Advocate for the elderly: ’Death by doctor’ soon turns into ’death by money’

March 22, 2016

Submitted by:  Veronica Coffin

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Written by:  Alex Schadenberg Follow Alex

A conference on euthanasia and assisted suicide on March 21 in Ottawa examined the care of the elderly in relation to legal euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Ottawa Citizen report, that was written by Elizabeth Payne, reports that Judith Wall, the executive director of the Advocacy Center for the Elderly, told the participants:

“I am calling it death by doctor, not death with the assistance of a doctor, but death when the doctor decides you are going to die,”

“I don’t think health professionals want that as an approach.”

Wall also opposes forcing medical institutions to participate in euthanasia. According to the Ottawa Citizen report:

Public funding should not mean institutions have to act against their values by either offering physician assisted suicide or referring patients.

Wall also opposes Recommendation 7 from the Special Joint Committee on Assisted Dying. Wall believes that people with dementia, who supported death by lethal injection in the past, should not be approved for euthanasia. Wall stated:

“I would hope that it is not something that is being considered, because it is too risky.”

Not only do people often change their minds about how they view their quality of life, as their illness progresses, but Wahl said she fears there could be pressure on health professionals to use doctor assisted death to free up hospital beds if patients have consented in advance.

According to the CBC report Wall stated:

“I think it will open up the door to ‘death by money,'”

Judith Wall is a veteran advocate for the elderly. The government should heed her warning.

 

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