Parliamentary Report on Euthanasia Released
The Special Joint Committee Report on Physician-Assisted Dying pays careful attention to meeting the needs of those who are so ill or in pain that they wish to bring their lives to a close. However, it pays little attention to safeguards or the possible repercussions of allowing easy routes to assisted death, particularly affecting those with mental issues or physical disabilities, or who may be unwillingly subject to the control of family or others.
The report extends the possibilities beyond what most believe the Supreme Court intended when it overruled the legislators on this issue. Medically-assisted death may become a new “growth industry” and change life and death in Canada in ways even the Supreme Court didn’t intend. There’s an excellent article in The Toronto Star on this topic by Thomas Walkom.
Euthanasia and Elder Abuse
In jurisdictions where euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide are permitted, results have shown that some physicians make self-directed quality of life judgements for their patients. In Holland, for example, some doctors made the decision on their own that the patient’s life was no longer worth living.
They reported taking action to end a life without reference to the patient or their families. In Europe, permitting euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide has been shown to open the door to elder abuse that is equivalent to homicide. The experience in Holland was reviewed in The Remmelink Report. This Call to Action PDF summarizes what may lie ahead for Canadians.
An article from The National Post summarizes what could happen in Canada with regards to euthanasia. A survey by the Canadian Medical Association indicates that most Canadian doctors do not, at this time, support the practice and believe they should have the power to opt out.
Time is almost up for Canadians to act
The Supreme Court, which gave Canadian federal and provincial governments 12 months (to February–time is almost up) to craft legislation to deal with their ruling, effectively licenses euthanasia. If governments take no action to stop doctors from assisting with suicide, “the court’s exemption for physicians will stand.” We should all be worried at the potential—whether we’re grandparent age or not. As The Remmelink Report showed, physicians took action in cases where patients suffered from depression and chronic physical ailments that were neither terminal nor painful, and where they did not know or ask to be killed.
From 24News.ca: “Belgian doctor facing possible murder charge… warning for Canada.”
Adapting to Change
Carol Ross, Executive Director of the Parent Support Services Society of BC, reports receiving “a growing number of calls from grandparents who are being denied access.,” and that they are starting “to form support groups for grandparents who are not the full time care providers.” Parent Support Services Society PDF
Carol has recommended that grandparents with a legal issue call their support line toll free at 1 8555 474 9777, and has indicated that their Grandparents Rights Group support line staff are becoming more and more familiar with the New Family Law.
Being a Grandparent is Considered Very Good for Your Health!
A recent report on CTV News says that adult grandchildren and grandparents both benefit substantially when they have contact. A study from Boston College covered by CTV found that “an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations,” said Sara Moorman, professor of sociology. “The greater emotional support grandparents and adult grandchildren received from one another, the better their psychological health.”
For more on this topic:
CLICK TO READ BackgroundER on Ontario and Grandparents’ Rights
Progress Report on the U.K.
Our own National Post has reported, under the front page headline Let Dad see the kids or lose your passport, in a piece by Robert Winnett from The Telegraph that “Divorced mothers in Britain who refuse to give their former husbands access to the children could be banned from travelling abroad, driving, or even leaving their homes in the evening…” See the original report
The Child’s Right to Love is available free
We are now distributing The Child’s Right to Love. For details on where to obtain additional copies of the Handbook (printed) or for more information on the Canadian Grandparents Rights Association, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To download The Child’s Right to Love Handbook, click.
CGRA NEWS REPORT
To be added to the mailing list for The CGRA News Report (published twice a year,) please email. If you haven’t received your copy, please click CGRA News Report– to download the PDF.
To be added to mailing lists: email@example.com
CGRA Ongoing Activities
Changes to the Family Law Act
In view of the changes to the Family Law Act in BC, we are preparing updates. We’re in the process of contacting the Ministry of Education to ask for your support in making the recently published CGRA Handbook: The Child’s Right to Love, available in schools to help provide guidance for teachers, students, and families. Since the Handbook focuses on the topics of Family Law in BC, parental alienation, where to get help, and the laws that apply to children and families, it could provide timely help to school administrators and teachers when students are facing problems at home. We’re also asking that the Ministry take the initiative by including Parental Alienation Awareness in Family Studies curriculum and offering CGRA workshops for staff/teachers.
The President of the CGRA is Daphne Jennings, who has fulfilled this function since 2010, and is a former Member of Parliament. A teacher and community worker, Daphne was the M.P. for Mission-Coquitlam, BC, from 1993-97.
Mrs. Jennings’ first term of office as a Member of Parliament was immediately busy, with unusual success for a member of the Opposition. Her private member’s Motion 89 for freer votes resulted in the Government exercising freer votes during Private Members’Business. In 1994, she was the lone M.P. to defend and keep lacrosse as a Canadian national sport, and was proud to defend Canada’s natural cultural heritage. (See speeches and contributions as an M.P.)
Mrs. Jennings also took her Grandparent’s Rights Bill C232 across Canada to raise awareness for the rights of children to have access to their families. Although the bill received unanimous consent in the House, it was buried in Justice Committee.
To correct this, she introduced Motion 267, which passed in April 1997, thereby ensuring that all future Private Member’s Bills must be returned to the House for completion of debate, following the committee process.
Encouraging Canadians to recognize the value of literacy became a challenge she was determined to push. Literacy begins at birth and can play a major role in crime prevention. During the 35th Parliament, Mrs. Jennings worked with others on many issues including justice reform, social reform, seniors’ issues, and debt and deficit reduction. As one of the few M.P.s who actively fought against injecting our dairy cows with a synthetic growth hormone to increase milk production, she insisted Canadian’s health must come first, and in the absence of long term studies, and after reading some negative test results, Mrs. Jennings stated that allowing this product into the market place amounts to a human experiment.
Upon leaving, she said “ I have felt honoured to have been chosen by my riding to represent Canadians in our Parliament. I have great respect for the position and firmly believe if all parliamentarians work together, our government and our country will be strong. I stepped down for personal reasons and did not run in the 1997 federal election.”
After serving in the 35th Parliament, Mrs. Jennings became a National Director in CGRA, the Canadian Grandparents Rights Association, and has continued as a volunteer for over 15 years. “There is still much to be done. Children need equal access to both parents.”