Doctors Speak Out: Transform Bill C-14 from death legislation to life and health care legislation

Dr. Sylvia Baribeau, a Montreal family physician
Dr. Sylvia Baribeau, a Montreal family physician
MONTREAL - May 10, 2016 - PRLog -- Dr. Peter Blusanovics is a family, palliative and hospice care physician in Montreal. In reaction to Bill C-14 he states "we must first have quality health care services including palliative care before going down the path of euthanasia or physician assisted suicide which is a dead end solution. When people have health challenges and feel lonely, they may want to die even when they have many quality years left to live. We must keep people from being isolated, abandoned and left alone. We need to give our fellow citizens better choices then a lethal injection. Unfortunately, the Quebec and proposed Canadian law on physician-assisted suicide may force some patients to end their lives prematurely. Our governments and health care institutions cannot be excused for failing to provide adequate treatments and abandoning our citizens at the most defenseless times in their lives. The priority of a caring society must always be to provide the best medical care and support for all."

Dr. Sylvia Baribeau, a Montreal family physician, sees that our fast-paced society is short circuiting love, care and relationships. By making people feel they are a burden, we are telling them they are of no value and encouraging them to give up.

Dr. Ron Olivenstein, Medical Director of the Montreal Chest Institute, states that even those with advanced neurodegenerative disorders rarely seek euthanasia if provided with good care.

Dr. Paul Saba, a family physician, has presented a brief to the Justice Committee with amendments. The amendments respect the Carter decision and fundamental human rights. It reflects a palliative care model and protects those who could have many valuable years of life to live. It also ensures that people are informed about palliative care including the concept of "double effect" and the intention to treat pain and not kill the person.

Passing Bill C-14 in its present form would lead the Federal Government to be complicit in terminating lives prematurely that could otherwise be lived fully and contribute to society.  The story of Nadine, who is now in College, is an example of a brave young woman who overcame the odds of leukemia and is happy to be alive.

Dr. Saba pleads with the Federal Government to transform Bill C-14 from a death legislation to a life and health care legislation.

Euthanasia or physician assisted suicide must be rejected.

Guaranteed access to palliative care must be instituted with a funded National Program.

In addition, to ensure quality health care for all Canadians and save lives, nationally funded programs for Pediatric, Cancer, Home and Poverty Care must be implemented. It is well known that poverty is a major determinant for health. Our efforts must focused on providing life and dignity in life and not ending life prematurely.

Dr. Paul Saba M.D.
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