Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) Promotes Euthanasia

International   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Jul 9, 2018   |   12:38PM   |   Ottawa, Canada

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) has gone overboard in promoting euthanasia. In 2016, CARP hired Wanda Morris, who at that time was the CEO of the euthanasia lobby group Dying With Dignity, as CARP’s VP of advocacy.

CARP which is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization was essentially neutral on euthanasia until Moses Znaimer, the former owner of CITY TV, took over CARP.

The recent article by Wanda Morris promotes euthanasia while attacking palliative care institutions and medical providers who are not willing to kill their patients by euthanasia. Morris writes:

Palliative care practitioners bravely pioneered a critical role. They believed that, just because a disease was incurable, the patient should not be left to suffer. By palliating, or lessening, symptoms, these doctors and nurses helped patients die gentler, more peaceful deaths.

Those in palliative care spent time, effort and energy communicating with their peers and the public: we are not here to bring about your death but to help you die well. Palliative care proponents stated they would neither hasten nor postpone death.

In the context of history, this position made a lot of sense. But it is still being used today — even though our medical landscape has changed significantly.
Thanks to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling in 2015 and subsequent federal legislation, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is now legal in Canada. While the legalization of assisted dying had overwhelming public support (84 per cent in favour) among both CARP members and the general public, many in palliative care, such as Nancy Macey, executive director of the Delta Hospice Society in B.C., have gone on record as saying it is undermining their ability to provide end-of-life care and want nothing to do with it.

This is causing real harm to patients because these hospitals and hospices are preventing patients from accessing an assisted death on their premises.

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Morris is stating that hospices and medical care givers who refuse to lethally inject patients are causing harm. She is intentionally undermining the Hippocratic tradition by suggesting that not killing is harming pateints:

I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course.

Morris then coyly interviews Shanaaz Gokool, who became CEO of the euthanasia lobby group, Dying With Dignity after Morris was hired by CARP, who said:

According to Gokool, a number of publicly funded health-care facilities across the country are refusing to provide assisted dying. Some, like the palliative care unit at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, refuse to allow patients access to medical assistance in dying for religious reasons.

Gokool attacks a palliative care unit that is known for its excellence in care because they refuse to kill their patients. Morris completed her article by stating:

Tragically and ironically, the hospice movement — born out of the need to alleviate patient suffering — is, in some cases, causing suffering in patients who choose an assisted death.

Clearly CARP is more concerned about promoting euthanasia than caring about the needs of people who are approaching death.

CARP has lost their way. Canadians need to abandon their memberships in CARP. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.