Peo­ple shouldn’t just give up

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OPINION - BY THERESA KENNY Theresa Kenny, Mount Ste­wart RR#5, now phys­i­cally dis­abled, re­mains an ac­tive mother and grand­mother

To Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau:

I write to you ap­peal­ing to you on three is­sues - abor­tion, physi­cian-as­sisted sui­cide and eu­thana­sia.

Abor­tion is morally wrong. To take an in­no­cent life is wrong. The fe­tus is vial able from con­cep­tion. The Supreme Court ruled in 1968-1969, in­tro­duced by your father the Crim­i­nal Law Amend­ment Act le­gal­ized abor­tion, as long as a com­mit­tee of doc­tors signed off that this pro­ce­dure was nec­es­sary for the phys­i­cal and men­tal well be­ing of the mother.

Then in 1988 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R v Mor­gen­taler that the ex­ist­ing laws were un­con­sti­tu­tional and struck down the 1969 law. The then gov­ern­ing Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives at­tempted, but failed, to pass a new abor­tion law, and since then Canada has had no crim­i­nal laws gov­ern­ing the sub­ject, and abor­tion is a de­ci­sion made by a woman with her doc­tor.

With­out le­gal de­lays, most abor­tions are done at a very early stage but some are done in the later stages. You have three beau­ti­ful chil­dren. I am the mother of five and grand­mother of 13 grand-chil­dren who are my life. Please let your govern­ment in­tro­duce a law that makes it il­le­gal for a women to have an abor­tion. This can hap­pen only if it threat­ens her life.

Physi­cian-as­sisted sui­cide is morally wrong. I be­lieve in life from con­cep­tion to nat­u­ral death. Please use the non-with­stand­ing clause to stall the Supreme Court de­ci­sion passed in Feb. 2015 and will be in ef­fect in Feb 2016. This would give your govern­ment an ad­di­tional five years to work on this is­sue. As­sisted sui­cide is the act of in­ten­tion­ally killing one­self with the as­sis­tance of an­other who pro­vides the knowl­edge, means or both.

A re­cent on­line con­sul­ta­tion of 1,407 doc­tors showed that 63 per cent would refuse to take part in “med­i­cal aid in dy­ing.” Physicians should have the right to con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tion in re­fer­ring pa­tients for med­i­cal aid in dy­ing. I stress the im­por­tance of all physicians’ con­science rights and fo­cus­ing more on and in­vest­ing in more hospice and pal­lia­tive care in Canada.

Eu­thana­sia is also morally wrong. To take an­other’s life is mur­der.

I am 68 years old, phys­i­cally dis­abled, in a wheel­chair, par­a­lyzed on the right side but I con­trib­ute a lot to so­ci­ety. I don’t be­lieve in giv­ing up.

For the life of me, I can’t see peo­ple just giv­ing up. There is a bet­ter way for them to cope such as pal­lia­tive care, bet­ter men­tal health ser­vices, ac­ces­si­ble to pain clin­ics etc. I think we are go­ing about this in the wrong way. En­cour­age peo­ple not to give up and pro­vide the nec­es­sary ser­vices.

This let­ter was also sent to Lawrence Ma­cAulay, MP for Cardi­gan; Jane Philpot, Min­is­ter of Health; and Jody Wil­son-Ray­bould, Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and At­tor­ney Gen­eral for Canada.

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