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A concept based on the Canadian healthcare system.
A concept based on the Canadian healthcare system.
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Humanize Reader’s Digest Canada Pushes Euthanasia, Ignores Hospice

Originally published at National Review

The push is on in Canada to normalize euthanasia as the best way to die — to save money and emotional turmoil. How hard is the push? Reader’s Digest Canada — no less — has published a guide to end-of-life planning that pushes euthanasia and doesn’t even mention hospice.

The guide advises readers to “pick the right time” to die, i.e., be euthanized — euphemistically known as “medical assistance in dying” (MAID). From “The Ultimate Guide to End of Life Planning”:

A scheduled death can allow people to say goodbye in the way they want. According to Helen Long, a MAID is often like a celebration of life—except the guest of honour gets to be there. “A friend of my dad had a classic car, and he and his son went for one last drive around the neighbourhood,” she says. “Once a person makes a decision, it’s often a very freeing experience for them. It gives them back their control.”

The allusion is to “the guest of honour” is to euthanasia parties, where people attend to say goodbye and watch the patient be killed or — as happens in the U.S.A. — take poison pills. In my view, people who attend such gatherings validate suicide and are morally complicit in the death.

Suicide prevention? Ha! What’s that?

Meanwhile, the guide is notable for what it leaves out. As mentioned above, there is no discussion of the compassionate services available to terminally ill people and their families from hospice, such as pain control, chaplaincy, volunteers, home-care givers, and the like.

Nor is there any discussion about how to access pain and symptom control. Nor of how to overcome the existential fear and anxieties — such as worries about being a burden — that are the primary cause of people asking doctors to kill them, but which can be significantly ameliorated with the proper interventions.

When the Reader’s Digest Canada boosts killing — and gives extremely short shrift to caring — and indeed, leaves out the most important information fearful terminally ill patients and their families need to make proper decisions, you know the culture of death has gone mainstream.

Shame on the Reader’s Digest Canada.

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.
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