Policy Options, a Canadian forum, published the piece below by Jocelyn Downie, David Wright and Mona Gupta, all of whom I know, as a contribution to a wider debate on the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) legislation currently under review in Canada, and especially the question of where does mental illness fit into this mix. The Downie and colleagues published piece is HERE.
The focus in this debate so far has been on the individual seeking MAiD which the Downie piece brings out. Mental Illness does bring individual irrationality into the frame. But is it just the person with a so-called mental illness. What about their doctors? While there are many great people in Healthcare, the experience of people with ‘mental disorders’ is often that those ‘caring’ for us can be far more murderous – in practice if not by intention – than anyone imagines. Those caring for us are not always angels – a series of posts on RxISK tagged Medical Kidnap bring this point out.
Policy Options invite submissions but never acknowledged this submission. I contacted them directly nearly a week later and they said they would pass on this one. Which left little option but to post here.
Jocelyn Downie, David Wright, Mona Gupta
Should people with mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition be allowed to have access to medical assistance in dying (MAiD)? That’s a question in front of Parliament right now. The House of Commons has passed a Bill that excludes MAiD for persons suffering from mental illness as their sole underlying medical condition. The Senate amended that Bill to put a sunset clause on the exclusion (it will cease to have any force and effect 18 months from the coming into force of the Bill). Soon the amended Bill will be back before the House, which will have to decide whether to accept the amendment.
Notably, in its report on Bill C-7, the Senate standing committee on legal and constitutional affairs wrote that some witnesses “underscored that an exclusion and strong safeguards are needed to protect Canadians with mental illness under a MAiD regime, especially given that suicidality may often be a symptom of certain mental illnesses.” Unfortunately, this way of thinking about the relationship between suicide and MAiD confuses more than it clarifies.
Suicidality is associated with certain psychiatric diagnoses, but by no means all or even most of them. Furthermore, not all persons who are suicidal have a mental illness. Rational suicide – the desire for individuals not suffering from a mental illness to end their own lives – has always existed. Indeed, the entire project of MAiD is premised on the idea that there are individuals who under certain circumstances have justifiable reasons to end their own lives. In addition, Parliament has already taken the position that the presence of a mental illness itself does not exclude the possibility of a rational desire to die, as there are people who have already legally accessed MAiD who suffer from both mental illness and physical conditions concurrently. (See the Feb. 2 testimony of Dr. Derryck Smith at the Senate standing committee, at the18:02:40 mark.)
From a clinical point of view, decisions to try to prevent someone from dying are not motivated by the mere presence or absence of a diagnosable mental illness. Rather, we intervene in order to try to modify their specific circumstances, such as a personal crisis, or the acute symptoms of their illness. Our actions also depend on whether the person is able to act in their own interests. We are likely to intervene to prevent the death of a person who is considering suicide when they lack decision-making capacity, for instance when they are severely intoxicated, even if they have no psychiatric history.
By contrast, we do not necessarily intervene to prevent the death of a person who wants to refuse life-sustaining treatment or to access MAiD due to a physical condition even if this person has a concurrent serious, and chronic, psychiatric condition. The answer to the question –does this person have a mental illness? – does not tell us whether we should prevent or assist the person ending their life.
When it comes to mental illness and MAiD, therefore, we must determine whether an individual seeking to bring an end to their life should be prevented from doing so, or not. Trying to decide whether the person is “suicidal” is simply shorthand for talking about the kinds of circumstances previously mentioned – personal crisis, acute episode of illness, incapacity, among others – where collectively, we have already determined that we should intervene to prevent a person from acting. The possibility of permitting some individuals with mental illness to make a request for MAiD does not impede suicide prevention efforts in these kinds of circumstances.
Thus, the statement “suicidal behaviour can often be a symptom of mental illness” is at once too broad and too narrow. It misuses the idea ofa symptom as a proxy for situations in which we want to act to prevent death. And by focusing on only those circumstances in which suicidality is a symptom of a mental illness, it simultaneously ignores the fact that there may also be situations in which we want to prevent death amongst those with no diagnosed mental illness at all.
By legalizing MAiD, Canadian Parliament has already decided that, in certain circumstances, it is acceptable to assist someone to die. Instead of excluding mental illness through a reflexive association between mental illness and suicide, we propose reframing the debate about MAiD and mental illness by asking: In which circumstances do we, as a society, wish to prevent death? In which circumstances, and under what safeguards, are we prepared to assist its arrival? By avoiding the shortcuts of medical terms, we can clarify what’s at stake and focus the debate on what criteria and safeguards will prevent those deaths that we should prevent.
Downie, Wright and Gupta’s points about MAiD centre on issues of capacity and consumerism.
Opting to end a life can indeed be quite rational. The role of medicine in their model is primarily to decide whether the person deciding to end their life has the capacity to do so. The focus is on the consumer of a medical service.
This neglects physicians. Medicine is the perfect place for a murderer to hide and medicine may have or have had more doctors who murder their patients than the Catholic Church has had paedophile priests. See Robert Kaplan’s Medical Murder – the image above is Harold Shipman, one of the cases he deals with. For these doctors, MAiD will be a godsend. There have always been physicians who find the removal of a healthy limb in someone with apotemnophilia technically satisfying. For the technician in some doctors, MAiD will be also satisfying.
Some physicians opt to do labioplasties and sculpt breasts rather than repair perforated duodenal ulcers but most distinguish between plastic and cosmetic surgery. The wider public view it as in the public interest to financially support the restoration of someone disfigured, perhaps while working on our behalf as a firefighter for instance, to something more like their normal self. We hope that in so doing s/he will be better able to contribute to the greater good. We sense, in contrast, that individuals seeking cosmesis should pay for themselves.
MAiD in the case of someone with terminal Motor Neurone Disease is something many doctors and a wider public would quietly support, but can we avoid paving way to cosmetic or romantic deaths?
For some decades, bioethicists have been concerned that doctors exercise ever less discretion in their dealings with us. Pharmaceutical corporations certainly believe that few doctors have a thought in their minds not put there by them or their competitors.
Company control has extended from the primary consumer, the doctor, to us who go to doctors having diagnosed ourselves with ADHD, ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) or other conditions, based on marketing materials put in our way by pharmaceutical companies. These diagnoses are fashionable and can suck people in, young people in particular, in the way cults do. While some doctors will try to persuade us that consumerism and poisons (medicines) or mutilations (surgery) are not natural bedfellows, and some of us can be persuaded, an increasing number of us complain if we are not given what we want. We have the rating scale score, where’s our drug?
We are now in a world of medical neo-liberalism. Health services have replaced Healthcare. We face Margaret Thatcher’s phrase of the 1980s – there is no alternative to the logic of the market. While clearly every case must be dealt with on its merits, are we saying anything goes? If anything goes, the strongest players in the game will give us as many disorders as they can and hook us into as many medical services as possible, even assisted dying.
In the case of patients with significant disabilities induced by treatment such as Enduring Sexual Dysfunction or Treatment Resistant Depression, who seek MAiD, will the panels see it as their brief to do anything about this? It’s difficult to imagine MAiD panels raising concerns about companies in the case of patients with lung or other cancers caused by tobacco or other carcinogens. Who benefits from viewing the administration of lethal agents in these circumstances as just a technical operation without entailing wider obligations?
MAiD as a health service contrasts with Healthcare which traditionally has been about relationships that enable people to endure and ‘heal’ – even when the condition is terminal. This is not something technicians or panels can deliver.
It has seemed appropriate to reserve the extreme form of caring that MAiD involves to illnesses rather than distress and extreme illnesses rather than just any disorder.
It has seemed appropriate to have a sanction of murder in place when a doctor supports a patient in this way requiring others to decide if this constituted care. It makes sense not to drag all doctors caring in this way through a murder trial, but by exactly how much do we want to loosen this sanction? Do we want doctors to simply carry out a technical procedure without engaging in the wider issues on behalf of their patient?
This is where the submission to Policy Options ends. The original submission had Robert Kaplan’s book in mind but did not mention it.
MAiD can be an act of caring – it can also be the ultimate symbol of the Medical Consumerism whose rise and growing force Shipwreck of the Singular charts and attempts to tackle
Having walked across Sydney Harbour Bridge yoked to Jocelyn Downie I have a permanent attachment to Jocelyn and I know both David and Mona from 20 years ago when I was having difficulties in Toronto – so this comment is not aimed at them in any way. It reflects my surprise at what seems to be a blind spot in the debate so far.
Finally one of the main driving force behind the debate in Canada – or perhaps that should be braking force is Trudo Lemmens who has been raising concerns for several years about these issues – see Here for his latest. I know Trudo from 20 years ago also – when Jocelyn, David, Mona and both he and I were all on the same side as I’m sure most people in these debates actually are. The trick is to avoid one more instance of good intentions leading to a nightmare.
Copyright © Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd.
‘Braking force’ – Jocelyn’s Yoke…
AN UPDATED BUT INCOMPLETE PICTURE: MAID IN CANADA
October 12, 2017 · by impact ethics · in Canadian Bioethics, Death & Assisted Dying, Law & Policy
Jocelyn Downie calls for more robust information about medical assistance in dying in Canada in order to help protect all vulnerable patients.
The protection of vulnerable persons is a key driver in the collection and reporting on data. What is often overlooked is that vulnerability in the context of medical assistance in dying is a two-sided coin. On the one side are individuals who are vulnerable to coercion or desperation and need protection through eligibility criteria and procedural safeguards. On the other side are individuals who are vulnerable to exclusion from access to medical assistance in dying because of the imposition of the values and beliefs of others upon them or because of providers’ overly narrow interpretation of the legislation. To truly protect the vulnerable, the governments need a clearer picture of both sides of the coin. The 2nd Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada is a good start, but the 3rd report needs to be much more robust.
IN A NUTSHELL: AN ATTEMPTED ASSAULT ON ACCESS TO MAID
This litigation presented potential threats to MAiD access. How many people can afford a lawyer to go to court to defend their right to MAiD? How many people with intolerable suffering as required for MAiD eligibility, have the energy to go to court to defend their right to MAiD? How many people have MAiD assessors and providers willing to stand up for them if threatened with civil litigation by third parties? Finally, will physicians’ and nurses’ insurers and health authorities support clinicians who seek to provide MAiD in the face of the possibility of legal action?
OPINION: Nova Scotia now a leader in medical assistance in dying
Jocelyn Downie and Daphne Gilbert
The congregation leader of the Sisters of St. Martha’s was quoted as saying “it is named in the agreement (between the Sisters of St. Martha and NSHA) that we don’t do a suicide.”
No, people are counting on taking concerns of those you claim to be in ‘need’ of access to MAID more seriously, and to drop this bill. They certainly also want you to respect the legislatively mandated evidence-informed review of the law before accepting irresponsible amendments
9:27 pm · 25 Feb 2021·Twitter Web App
Senator Stan Kutcher Retweeted
Thoughtful contribution by my former colleague @apratte on medical assistance in dying (MAiD) legislation. Your participation in the @SenateCA debates have been genuinely missed. #cdnpoli
Opinion: On medical assistance in dying bill, Senate shows its value
Senator Stan Kutcher, a psychiatrist, quoted this testimony:
” ‘Mine is not a knee-jerk reaction’ to a recent upset or change. I have diligently pursued every reasonable treatment option. … When I have heard people talk about intolerable physical suffering, I hear my own suffering in their words, my own feelings and thoughts. … Those who haven’t experienced mental illness should not be given free rein to decide this for those of us who have … lived it personally.”
Feds agree people with mental illness should have access to MAID — in 2 years
Sen. Stan Kutcher, a psychiatrist and member of the Independent Senators Group who proposed the 18-month sunset clause, said he can accept that an additional six months may be needed. He also welcomed the creation of an expert panel to develop safeguards.
Lametti admitted he’s concerned the Conservatives, who dragged out debate on the original bill last December, are intent on blocking it altogether. He appealed to Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole to show leadership and allow a vote on the government motion.
“This is not the time to relitigate old battles, not with the Quebec Superior Court deadline looming, not with Canadians suffering while they wait for medical assistance in dying,” he told a news conference later Tuesday.
“Our utilitarian society appears to accept that the good of ending unbearable suffering for some surpasses the harm of needless deaths for others.” Correction: some reckless utilitarians do! Incl our min of Justice
‘A patient can no more “choose” their mental illness will be irremediable than they can “choose” to roll a six on a random die.’
Trudo Lemmens Retweeted
See how #C7 expansion changes social contract. Instead of compassionate relief from a painful death, over zealous doctors will unscientifically guess (wrongly) when people might not get better, and will provide death to those suffering from a painful life
MAID for mental illness is grave discrimination
Unfortunately, Canada’s psychiatric associations have been conspicuously silent in expressing evidence-based cautions, allowing legislators to wrongly believe a “sunset clause” can address these issues. A sunset clause cannot command non-existent evidence to appear any more than coronavirus can be arbitrarily told to disappear.
At the core, Canadians must decide which mistakes we want to make, and whose interests will be sacrificed to provide rights sought by others.
As COVID-19 highlights the social fractures in our society, Canada is poised to become the most dangerous place in the world providing state-sanctioned suicide for life distress while suffering from mental illness.
Is this who we want to be? MAID promised us a health care system granting compassionate relief from a painful death, not a death care system providing enticed suicide to escape a painful life.
It’s useful to ask why debates such as these are being held now? The ‘now’ presently is during a pandemic which is killing millions and driving many to suicide.
And who are the ‘we’ debating the issue.? Everyman and woman are rarely included except for tokenistic consultations and are excluded from making the final decision.
The Downie consultation is an example – they have even put constraints on what can be submitted -and who anyway gets to know about it. Another bunch of ‘we’s.
The assisted deaths or murders given to people historically by medics following dictacts are a short step away from giving them the right to decide on assisted deaths by request
They are inhumane and impersonal as proposed in the Bill An unknown bunch of people may well hover over the life history of someone, but they will not know them as a person. They can even compel them to satisfy certain conditions – but the control of the suicide is then in the control of state sanctioned rules which will be able to be interpreted in different ways by different medics with different opinions.. No doubt their will be rights of doctors to opt out as a matter of conscience but there will be those who already admit they have become hardened by deaths .
No need to look at the history only – Many knew of the thousands of deaths being perpetrated by medics allowing people to die in ;care homes’ That has been changed by campaigners. Any mea culpa’s? They were found out by those who care for them.
Only This week people with learning difficulties have been given their rightful priority for vaccines as a result of campaigns. Any regrets? They were found out.
People with mental health histories have always been dispensable and are more aware than most of the need to mistrust doctors. I can’t see how a request for an assisted death controlled by psychiatrists could be trusted when they have so many powers already to encarcerate and force treatments on people.
I hope assisted deaths as proposed will never become law in UK I would prefer people to own their own lives and deaths by having the knowledge and means to die when they choose . There are organisations and publications which educate people about both the means and pitfalls of ways of suicide. (I wouldn’t describe them online which is perhaps unfair also) They avoid the lonely hangings and deaths on railways by respecting the way a person themselves wishes to die, with loved ones around and so on, without interference or control by medics following dictacts. Another horrible experiment. Although I don’t believe people will would act like consumers of a product or service – they are no as crass as lawmakers. They know the value of a life.
This MAiD makes my blood boil. I have worked in healthcare in UK for nearly twenty years and was horrified to learn about the Liverpool care pathway to death. I had never heard of it until one day I was working and saw a poorly elderly patient had been put on NBM. At first I thought it was for a reason but after a few days I started to get concerned. The patient was becoming so dehydrated and dry it was not normal. I gave her mouth washes to try to hydrate her mouth which was cracking from lack of moisture and she was groaning in obvious pain but sucking on the mouth swap with dear life. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t on a drip so asked a junior ward sister who told me “oh she’s on the Liverpool care pathway” I asked what that was? and she said it was a new thing being trialed.
I was horrified and didn’t agree with it, this poor lady to me was suffering without fluid. I complained to the senior sister as the patients skin was now looking like wrinkled paper from dehydration, I said this is cruel. The sister didn’t say anything at first then she said she was not going to put up with this any longer and went and got a drip and put one up for her.
A few weeks later the patient had got much better and was then discharged back to her nursing home.
This patient had dementia but who decided to put her on this pathway? She was vulnerable and had no say in this decision.
It is not right to be making life and death decisions on anyone especially if they cannot give full consent when their mind is impaired.
Thankfully the senior ward sister agreed and the Liverpool trial stopped happening on our ward.
MAiD will be abused and vulnerable patients will end up dying needlessly as a result. This will end up being nothing short of state murder.
They haven’t needed Assisted Dying Laws they just use DNR’s Matt Hancock and co. should be put on trial in a court similar to the war crimes tribunals.
The UK Government will issue new guidance on ‘do not resuscitate orders’
Two documents explaining decision-making on DNRs during coronavirus pandemic will be published on NHS website
Kate Masters had threatened to sue Matt Hancock amid concerns ill Covid patients’ human rights in care homes were being ignored
Family won landmark case after mother was given DNR order without consent
By JACK WRIGHT FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 15:23, 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:37, 14 July 2020
The Government has been pressured into issuing new guidance on ‘do not resuscitate’ orders after a woman threatened legal action over concerns ill coronavirus patients’ human rights in care homes and hospitals are being ignored.
Kate Masters had threatened to sue the Government over its failure to provide consistent advice on DNRs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
She previously said the decision-making process around DNRs had ‘become opaque, inconsistent and deficient’ amid reports of poor practice, including elderly patients apparently being pressured into signing DNR forms, during the crisis.
The Government has now said it will publish two documents to ensure patients and families understand how DNR decisions are currently being made.
One document will be for patients and their families setting out matters such as the right to be involved in the decision and how to request a review, while the other is for NHS staff. Both will be published on the NHS website.
Kate Masters said the decision-making process around DNRs had ‘become opaque’ in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Masters’s late father David Tracey had brought a successful judicial review establishing a violation of his late wife Janet’s human rights while she was treated in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, after a car crash in 2011.
The family of Janet Tracey (pictured) won a landmark legal case over ‘do not resuscitate’ (DNR) notices. They have now threatened legal action against Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the Government over fears ill Covid patients’ human rights are being ignored +
What are Do Not Resuscitate orders and who can invoke them?
The British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing say that DNR orders should only be issued after discussions have been held with patients or their family.
A patient may decline resuscitation if they have capacity as defined under the Mental Health Act 2005.
If patients want to record this in a legally binding document they should plan to make an ‘advance decision to refuse treatment’ (ADRT), but it is often best to have it recorded on a CPR decision form as well, so that healthcare professionals will recognise it easily. Or they can simply ask your healthcare professionals to record your decision on a CPR decision form.
Not everyone wants to receive attempted CPR, so it is important to respect people’s wishes and to make sure that they are offered a chance to make choices that are right for them.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman told MailOnline the decision to publish advice ‘was already underway and is not a result of legal action’.
‘We have made clear that it is completely unacceptable for DNR orders to be applied in a blanket fashion to any group of people,’ the spokesman added.
‘The Government has taken consistent action on a number of fronts to prevent this from happening and NHS England is currently creating patient-facing guidelines on how to challenge a DNR and access support.
In June 2014, the Court of Appeal ruled that the human rights of 63-year-old care home manager Mrs Tracey, who had terminal lung cancer, were violated when a DNR order was placed on her medical notes without discussing it with her first.
The case established there was a legal duty to consult with and inform patients if a DNR order was placed on their records except in very narrow circumstances.
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights requires that DNR decisions (also known as ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’, DNACPR) are taken in consultation with a patient or their family, that patients know in advance how decisions will be made and what to do in a disagreement.
In her legal letter Ms Masters provided examples of DNRs being made without consultation and said concerns about blanket DNRs were a result of Mr Hancock delegating resuscitation policies to a local level during the pandemic.
Initially, according to law firm Leigh Day, the Government maintained that this was a matter for local health bodies, before accepting after legal correspondence that clearer guidance was needed.
However, a request for fuller information on the NHS website was denied, and for weeks Government lawyers ‘maintained that other generic statements were sufficient to inform people about DNARs and the decision-making process required by law’, Leigh Day said.
Following further legal correspondence, the Government committed to taking action, the firm added.
‘There has however to date been no such national initiative to ensure that patients have the information to hand to ensure that they can engage in these discussions.’
to be included in conversations about her care, and even wrote a note to one consultant from her hospital bed which said ‘Please do not exclude me’ and ‘I will do my damnedest’.
So she was ‘distraught’ and ‘horrified’ to discover that a DNR order had been placed on her notes without her knowledge.
‘Since the start of the pandemic, we have been inundated with requests for help from confused and distressed patients and families about do not resuscitate decisions.
‘Many appear to have had their right to respect for private life infringed, just as Kate’s mother had, with evidence of DNRs being implemented without consultation, without families being told, and without any clear explanation of the process for making these decisions.’
In a letter before legal action formally commenced, Ms Masters called on Mr Hancock to ensure that patients’ human rights were protected by reminding NHS trusts that blanket DNRs were unlawful.
She said without action from the Government, Covid-19 patients were ‘at a considerable risk of having a DNR imposed on them without full information being given in advance, without a proper consultation and without any information as to what to do if the decision is disagreed with’.
Another scandal in S Wales highlighted what was going on with DNRs
Coronavirus: GP surgery apologises for sending ‘do not resuscitate’ form to patients
The note said those with severe illnesses were “unlikely” to be admitted to hospital and would “not be offered a ventilator bed”.
News reporter @news_snuggsy
Wednesday 1 April 2020 19:23, UK
Llynfi Surgery has apologised for the 'distress' that the form has caused
A GP practice has apologised after sending a letter to patients with serious illnesses to complete a “do not resuscitate” form in case their conditions deteriorated due to coronavirus.
In the note, delivered to people with life-limiting illnesses, such as incurable cancer and motor neurone disease, Llynfi Surgery in Maesteg, South Wales, also said that completing the DNACPR (do not attempt CPR) form had “several benefits”.
“Those ‘caring’ for us are not always angels – a series of posts on Rxisk tagged MEDICAL KIDNAP’ bring this point out.
These posts do indeed bring out this reality. They also capture the suffering, distress and despair that follows the refusal of the so-called carers in psychiatry to fully consider differential diagnosis, when the only cause of the non-existent ‘mental illness’ is the diagnostic incompetence and professional failure that leads to our completely healthy and normal loved ones becoming maimed and detained, abused and mistreated. All this, solely as a result of unrecognised, life-threatening ADRs resulting from unnecessary psychotropic drugging. Shameful ignorance and/or denial of the multi-systems – multi-organ injuries induced by ‘antidepressants’, ‘antipsychotics’, and the fantasy concept of ‘mood stabilisers’. These events followed by irreversible labelling for life of iatrogenic akathisia, serotonin syndrome, neuroleptic malignant syndrome ( or the mixed picture of generalised psychotropic malignant syndrome) as well as Withdrawal Syndromes: as ‘Serious Mental Illness’. Iatrogenic tragedies for which responsibility will never be acknowledged. For which no-one can ever be called to account. Iatrogenic tragedies which destroy entire families, as well as those poisoned and misdiagnosed.
Iatrogenic tragedies, which if not fatal, leave the once happy, functioning and fulfilled normal person disabled (aka drug-wrecked): physically, socially, emotionally, financially (for life) with devastated employment prospects, destroyed relationship projects and loss forever of the opportunities to have children. Some of the most resilient may fight on and make progress in a commitment to regain some fulfilment in life, albeit over very many years after all toxic drugging has ceased.
Disabilities often invisible to future clinicians and to those to whom they should be able to turn for empathy and understanding. The invisibility of their destruction would appear deprive some of minimal state benefits for the rest of their lives. That is, unless the label-for-life multiple misdiagnoses are accepted as ‘real’.
How could anyone trust “physicians” capable of these diagnostic disasters to make any valid comment on, or contribution to the MAiD Debate?
Incredibly erudite, Tim
You know from your own experience as do countless others the dramatic change that can occur and how doctors are unwilling to put this down to the medication.
You live with life-changing repercussions every day which must be very hard to accept.
It seems that either people live or that people die.
It is staggering that despite billions of words written and DH Blog, RxISK.org and Samizdat, the books, the lectures, the unswerving dedication by so many, that for all this, the press has lessened, the journalists have regressed, the doctors aren’t listening…
We are all in the same boat to a greater or lesser degree and I wonder how you personally cope with the truly awful things that happened to your daughter.
I will totally understand if you would prefer not to go in to it further.
Thank you for your contributions to this
Thank you Annie.
However, the third paragraph should have read ‘destroyed relationship prospects’.
The kidnapping and despicable cruelty took place before a shy, beautiful and enchanting young woman ever had a chance to discover a first relationship.
In addition to the multiple, life-changing ‘medication’ injuries, and sadly, obvious, extensive physical disfigurement (due to second generation ‘antipsychotics’) – there appeared to be an institutional, unrelenting, destructive attitude and behaviour amongst those who are supposed to ‘nurse and support’ which systematically and callously annihilated any residual self esteem.
It will soon be ten years since this atrocity commenced. During this decade we have endured the heartbreak of watching her years of beauty pass by, alongside life’s greatest opportunities. This in addition to the initial destruction of an enchanting and charismatic personality. The continuous tiny increments of recovery, and the survival of resilience, together with a return of delightful humour and communication which followed the torment of slow psychotropic drug withdrawal have kept hope alive. Above all, her courage.
Hope inspired by finding, by good fortune, that true scientific knowledge, wisdom, understanding, listening, compassion. empathy and courage did occasionally exist within psychiatry. and that an internationally acknowledged, genuine expert was able to consult and confirm that there had never been any ‘mental illness, only avoidable adverse drug reactions.
This confirmed my belief that “Each new psychiatrist only saw the damaged person caused by (the drugs of) the previous psychiatrist”.
Where was their duty of candour? Where was their duty of care? Where was their accountability?
I was a doctor for 40 years, initially after training in general practice, and then, entering higher medical training to become a specialist, hospital physician.
In any other Medical Speciality, such terrible injury could be challenged and much needed compensation (for when we are no longer here) may have been pursued fairly, and defended fairly, without fear of even greater iatrogenesis and damage.
How do I personally cope when the profession I loved and sacrificed so much for destroyed the daughter whom I love even more?
My profession also produced those doctors who, at great personal and professional risk, have had the courage and commitment to create websites like RxISk. To write books explaining, and allowing us to gain an understanding of psychotropic ADRs. Their determination to try and prevent future tragedies has been inspirational.
We are also strengthened by the shared comments and experiences of people like yourself Annie, and Heather (so greatly missed) and Sally. Both of whom we feel that we know a little. Shared adversity.
What makes it even more difficult? The unrelenting, shameful daily celebrity lead propaganda, endorsing the practices that have caused our sorrows.
Thank you all.
I haven’t noticed a single comment, here or on last week’s post, in favour of the need for the MAiD changes. I would have liked to read opinions that showed the real and urgent need for these changes to include mental health and disabilities. A ‘discussion’ needs both sides of the argument but that is difficult when those comments fail to appear. If I had to make a judgment simply by reading the comments, I would state that those most fervently against the plan are those who have already suffered in the mental health services. If their comments were to be adhered to then MAiD to include mental illness and disabilities would be a non-starter.
If some psychiatrists are recommending this move, what is in it for them? How are they going to gain from this change? They can hardly say that the need has been expressed by the patients – if they do, then where are they? Or do they envisage a “get out clause” for doctors? “Take these drugs; I’ll give you more if they don’t quite work; if you ever get to the point of wanting to withdraw from them – no worries there, it’s simple, only takes two weeks and you’ll be right as rain. If it all goes belly-up, then, again , no problems – I’ll sign you over to the MAiD section and there, you can take a final step out of all your suffering”. All avenues covered!
‘Some people extrapolate from the “beautiful stories about warm goodbyes” ‘
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Possibly the best article ever written about Canada’s Bill C-7 and the push to expand MAiD (euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada via Bill C-7, was recently written and published by Psychiatrist Dr John Maher titled: MAiD for Mental Illness: Myths and Facts.
Maher responds to the key issues related to Bill C-7
MAID for Mental Illness: Myths & Facts
John Maher MD FRCPC
Psychiatrist, Barrie ACT Team
President, Ontario Association of ACT & FACT
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Ethics in Mental Health
Revised Feb 28, 2021
Myth: The Senate supported an 18 month “sunset clause” because they wisely weighed all of the evidence they heard.
Fact: The preponderance of recent Senate Committee evidence did not support moving forward with MAID for mental illness (hence the Committee’s very thoughtful report). A key issue is the question of establishing whether some mental illnesses can meet the legal test of irremediability.
Either there is adequate data to support determinations of irremediability or there is not. If it
existed it would have been presented. It does not exist, so it could not be presented. The
Committee heard and seemingly understood this. However, in ignoring the Committee report, the majority of members in the full Senate gave unjustified weight to supposition, fallacious reasoning, and/or a political agenda. Furthermore, they are trying to pre-empt the mandated (and COVID delayed) legislative review of Bill C-14; they did not weigh the clear recommendation of the Canadian Council of Academies that advised against proceeding with MAID for mental illness due to lack of data and the limits of clinical prognostication; they did not respect the informed pleas of myriad disability and mental health organizations representing the most vulnerable of citizens; they ignored the grave concerns of Indigenous peoples and the United Nations; and they are trying to bind parliament to a course of action of their own desire with no request for a reference to the Supreme Court.
New information or better reasoning will not miraculously appear in the next 18 months. The Senate has made us an outlier in the world. This is not about social progress, or recognition of a changing world and citizen values. The Senate is ignoring the evidence and sound reasoning put before it. Martin Luther King said his task was to help people see the injustice before their very eyes. I expected better from the senators. I needed better. I can tell you today the names of my patients who will die because of their actions….patients who are gradually healing but plan to stop trying.
Every Canadian citizen already has the right to kill him or herself. MAID for mental illness does not add any new legal liberty and there is no legal “right to death” in our charter.
Of the 100% of Canadians who attempt suicide, only 23% try again, and only 7% complete suicide.
MAID for mental illness only serves to make suicide easier. Why does the Senate want suicide to be easier? The Senate has failed in its duty to protect.
In Scully’s eyes, suggesting that people with mental illnesses are all incapable of making their own decisions is “sheer ignorance.
“I think that’s utter nonsense,” he said. “I’m articulate, I can write, I can think, I can talk. I have cognitive assurance. And to say that we are not capable of making a decision shows to me one of the great flaws in […] psychiatry and psychology.”
Imagine if Seroxat had been ‘tweaked’, the ‘agile’ GlaxoSmithKline…
MHRA/EMA/FDA would have been down on their heads :
Tweaking of coronavirus vaccines to fight new strains will be fast-tracked, Matt Hancock reveals on Glasgow lab visit
I was invited to have my jab on 11th February and was asked if I had been allergic to anything.
I said Yes.
What was it, the kindly surgery nurse asked.
An Antidepressant, said I.
For around 24 hours I was in a sludge of fatigue and forgetfulness.
I switched on the microwave, waited 6 minutes, opened the door, ping, it was empty.
A blast of warm radiated air got me in the face. The microwave went pong.
It was sudden death for microwave. Alas, no more.
The nurse told me to sit in the waiting room as I had previously had a reaction.
A few moments later she popped her head round the door.
What was it you said you were allergic to, she asked, I forget what you said.
An antidepressant, I said.
Oh, ok, no worries.
A few minutes later back she came.
Would you like to go, she asked.
Off you go then.
A queue was waiting outside, we were allowed in one at a time, it was raining.
I wonder if anyone at HQ Vaccine or HQ Canadian-MAiD, know what they are doing?
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Euthanasia deaths almost double in Victoria Australia.
This article was published by the Australian Care Alliance on March 4, 2021.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
2020 Belgian euthanasia report. Covid-19 had a minor effect on the number of deaths.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Preventing the spread of Assisted Suicide in America.Monday,
March 1, 2021
MAiD (euthanasia) for mental illness ignores safeguards for vulnerable people
Life insurance and Canada’s (MAiD) euthanasia law.Friday, February 26, 2021
Peru judge grants death by euthanasia to woman with chronic conditio
Sign the petition: No to euthanasia for mental illness and incompetent people! (Link)
Contact your member of parliament to reject the Senate amendments and Bill C-7. Members of Parliament contact list: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Member
Vote NO on Bill No. 6425, An Act Concerning Aid in Dying for Terminally Ill Patients
Dr Kenneth Stevens
Testimony of Dr. Kenneth R. Stevens, Jr., MD,
Professor Emeritus, Radiation Oncology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, ORs/en/search
Organ donation following euthanasia (at home procedure)
Join more than 52,000 people who have signed the petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).
Contact your member of parliament to reject the Senate amendments and Bill C-7. Members of Parliament contact list: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search
Contact the Author