Harper is beyond contempt.