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

WATCH: 2010 Olympic architect John Furlong inspires Red Deerians at Chamber event

Furlong suggests Red Deer should get involved with Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid

Red Deer RCMP recent arrests include stolen vehicles, break and enters and drug charges

RCMP continue their focus on repeat offenders as part of the Pinpoint crime reduction strategy

Red Deer RCMP investigate armed convenience store robbery

Suspect fled on foot with undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes

Bringing light to the work RNs do at Arnet Lantern Walk

Red Deer event takes place Sept. 28th at Bower Ponds

City approves $50,000 to support CFR opening ceremonies

Canadian Finals Rodeo expected to generate $25 million annually

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Researchers tag great white shark in Atlantic Canada

Information will be used to learn more about where white sharks move in Canadian waters

Mix-up of bodies leads to funeral home reforms in Nova Scotia

One woman was was mistakenly cremated, another was embalmed and presented to family members during a visitation that went horribly wrong

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

1st private moon flight passenger to invite creative guests

The Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced at an event Monday at its headquarters near Los Angeles.

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.

Russia blames Israel for plane shot down by Syrian missile

A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down over the Mediterranean Sea as it was returning to its home base inside Syria, killing all 15 people on board.

Most Read