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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Confusion Bill C-14

Confusion about Bill C-14 (Medical-Aid-in-Dying). It has to be rewritten so a Second Grader can understand it.

The Supreme Court of Canada changed Lynn Smith's Declaratory Orders (2012) and left out that MAID applicants had to be fully-informed and minute you might want MAID, next minute not sure.  These end-of-life decisions have to be videotaped (see Switzerland). These words function as safeguards and should be written in Bill C-14.

When something confusing is explained to me, I will initially understand it (trust the teacher), but it might be just a surface thing.  But given time I might not understand it as my life experiences will question it.
A person can be competent to marry but not competent to handle his finances.  Figure that one out.  This is true in British Columbia.  Mental capacity is hard to measure by a doctor especially if he is time pressured and the $resources are not available to do more than an adequate job.  A MAID applicant might be borderline incompetent but the doctor decides to approve a MAID assessment "in good faith" "best interest of the patient." He will say that the MAID applicant is competent enough to make such a decision.  The next day the applicant becomes incompetent (full dementia takes a long time, early stage dementia (forgetting where you put your car keys) means an applicant can still makes decisions). Since an applicant has to be competent to die he cannot agree to die if he is incompetent.  To avoid this possibility, the medics have to expedite death.  But if you have at an advanced medical directive saying you do not want medical treatment that would most probably cause death this advanced directive is to be followed. However if you want death (MAID) you cannot have an advanced directive.  Figure that one out.
Also, the safeguard that a MAID applicant can change his mind is questionable. 
Safeguard 3(d) (search “parliament” then search “ bill c-14”)
(d) ensure that the person has been informed that he may, at any time and in any manner, withdraw his request;
Who is the applicant to tell and in what manner. And may means maybe or ask permission.  The word may has to be replaced with can.  When I had the personal experience of asking a doctor to remove a DNR from my husband's medical chart, the doctor refused.  I was later told that my husband could not change his mind after he talked to me as I might influence him.  Of course I will try to convince him to live.  If I wanted him to die that would be different.  What does that mean, a hospital doctor knows more about what the applicant wants than his wife.  So now we are in the field of what is ambivalence.  A DNR is like MAID, it is an advanced directive.  Now we are into the territory of why is it that only three countries in the world have advanced directives. That is evidence to suggest that advanced directives are not a good thing.  I do not know, but I am sure that it has very little to do with pain but hastening death does save time and money for the health system.  How is suffering different than pain. I am confused.
I am very upset over a statement made on a Friday CBC news commentary that doctors can go to its only mandated “insurance company” CMPA, Canadian Medical Protection Association, to get legal advice on what a doctor should do. I thought that such information would be under the purview of the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons. This is very confusing as the CMPA is not an insurance company, it is a trade union for doctors. The doctors pay membership fees to it, most of which is reimbursed by government to the physicians (conflict of interest). The CMPA has $billions in funds to defend any doctor against any complaint be it malpractice or being rude to a family member. Since it is not an insurance company, CMPA is not subject to laws that insurance companies have to follow. Nothing happens to a member no matter how often he screws up or how much money the CMPA pays out on his behalf. Knowing this doctors do not lose any sleep over their errors.
It totally confuses me that we should trust doctors with euthanasia when in the USA in 2015 $200 billion was spent on medical litigation (Forbes magazine). Proportionally based on Canada's population that would equate to a little less than $20 billion in Canada.  If doctors are so trustworthy why are we $litigating them so much? Stupid me, we must allow doctors to make mistakes so our pain and/or suffering can be translated into a financial windfall.  Careless mistakes by doctors can end our lives. So why then do doctors make so many mistakes? Because they can.  Because nothing of consequence happens to them. The regulatory college might embarrass them if they sexually touch someone but there is no punishment for illegally hastening a patient's death.  And now with MAID health professionals have immunity from criminal prosecution.
Also Bill C-14 has to be rewritten so all of us can understand it (especially children as it is part of the government’s plan to add them later). The current Quebec End-of-Life Act is written as a template to fit this criterion.
Also Bill C-14 has to be rewritten so all of us can understand it (especially children as it is part of the government’s plan to add them later). The current Quebec End-of-Life Act is written as a template to fit this criterion.
Ask a senator or a member of parliament to enact the "notwithstanding clause” so MAID can be studied further.
We have to get Bill C-14 right as the whole world is looking at us.


Email a senator and/or a member of parliament and send a copy to Caitlin Gropp, Director of Parliamentary Affairs, 1-613-943.4600.  
Search “parliament” then search “members” for their contact information. Letters are good too: Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Canada, K1A 0A6.   Believe me, a contact even at this late date can make a difference.
Further information (604.321.2276):
26 May 2016

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