Readers respond to assisted death column

I recently applauded the Province of Quebec which is attempting to legalize assisted death.

There is no better example of what’s wrong with the Charter of Freedoms when it does not allow freedom from pain on the death bed. I did not ask for reader response, but received a ton of it.

From WP, “I enjoy your column in the Kelowna Courier and I couldn’t agree more on assisted suicide. I’m a volunteer counselor at a hospice. The problem is that families will not let go even though the patient is ready for the big trip. I have seen them rescind ‘do not resuscitate’ and have to remind them this decision is not about them, but the wishes of the patient.”

From Medicine Hat, “Thank you, oh thank you. As a veterinarian I watched in horror the last days of my dying mother. She was for assisted death, but we could do nothing because of our country’s religious rule of government. But if it had been a dog, cat or cow I would have to euthanize because it is the law!”

A reader from the Victoria Times Colonist says, “My thanks for bringing this issue forward, a courageous act and a rare public statement by a physician. Probably you will be attacked by enemies you didn’t know you had.”

But not everyone sends roses. From Toronto, “The good doctor is skipping a step. What we need is more palliative care centers to allow quality of life at the end of life. He forgets that pain can be managed.”

Another replied, “You tend to ignore the abuses in Holland, Belgian and elsewhere. Please open your mind and investigate before you write. People in Holland carry cards asking not to be killed when taken to a hospital.”

From Ottawa, “I despair at what you have written. People must die like Christ did on the cross.”

GS writes from Winnipeg, “What about those who suffer from unbearable non-terminal illness? We should be focusing on the degree of suffering a person is willing to live with. I’ve been tormented by depression and anxiety for over 20 years. If we live in a compassionate society I should be allowed to end my life by assisted suicide rather than resorting to do-it-yourself methods that may end in more suffering if botched.”

From Thunder Bay, “I hope your article generates a ground swell of like-minded opinion. At night my 96-year-old mother moans and cries to be released from this life. The doctor is unable to relieve her great discomfort. We would not allow a loved pet to suffer this way nor should my mother have to endure such a long parting from this world.”

VS says, “As a former nurse I have seen patients die in inhumane ways. For those who argue we are playing God, we already do it by replacing umpteen body parts.”

From LK in Niagara Falls, “Several years ago my 90-year-old Mother was dying and in severe pain. The doctors started a morphine drip and asked if we wanted to keep increasing the dose. We agreed, and she finally died peacefully. Keep up the good work.”

An e-mail from JM says, “Debating bigots is a waste of time. Russel Ogden tried debating Margaret Sommerville. She simply tweeted past and present students and filled the room with cronies. Poor Russel was toast before he had a chance to talk.”

Some readers severely criticized me for not recognizing the Beatitudes taught by Christ and the laws given to Moses by God.

But for the most part readers were pleased to see that Quebec was taking a stance on this controversial issue and hoped that other provinces would do so. The final tally showed that about 70% agreed with assisted death, but the others dead set against it.

Woody Allen once remarked, “I’m not afraid of dying. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

Unfortunately we have to be there and, at the moment, accept what fate has to offer. Assisted death will not happen tomorrow.

See the web site www.docgiff.com. For comments info@docgiff.com.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer will officially be the home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo

CFR has potential to bring in an economic impact of $20-30 million

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

Tyler Steenbergen etches his name into Canadian hockey history

Sylvan Lake native scores huge tournament-winner at World Juniors

City council supports $25,000 for Downtown Community Development Committee

Funding supports stakeholders in developing programs enhancing downtown safety

Red Deer’s Gord Bontje gives $500,000 to A Better World

Co-owner of Laebon Homes gives the gift to celebrate 60th birthday

WATCH: Red Deer Entertainment Awards honours Red Deer’s burgeoning talent

The awards looks to become more inclusive of the entire entertainment scene in year three

Trump aces mental aptitude test designed by Canadian immigrant

“This is a good example, I think, that will be helpful to change views about immigration. And maybe for Mr. Trump himself to consider immigrants as contributors to advancing science, advancing our societies.”

Rival Koreas agree to form first unified Olympic team

The rival Koreas took major steps toward reducing their bitter animosity

Canada, U.S. lead call for sanctions against North Korea

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces engagement

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh engaged to clothing designer Gurkiran Kaur

Hijab-cutting case highlights ethical issues with putting kids in spotlight

A Toronto police investigation has concluded a girl’s hijab was not cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Change in politics, society on sexual misconduct ‘not fast enough,’ says Trudeau

Trudeau says society still lagging behind the systemic changes he is trying to make when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual harassment

Bank of Canada to make interest rate decision today

Economists widely believe that based on the economic environment, it’s likely interest rates will rise today

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Most Read