Needed: a cab driver, garbage col­lec­tor and vet­eri­nar­ian

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COMMUNITY - Dr. Gif­ford Jones The Doc­tor Game

I wrote years ago “The prob­lems of so­ci­ety are caused by sup­pos­edly in­tel­li­gent peo­ple who are largely fools.”

It’s worth re­peat­ing due to what has hap­pened to Canada’s new law, Med­i­cal Aid in Dy­ing (MAID). The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that, “Any­one with a griev­ous and ir­re­me­di­a­ble con­di­tion should have the right to (MAID).” It did not say that death need be im­mi­nent, nor did it ex­clude ma­ture mi­nors, nor those with men­tal ill­ness or de­men­tia. So what’s hap­pened now? And how can you help?

Trudeau’s gov­ern­ment, af­ter months of de­lay, has asked The Coun­cil of Canadian Aca­demics to re­view th­ese three con­tentious is­sues.

The Coun­cil then ap­pointed 43 peo­ple for this task. My God! 43 peo­ple? For such a sim­ple prob­lem? And why al­low them over a year to re­port while peo­ple are dy­ing in agony? It tells one that not all im­be­ciles are in the asy­lum.

To add fuel to the fire, a Univer­sity of Toronto pro­fes­sor was ap­pointed to chair the Ad­vanced Con­sent Group, a man who be­lieves life is sa­cred and com­pares MAID to the Nazi Holo­caust.

This ap­point­ment was like putting the fox in charge of the hens.

For­tu­nately, due to in­tense crit­i­cism, he has re­signed as chair­man, but still re­mains a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee.

The grim news is that those with de­vel­op­ing de­men­tia, who wish to sign an Ad­vanced Re­quest al­low­ing as­sisted death when their minds are com­pletely wasted, are doomed to a lin­ger­ing death. Man’s in­hu­man­ity to man knows no bounds.

I’d sug­gest to Trudeau that the com­mit­tee be re­placed by a taxi­cab driver, garbage col­lec­tor and vet­eri­nar­ian. Their re­port, I sus­pect, would al­low as­sisted death to those who wished it but were de­nied it, and it would take less than 24 hours.

What does MAID re­ally boil down to? It shows that do­good­ers, ethi­cists, moral­ists and var­i­ous re­li­gions have zero re­spect for the rights of oth­ers. They say to hell with the rul­ing of the Supreme Court of Canada.

To hell with our Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms. And to hell with sur­veys that show that 80 per cent of North Amer­i­cans want doc­tor as­sisted death. It’s their way or the high­way.

Am I be­ing too hard on th­ese ad­ver­saries? Not one iota, be­cause it would be so easy to solve this de­bate. Op­po­nents of MAID could read­ily sign a per­sonal af­fi­davit stat­ing they would never re­quest it. This should end the dis­cus­sion. But past ex­pe­ri­ence shows good sense will not rule.

So what can the rest of us do to pro­tect our rights and win this fight? First, know your en­emy.

What gives politi­cians night­mares is the fear of not be­ing re-elected. And the best way to way to send this mes­sage is to con­cen­trate the fire on Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau.

What is the best am­mu­ni­tion? Send­ing a huge num­ber of in­di­vid­ual let­ters (bet­ter than emails) to the PM.

I know this is ef­fec­tive. I used this tac­tic years ago to help le­gal­ize heroin to ease the agony of ter­mi­nal cancer pa­tients. It was only when I per­son­ally de­liv­ered 40,000 let­ters to the Health Min­istry that heroin was fi­nally le­gal­ized.

But this ap­proach will only work if you care enough for the right to de­ter­mine how your life will end.

Or if you de­plore po­lit­i­cal hypocrisy. And have com­pas­sion for those with Alzheimer’s dis­ease who are con­demned to sit alone, some­times wait­ing for years to die, due to a lack of an Ad­vanced Re­quest.

I be­lieve this is the most im­por­tant col­umn I’ve ever writ­ten.

It will show how many read­ers will take just a few mo­ments of their time to help cor­rect an in­hu­mane law. Send a copy of this col­umn to Justin Trudeau and at­tach a per­sonal note if you wish to do so.

Justin Trudeau’s ad­dress is Rideau Cottage, 1 Sus­sex Dr., Ot­tawa, Ont., K1A 0A1. Email is less ef­fec­tive but here is the PM’s: justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca.

His­tory of­ten shows the vo­cal mi­nor­ity rules the day while the silent ma­jor­ity re­main pas­sive. Here’s your chance to prove it wrong.

Just don’t count on other read­ers to do this job. You must also do the writ­ing and bury Rideau Cottage in mail.

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