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Canada’s euthanasia law only goes half way. It permits you to die if doctors say you would die soon anyway. If you are merely in untreatable pain or some unbearable condition, like being unable to move or speak, these Christian fanatics insist you suffer indefinitely. May these sadists be forced to endure what they impose on others. When other people die is none of their business. It does not affect or concern them. They are meddling to impose their religion others when they are most vulnerable.
Definitions Active vs Passive Euthanasia
What Are The Terminally Ill Asking For? Signs of Common Sense
What Aren’t The Terminally Ill Asking For Mark Pickup
Arguments Against Euthanasia Rights Marie of Montréal
Advice to Those Who Oppose Euthanasia Gordon Brown
Palliative Sedation Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel
Foreseeable Death Dementia
Sophistry Methods
Euthanasia in Canada Catholic Hospitals
The Oregon Experience Recent Developments
The Advantage to Pro-Lifers Judge Lynn Smith
Why Do I Care? Good Life, Gentle Death. David Lewis’s Suicide
Mind You Own Business! Books
Christian Compassion Videos
The Disabled Rings
The Paranoid Links
To me, the euthanasia question is simple. If someone wants to die, that is their business and no one has any right to prevent them, though they might intervene for a cooling off period. Whether someone kills themselves, gets help in procuring the means to die, or help with the actual suicide does not matter. What counts is the fact they made the decision that life was intolerable, usually because of disease or pain. Nobody else can make that decision for them. Nobody else knows just how intense the pain, physical or psychological is.

In a case when someone is comatose and can’t express their wishes, then a living will should prevail. Failing that, a combination of law and a physicians’ consensus prognosis should decide when to pull the plug. If you force someone to stay alive against their will, that is torture, a crime I consider more serious than murder. If there are any capital offenses, torture should be on that list.

Nobody wants anyone killed against their wishes. I am furious with meddling religious fruitcakes accusing people like me of wanting to kill people who don’t want to die, especially the disabled or mentally retarded. I am in favour of freedom. I don’t approve of coercion in these matters either to force people to die or to stay alive.

Right to Interfere

The difference in the atheist and Christian view of euthanasia is simple. Atheists believe they should not interfere in the end-of-life decisions of Christians, no matter how bat-shit-crazy they think they are. Christians believe they are everyone’s mother and as such have the right to override any end-of-life decisions an atheist makes.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)


Equality Argument

On 2012-06-12 the BC Supreme Court struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide. The argument was peculiar — equality. Severely ill or disabled people cannot kill themselves as able-bodied people can. Denying them the right to die is denying them equality. I would have used a freedom of religion argument, that Christians do not have the right to impose their religious dogma on others, but all’s well that ends well.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

These are how I use these terms in this essay. Be warned, not everyone agrees on these definitions. Some debaters even deliberately switch definitions in mid flight in a fit of debating legerdemain to make their opponents look ridiculous.

Euthanasia has several meanings:
  1. Literally good death, any peaceful death.
  2. Using an injection of seconal to kill a pet when it becomes homeless, old, sick or feeble.
  3. Hitler decided to remove certain groups from the gene pool by killing homosexuals, Jews, gypsies and mentally retarded people. Euthanasia was the Nazi euphemism.
  4. Killing a patient at the request of the family. The patient is brain dead, comatose or otherwise incapable of letting it be known if he or she would prefer to live or die.
  5. Mercy killing.
  6. Physician-assisted suicide, when a doctor provides medication to gently end life.
  7. Physician-attended suicide, a physician killing a terminally ill person at their request, perhaps by injection or IV.
I use the term euthanasia only in senses (6) and (7) in this essay. When other people debate about euthanasia they could well be using it in senses (1) through (5), or with some other definition. Unfortunately, in English, we use the same word for seven different things.
mercy killing
Killing someone to put them out of their suffering. The killer may or may not have the informed consent of the person killed. I, personally, use the term mercy killing only when there is no consent. Legally, mercy killing is usually treated as murder.
Intentionally killing someone in an unlawful way. There are two kinds of murder.
  1. The murderer has the informed consent of the person killed.
  2. The murderer does not have the informed consent of the person killed.
In most parts of the world, types (1) and (2) murder are treated identically. In other parts, type (1) murder is excusable under certain special circumstances, in which case it ceases to be considered murder. Murder is by definition unlawful. It is a legal term not a moral one. Whether euthanasia is murder or not is a simple question for lawyers — Will you go to jail for doing it or won’t you? Whether euthanasia should be considered murder or not is a matter for legislators. Whether euthanasia is good or bad is a deep question for the individual citizen. A right to die and a pro life proponent could both agree "euthanasia is murder", meaning you will go to jail if you are caught doing it, but the right to die person would add, "but under certain circumstances, it should not be, just as it is not considered murder now in the Netherlands.".
palliative care
The active relief of suffering in a terminally-ill individual and although there are occasions when treatment may shorten life, this is not the intended or anticipated result. It is simply a side effect or complication of therapy.
physician-attended suicide
Physician-Activated Patient-Requested Death. This is just like physician-assisted suicide, however, on a signal from the patient, the physician turns on the gas, thus actively killing the patient. The law usually treats this as murder. People do not necessarily match on whether they approve of physician-attended and physician-assisted suicide. For example, my mother, for religious reasons, believed that it was morally acceptable for her to request physician-attended suicide, but not physician-assisted suicide. To her, suicide was a sin, but requesting someone else to kill you was not. Her logic escapes me. Some terminally ill people feel they could not deal with the terrible moment of a physician-assisted suicide, but feel they could possibly confront that same moment in a physician-activated one. That is why some people include physician-attended suicide as part of the right to die. I have coined this odd term because the term euthanasia has too many meanings, which leads to confusing debate.
physician-assisted suicide
Physician-Assisted Patient-Activated Suicide. The physician provides materials useful in suicide to a patient who requests them. The physician might for example drag in a cylinder of gas, hook up the mask, but the patient would have to turn on the gas himself. It also counts as assisted suicide if patient uses a computer supplied by a physician to turn on the gas, using whatever remaining abilities he has to communicate with the computer. The right to a physician-assisted suicide is the most debated right to die.
pro life
The view that it is never justified to take one’s own or anyone else’s life under any circumstances. It refers to the religious, moral and legal stance.
right to die
The right to refuse medical treatment, even if that refusal would result in death. This right is less controversial. Also the right to assistance from a physician for the terminally ill in committing a pain-free suicide, i.e. physician-assisted suicide, or physician-assisted suicide. Some people also include the right for the terminally ill to have a doctor turn on the gas for the patient, to actually kill the patient, not just set up for a suicide. I personally don’t include physician-attended suicide when I use the term "right to die".
right to life
You might think this refers to the right of someone so severely disabled or so ill or so destitute that they cannot contribute in any way to society to receive the necessary care to keep him alive. But it does not. It refers to the right of people other than a terminally ill patient to keep him alive against his wishes. It means denying his right to die. It is a deliberately deceptive and dishonest term to trick people who support a true right to life into signing on for denying people’s right to die.
When a person kills himself without help. If a patient dies of a drug overdose, that would count as physician-assisted suicide only if the physician gave the drug with the intention it be used for suicide.

What Are The Terminally Ill Asking For?

Anti-Euthanasia Bastards

Perhaps we should take off the gloves and call the anti-euthanasia folk what they truly are: SFGists (Suffer For Godists), God’s Sadists, SADists (Suffer At Deathists), DLCHS (Death is the Last Chance for Human Sacrifice), Superstitious Loons.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Though I speak with the royal we, what I am about to say is my personal opinion. If you want a wider perspective check out these links further down to various groups concerned with the issue.

We ask for the right to assistance to die when life becomes unbearable. We ask for the right to determine for ourselves what unbearable means. Since suffering is subjective, how can anyone but the patient decide just how much suffering is too much? It is the arrogant to think you can make that decision for someone else. It is heartless to think you can make up a rule that says no amount of suffering is too much. If you are not the one doing the suffering, you have no right to enforce such a rule. If you want to enforce merciless penance on yourself, you are welcome.

We ask that doctors or others who help us be free from prosecution. Such assistance is sporadically prosecuted now in Canada.

We ask that there be a formal legal procedure to request assistance in suicide. The intent is to allow a cooling off period, to bring in counselors, to alert the family, to summon treatment for depression and when the suffering cannot be sufficiently alleviated, a quiet and dignified death, surrounded by family and friends.

We demand physician-assisted suicide and request physician-attended suicide.

At the bare minimum, we ask that family and friends who come to be with us at that very difficult and frightening time when we elect to die at our own hand, will not be prosecuted for murder or assisting a suicide.

What Aren’t The Terminally Ill Asking For?

We are not demanding:

Arguments Against Euthanasia Rights

Americans Hate Each Other

The failure of Americans to institute universal health care is a reflection of the hatred Americans have for one another. This hatred will kill far more Americans than terrorists could dream of exterminating.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
Argument Rebuttal
God owns you! The number one reason I hear against euthanasia (and suicide too for that matter) is that you can’t do it because it is not your decision. God owns you and it is up to Him to decide when you die. This is a religious superstition. Surely the concept of separation of church and state should protect non-Christians from Christians trying to force their religion down unwilling terminally-ill throats. Oddly, Christians have no objection to painful or desperate measures to prolong life unnaturally. Surely this is just as much interference with God’s time. A variation on this theme is that illness (particularly AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)) and suffering is God’s punishment and you have no right to try to escape any of God’s vengeance and further that it is dangerous to do so. Oddly even fundamentalist Christians have surgery with anesthesia and go to the dentist when they have a toothache. Apparently it is ok to escape some of God’s meted suffering.
The value of human suffering according to Christian teaching, physical suffering is part of God’s divine plan for humankind. Suffering has a spiritual significance and should be faced head-on, in the knowledge that it leads to a growth in virtue and helps in redemption. Some people believe that God wants everyone to wear yellow pajamas. However, we don’t enforce that with law. We leave it up to each individual person to decide whether it is really necessary to wear yellow pajamas to please God. To me, the notion that agony in your last moments is good for you is even nuttier than yellow pajamas. You can only put into law ideas that also make sense secularly.
Hitler did it. It must be bad. Euthanasia means literally good death. Hitler murdered people who did not want to die and called it euthanasia. Hitler abused the language the same way he abused people.
Euthanasia is murder. It makes no difference if the person wants to die. We are demanding physician-assisted suicide,physician-assisted suicide, not physician murder, physician-attended suicide. The physician provides information and materials to ensure a peaceful, pain-free death. The patient takes the final plunge to actually use them. With modern technology, if the person still has control of even a few muscles they can still trigger the relay that starts the final IV pump.
The Bible says both murder and suicide are sins. We are not demanding that everyone use assisted suicide as a way to end their lives. Most of the time, there would be no need for it. If people in torment fear God and seriously believe He wants them to suffer excruciating pain, they are welcome to their delusions. However, it is unfair to force such religious superstition down the throats of atheists, Christians and Muslims who believe God is loving and kind. Further it is against the Canadian constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion. You are not allowed to force your religious beliefs on others. You can use persuasion, but not force. Use your churches to browbeat your fellow Christians into refraining from physician-assisted suicide and physician-attended suicide, but kindly leave the rest of us alone. This should be a religious and moral issue up to each individual conscience, not a legal one, where Christians force their religious beliefs on everyone else. The arrogance of the Kristians is so infuriating. They think they have an exclusive handle on Truth and the determination of right and wrong. So strong is this conviction, they believe they have the right to push their standards on everyone else, even when those other people live more upright lives than the Christians themselves do. They don’t even see themselves as boorish when they attempt this. They think of it as fighting for God. The idiots! Using force to bully other people is fighting for Satan.

The pro-life Christians see it his way. Suffering is God’s punishment and no one should be allowed to escape it, even atheists. They believe that early suicide would lead to eternal torment, which is worse than any amount of suffering while here in this life. They offer no evidence this is so, but they are utterly convinced it is. These lunatics believe they are helping you by refusing to let you cut the suffering short. I wonder what stops them from insisting on operations without anaesthesia.

My religion says all forms of euthanasia are wrong. Go right ahead then and avoid all forms of euthanasia. My religion says euthanasia is preferable to avoid horrible pain, such as attends death by pancreatic cancer. I certainly don’t want to impose my religious beliefs on you. Why do you think you have the right to impose yours on me? Who do you think you are, my Mother? Even she would not dare to be so presumptuous.
Euthanasia is selfish. The main motive for euthanasia is to avoid pain, mental or physical. Granted this is a selfish desire. Yet the motive can be quite altruistic. You may not want to put your friends through the emotional wringer of watching you in agony day after day after day. You may want to spare your loved ones the spectacle of you slowly losing your mind and saying hateful or obscene things. You may not want to tie up a very expensive intensive care hospital bed that would better be used by someone with at least a year of life left in them. In Canada such beds are paid for my public health insurance. There is no way you can spare your loved ones that pain whether or not you elect euthanasia. You are going to die soon anyway.
If we allow this, it will be the slippery slope. Soon people in old age homes will be bumped off in the night. Right now, assisted suicide occurs all the time. It is treated with a wink. Nobody dares investigate. Sometimes the motives may be nefarious. Sometimes the patient may not have given informed consent. We don’t know. With a formal process to handle assisted suicides, with safeguards and witnesses, any suspicious death would be investigated. This would reduce the incidences of murders of the elderly. The hoary slippery slope fallacy flows in the other direction too. If we allow fundamentalist Christians to put into law their beliefs about euthanasia and force them on everyone, what will they enact next? jail sentences for teaching evolution? death for disrespect to your parents?
If we allow this, there will be a huge increase in suicides. Quite the contrary. Consider AIDS. Since physician-assisted suicide is illegal, if you have AIDS and fear your end may be particular dreadful, you must commit suicide while you are still healthy enough to handle it yourself. If you knew you could count on help if the going got really rough, you could postpone it — perhaps indefinitely and die a quiet natural death. Applying for legal assistance for suicide will ring alarm bells. All kinds of help will swing into action who may have otherwise ignored your plight. Family will be able to comfort you knowing your plan. Counselors will be able to help you with any psychological problems making matters worse. Doctors may prescribe additional pain-killing medications and anti-depressants to help you over that rough spot. People who might have rashly committed suicide, will elect to apply for physician-assisted suicide. In the cooling off period, most will elect to continue living.
Taking your own life or taking anyone else’s is just plain wrong, under any circumstances. Any circumstances? You right wingers often make exceptions for:
  • Killing in war: even when the person killed objects most strenuously.
  • Capital punishment: even when the person executed objects strenuously.
  • Homosexuals: Leviticus says it is your duty to kill them.
  • Whaling: killing whales and dolphins, even though they have superior intelligence to us.
  • Childbirth: It is ok to kill a child in order to save the mother’s life.
  • Abortion:
  • Self defense: or defense of a third party.
  • SWAT: when a SWAT team kills a sniper.
The Bible says that physician-assisted suicide and physician-attended suicide are both forbidden by the Bible. You will go to hell if you are involved in any way with them. Therefore, they should be illegal. Surely then avoiding any of God’s pain should be illegal, such as anesthesia for operations or dentistry. By that logic anything you think the Bible forbids should be illegal. For example, there should be laws against:
  • Eating lobster, camel, rabbit, pork, clams, swans, owls, bats, dogs and snails. An abomination according to Leviticus 11:9-31
  • adultery. A capital offense according to Leviticus 20:10
Further, these laws should apply to Christian, Buddhist and atheist alike. How arrogant to assume that everyone else accepts your religion as valid! Perhaps you forget that both the American and Canadian constitutions guarantee freedom of religion and thus also freedom from religion.
If we allow this, when I am old, people will push me into killing myself rather than permitting me to live out my days. This is an exceedingly selfish argument. Because you are concerned with the faint possibility of dealing with a little pressure, you are willing to condemn others to excruciating torment. Shame on you! Further, assisted suicide would be a formal legal process, at least as complicated as buying a house or getting married. Nobody could make you do it. There would be a waiting period, so you could change your mind after some greedy relative talked you into it.
If we allow this, it will be the first step on the road to hell. We will browbeat all disabled people into killing themselves to save the government the expense of caring for them. Assisted suicide is for people in pain who can’t bear to live. The disabled, by in large, are cheerful group actively enjoying their lives. If someone told them to submit to suicide, they would tell them where to get off, just as any able-bodied human would.
If we allow this, people will kill themselves every time they get a little stomach ache. We can’t make suicide too easy or attractive. Would you do something so foolish? Why then do you think everyone else would? It would not be attractive. Applying for a physician-assisted suicide would be about as much fun as a tax audit, convincing the legal authorities you were serious, of sound mind etc.
With modern painkillers there is no such thing as excruciating pain any more. There is no need to use death to escape pain. I think everyone has experienced some very high level of pain in their lives that painkillers did not help. Imagine that pain stretched over months. Childbirth and kidney stones come to mind. In my own case I have suffered for years from nausea as a side effect of the HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) drugs I take. Nothing modern or folk medicine has offered, even Stemetil (a drug used to counteract chemotherapy), works. Imagine the prospect of feeling nauseous every hour after hour for the rest of your life. Imagine the gall of someone else perfectly healthy, telling you that suffering was necessarily bearable, that you had no choice but to bear it indefinitely.
There’s no need for physician-assisted suicide. You can always shoot yourself or drink drain cleaner or eat rat poison. You can buy illegal drugs on the street. You can drive your car into a lamppost. The patient is terminally ill, bed-ridden. They have no energy for racing about collecting poisons. People don’t like to think about death or plan ahead for it. Even able bodied people can have extreme difficulty finding the correct drugs, even when they are willing to travel to Mexico in search of them. They want a quiet dignified death. The want to die peacefully and certainly. With street drugs, they have no idea of what they have actually purchased or what dosages are needed. They can’t very well blast their brains out in a hospital ward spraying the other patients with their innards.
Just take an overdose of sleeping pills. You don’t need anyone’s help for that! Modern sleeping pills contain a small quantity of emetic. When you overdose on them, you automatically throw them up. This is a safety feature to prevent accidental fatal overdose. To use pills, you need specially made ones without the emetic. The stomachs of the terminally ill are often too sensitive to hold down any food, much less an overdose of any medication. At that point you need something taken intravenously or by gas.
Just use some gas! like carbon monoxide, nitrogen or helium. If you tried carbon monoxide, you would likely end up harming anyone else in the same building. If you are terminally ill, dragging a giant metal cylinder of nitrogen or helium to your bedside would require somebody’s assistance. Currently, your helper could face criminal prosecution. Hospitals would almost certainly interfere with the proceedings given their current legal liability. Helium plus a large plastic bag makes the most sense. You can rent a cylinder for about  $7.50 CAD a month (plus $35.00 CAD fill and $200.00 CAD deposit) and keep it ready for use. The lightest Q-sized cylinder is 70 cm (2.30 ft) tall and 14 kg (30.86 lbs). It is not something you could hide away in a drawer. You can pretend it is for balloons without raising too much suspicion from the vendor. Helium is not flammable and it rises, so is unlikely to suffocate others if there is ventilation (e.g. a skookum fan and open window). However, it still takes substantial effort to drag the cylinder into position and set up the equipment. You also have to jerry rig something to hold the valve open. The standard balloon filling valve automatically closes as soon as you take off sideways pressure. People who are ready to die are too weak to set up the equipment unassisted. They must do it while they still have the strength to do it at home and on their own.
Just use some of the stuff they use to put down dogs — seconal. Seconal is a strictly controlled drug. Your veterinarian will not give you any because he would be liable to criminal prosecution.
People might die two weeks earlier than natural. One hundred years ago, there was no such thing as hanging on for months or years while very ill. Once you got sick, you died quickly of an infection. Modern medicine has turned death into a protracted ordeal. What would be so terrible about cutting out the worst couple of weeks of your life? What is this Puritanical need to absorb and appreciate every last sling and arrow? Let those that love life so much that no amount of suffering is too much, live and let those for whom the suffering is too much, die. How can anyone but the patient know what too much is? Everyone has their limits to bearable pain.
The terminally ill need to be protected. The terminally ill are overwhelmingly in favour of choice. However, they don’t have much energy to press their case. They want the option to die early if it gets just too awful. Knowing that option is there would give them courage to handle the daily tribulations. What they really need protection from are Christian fanatics who want them to suffer to placate a cruel and unjust god — those rigid fundamentalists who lack imagination or compassion. The fundamentalists want to protect the terminally ill from themselves. They treat the terminally ill like children who have no idea what is in their own best interest. The motives for doing something like that are highly suspect. What they are really asking for is legal sanction to help prevent themselves from sinning should they be terminally ill and in agony. It is not enough they put themselves through needless agony, they are demanding everyone else join them in their folly.
Just go to the Netherlands. The Netherlands have legal physician-assisted suicide. To use that option you would have to be well enough to travel. If you were well enough to travel, why would you want to kill yourself?

Advice to Those Who Oppose Euthanasia

If you are firmly opposed to euthanasia under any circumstances, get a lawyer to write up your wishes. Make it clear that no matter how much pain you are in, no matter how much you protest, you want even more pain to appease your sadistic deity. Make it clear that even if you become so brain damaged, that you start exposing yourself, eating feces or molesting children you want to soldier on. Then you will be safe. But please mind your own business. Not all of us think the way you do. We are adults too. We have the right to our own end-of-life decisions.

Palliative Sedation

Palliative care people who oppose euthanasia, will still perform euthanasia, when it is disguised a little. They gradually increase the pain medication of a patient each day. Eventually the patient becomes delirious. Eventually, they become unconscious then the patient dies. They pretend this is not euthanasia because it is gradual, because the intent is supposedly pain relief and because death is an unexpected side effect.

I would find this sort of death, delirious with opiates, horrible and degrading. I didn’t take those sorts of drugs during my life. Damned if I will accept them as I die.

Foreseeable Death

In Canada, there is an irrational restriction on medically assisted suicide. Your death must be foreseeable. In other words physicians must be able to approximately predict the date of your death, and it must be in the near future. I have two main objections:

  1. If I know I will almost certainly die within 5 days, medically assisted suicide is superfluous. I will have almost no energy. I can’t be bothered to do all the paperwork just to save 5 days of suffering.
  2. If doctors can’t predict if I will die in 5 days or 5 years, no matter how much I am suffering, I have perhaps 5 years of suffering to endure without relief. For me medically assisted suicide is far more necessary than for someone who expects to die tomorrow.

This restriction amounts to forcing Christian superstition down my throat. Christians believe Yahweh owns you, and has a right to make you suffer as much as he pleases. You have no right to escape torment. Yahweh would not improve of suicide to escape his wrath.


Anti-euthanasia people seem willing to accept euthanasia if it is made sufficiently unpleasant. The sophistry is mind-boggling. For example, some think euthanasia is OK, so long as it is effected by slowly starving to death. As long as there is sufficient suffering, they will sign off. Another strange proposal from the anti-euthanasia camp is that people be put into permanent general anaesthesia. They would die but at an unpredictable time. It would tie up hospital beds for possibly months at a time to no useful purpose. It would deny the loved ones a final definitive goodbye. It has the exact same effect as euthanasia, just drags it out in a hideous above earth burial while the living corpse slowly goes gangrenous. Why should non Christians humour Christians with such nutty rituals who don’t even know the patient? It is insane. We must not allow Christians to impose their nutty death superstitions on the rest of us.

Others think euthanasia is OK, if you first degrade the patient by turning him into a drug addict oblivious to his surroundings and then the death must occur via a nudge nudge wink wink accidental drug overdose. This is malice. It is like saying, I will let you die if let me cut your arm off first. The Christian sadists want to make people suffer so badly they will not elect euthanasia.

This goofiness reminds me of Israel where they impose a religious superstition each Saturday to make all elevators stop working properly, but not entirely. Christians worship a sadistic god who allegedly enjoys watching people suffer particularly just before death. Christians are not content to offer up their own suffering, they demand the right to force non-Christians to suffer in a pointless sacrifice. Their auxiliary argument is that Yahweh is the owner (in the sense of slavemaster) of all humans and we humans have no right to destroy his property. The freedom of religion clauses in our constitutions should give us freedom from their forceful and painful imposition of the Christian religion. If they won’t back off, we should set about rooting out their religion, root and branch.


On 2016-04-14 the Liberals revealed there proposed physician assisted suicide law. It has been watered down from what the Supreme Court requested. The following groups are denied assistance.

What counts is unbearable suffering. The mentally ill, youth and any human can experience this. Why should some folk be forced to endure massive suffering? This is deliberate torture of youth and the mentally ill.

Those not close to death will be excluded. This is backwards. Those people have even more suffering to endure. If someone is going to die anyway in a few days, they are not as needy of help.

Canada’s new euthanasia law requires someone who wants to die to apply to a panel. They decide if the petitioner is suffering enough and is close enough to natural death to be worthy of physician assisted suicide. They reject 9 out of 10 people. The panelists base their decision on the law, their religious superstitions and their imaginings of how they would suffer in the petitioner’s circumstances.

Suffering is subjective. The petitioner knows better than anyone else just how intolerable their suffering is. If they are rejected, they can legally starve themselves to death. Why do panelist opinions, based on very incomplete information, trump the petitioner? Whose life is it anyway?

Requiring the petitioner to be close to natural death makes no sense. If you had only 3 days of terrible suffering to endure, you might be willing to suffer. But if you had a year of unbearable suffering, you would demand relief.

The panel should decide if the petitioner is mentally competent, (or has provided written instruction) and is fully informed of the options, and if so, get out the way. Every hour delayed creates needless suffering.

The law is designed to maximise suffering and prolong the end of life process, permitting relief for only the most egregious cases. The only reason for this is Christian superstition. That should be unconstitutional.

The Oregon Experience

Just Suck It Up

Think of all those ages through which men have had the courage to die and then remember that we have actually fallen to talking about having the courage to live.

~ G. K. Chesterton (1874-05-29 1936-06-14 age:62)

What do you prove by enduring torture of pancreas cancer? Chesterton seems to think suffering has some value in itself.

Oregon has had a physician-assisted suicide law since 1998. There have been no reported abuses. It takes two physicians to prescribe a dose of fatal drugs. Only one in six people is accepted. The rest are routed to various alternate therapies such as symptom control or treatment for depression. These people might previously have attempted suicide on their own and would have received no treatment. One in ten who applies actually gets and uses a prescription. It often acts as insurance against some horrible death, such as slow suffocation from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

The Advantage of Euthanasia to Pro-Lifers

Anti-Euthanasia Bastards

Perhaps we should take off the gloves and call the anti-euthanasia folk what they truly are: SFGists, God’s Sadists, SADists, DLCHS, Superstitious Loons.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Did you know that the way things are now, in British Columbia, if you don’t provide a specific living will, a hospital can put a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order on you without your consent! Today, euthanasia is effectively happening, under the table, both to people who want it and to those who don’t want it.

By requiring a formal procedure to request euthanasia, it would be much harder to slip euthanasia by with a nudge nudge, wink wink the way it happens now.

Why Do I Care?

Imposing Religion

A woman called into the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) 180 show to explain that if people were given the option of end-of-life physician assisted suicide, millions of people would be immediately at risk for being murdered by being coerced into signing up for suicide by their relatives, their doctors or the government. Then she uttered three incomprehensible sentences about God and Jesus. This let us know the first argument was a smokescreen and her real motivation was she wanted everyone to adopt her religious superstitions.

But does her paranoid argument have any merit? The way things are now, there is no formal procedure for physician assisted suicide. However, it goes on all the time under the table. Fellow physicians look the other way. It seems to me, an improper physician assisted suicide is far more likely today, than it would be with a formal procedure with mandatory review by several experts to make absolutely sure there was no coercion and that all alternatives had been exhausted.

The formal procedure would also force sober second thought. The suicide could not be rushed through as it can today. Further, someone rashly considering suicide, might apply for physician assisted suicide and in the process be given treatment for depression, illness or whatever temporary problem triggered the suicidal thoughts.

It is goofy to discount the real suffering of the terminally ill in order to prevent imaginary potential harm to people who would not even use the service.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

I am HIV+ (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus Positive (infected)). I have been since the summer of 1985. Over that time my health as dipped up and down. Most of my friends have died of AIDS, some with excruciating deaths.

I get extremely angry at busy-body Catholics poking their nose into what I consider a most personal of issues. They have some very warped ideas about what the creator expects of us and like medieval torturers are willing to put people through extreme pain to save their souls. As I said on the CBC, "It is none of their damn business!"

I think it should be my decision when suffering is too much. To retain that control I will be forced to kill myself early, while I still have enough strength to handle the suicide totally unaided. I have been quite sick of late and I have been making preparations. This is ironic. Meddling Christians are pushing me into premature suicide. If they would simply mind their own bloody business, I could in all probability safely postpone that suicide indefinitely and enjoy a natural death.

The conviction of Dr. Kevorkian for murder shows the public are bloody fools and can’t tell the difference between an axe murder and mercy. The sanctimonious A&E biography of Dr. Kevorkian reiterates that blindness. Nobody cares a fig about the person begging to die. The victim of euthanasia is the only seriously interested party and he is the only party given no say in the debate. He is presumed incompetent simply because he can no longer stand the suffering. The selfishness of the meddling Christians and their superstitious arguments makes me nauseous. Christians pretend the suffering does not exist because it conflicts with their superstitious beliefs.

The judge who sentenced Kevorkian chastised him as if he were a serial axe murderer. She refused to see the difference.

I get furious at Christians forcing their crazy superstitions about death down the throats of those who want no part of them. Why should a man with ALS and a month to live have to put up with the final hours of slowly suffocating to death? Someone who helps is merciful. Someone who turns away is a Nazi.

Consider also those who are not terminally ill, but who have had some dreadful accident, such as burns to 90% of the body or a broken spinal chord so they are paralysed from the neck down. No matter how much they might scream I want to die. Please somebody kill me! they are trapped with no means of escape no matter how utterly intolerable their existence is. This is Christian mercy solidified into law.

Imagine the outcry if some religious group were able to push through legislation to also outlaw euthanasia for animals. No matter how horribly injured your pet were, you had no option but to sit by and watch him suffer and slowly die. We would consider it sadistic. Why do we have more compassion for our pets than our loved ones?

Mind You Own Business!

Right to Interfere

The difference in the atheist and Christian view of euthanasia is simple. Atheists believe they should not interfere in the end-of-life decisions of Christians, no matter how bat-shit-crazy they think they are. Christians believe they are everyone’s mother and as such have the right to override any end-of-life decisions an atheist makes.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

I find the anti-choice folk a meddling bunch of busybodies. Most of the time, they are fabulously healthy, deeply religious and have no inkling of what it is like to be terminally ill. They think they know better than the terminally ill what is in their best interest. The terminally ill are overwhelmingly pro-choice. The terminally ill are only physically incapacitated. They still have their marbles. They are the ones who have to endure the end-of-life trials. Surely, who is more qualified than they to make such important decisions? I’d say, if you are not terminally ill, you have no business forcing your opinions on those who are. You have not been there. You don’t know what you are talking about. Unfortunately, the terminally ill have no energy to make their voices heard politically. The have no political clout since they will unlikely ever vote again. So they are at the mercy of energetic fundamentalist busybodies.

Pro choice means just that, that you want the option to die left open for you and others. You don’t want to close off all possibility of early death no matter how intolerable life becomes. The non-terminally ill have this right naturally and just like most terminally ill people, elect to keep on living. It is unfair to take this right away from the terminally ill, at the very time it is most reassuring that there exists an escape should life get too terrible.

Mr. Novakowski has been pontificating on the Robert Latimer case. He has a daughter disabled with cerebral palsy, which he considers makes his situation identical with that Latimer found himself in. The situations are completely different. Novakowski’s daughter is healthy and happy. There is utterly no reason to help her die. Latimer’s daughter was screaming in pain. Novakowski says euthanasia is not the answer in his case. Of course! Nobody said it was! The right to die is about letting people choose to escape suffering, not bumping them off because caretakers are fed up with caring for them. When Novakowski talks of the slippery slope he is projecting his own desires on the pro-euthanasia camp. He is the only one who feels tempted to bump off his daughter. Nobody in the pro-euthanasia camp is willing to let him get away with that. Novakowski imagines taking away the right to die somehow increases respect for the individual. It is the very opposite. He wants the government to meddle and bully where it has no business.

Christian Compassion

Right To Life Misnomer

The KRTLS (Kelowna Right To Life Society) believe in blocking the morning after pill and blocking the right to die when end-of-life suffering has become unbearable. They are motivated by religion and religious sadism. They want to impose their religion on others. In Canada we are supposed to have freedom of religion. The includes freedom from the other guy’s religion.

They believe in souls/ghosts inhabiting eggs at conception. That is why they hold the strange position that a single cell is equivalent to an adult human even though it is less complex at that stage than a microscopic spec of pond scum. Monty Python spoofed them in a song Every Sperm Is Sacred. They believe in a cruel god Yahweh who will torment people for eternity if they escape end-of-life suffering. They believe their superstition justifies torturing strangers for a few weeks or months to stop them from committing suicide or seeking help committing suicide.

The KRTLS are nuts and they must be prevented from harming others.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

People supposedly motivated by Christian compassion do things literally like this: cut a hole in an elderly woman’s chest without her consent to insert a feeding tube. In seeing it is not working, they allowed her to slowly starve to death. The women had Alzheimer’s. If they did it to a dog, they would be reported to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

The Disabled

Other than the Catholics, the disabled are the most organised opposition to euthanasia. They are afraid they will be killed against their will because someone else thinks their lives are not worth living. This is irrational and paranoid. Physician assisted suicide is a formal legal procedure with maximal bureaucratic delay for the terminally ill. It will require your signature and the signature of your doctor. The disabled, are not ill, much less terminally ill. They would not qualify even if they wanted it. Contrast that with how physician-assisted suicide happens today. Everyone looks the other way. There is no paper work. It is much easier to bump someone off who does not want to die today than when the procedure would be handled in the light of day.

The Paranoid

The wealthy elderly are concerned that relatives will pressure them into suicide to get their inheritance a few months early. Movies make elderly paranoid on this matter, but probate takes so long, very few people would consider murder to get their money a few months earlier. Most people cling to their elderly relatives and want them to live on, even if they suffer.

Also, the elderly with chronic conditions are worried hospital administrators will pressure them into suicide to free a bed. What they refuse to recognise, is they can be pressured now and killed quietly without any questions asked. If we had a formal procedure, the patient would be interviewed by many professionals, some of whom would ask, Are you choosing to die of you your free will? Is anyone pressuring you? At that point, all you have to do is tell the truth to summon help to get those pressuring you off your back.

Active vs Passive Euthanasia

Asinine Rules

In Canada, you may not seek physician assisted suicide unless you are on death’s door. In that situation, you don’t need assistance. You can white knuckle it for a few days. What you need help for is weeks, months or years of suffering.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

One of the smarmiest, lawyerly, cowardly and cruel notions Christians have foist on the world, is passive euthanasia. In their view, it somehow does not count as killing you merely starve or dehydrate someone to death, never mind that dehydration is a crueler way to die that being eaten alive by lions.

I say this is bloody nonsense. What counts is your intent and the result. If your intent is to kill and the result is death, it does not matter what your means it, it is still killing.

Consider that if you kill an infant by neglect or a beating, it is still murder. If a kidnapper kills his victim by starvation or a gun, it is still murder. Why should killing a patient actively or passively be any different?

If you are going to euthanise someone, be at least as kind as you would to a beloved pet dog when you put it down. Use a method that is painless and quick such as a shot of seconal.

It is monstrous to hold out only the torture of passive euthanasia to someone terminally ill in such pain they cannot bear any more. It is downright sadistic. It is similarly monstrous to euthanise someone that way who is not able to protest. If there is a hell, I hope all Christians who try to fob passive euthanasia by dehydration off on others spend eternity there, suffering exactly as they made others suffer.

Signs of Common Sense

According to Dr. Eike Kluge, professor of ethic at the University of Victoria, in a hospice, if the caretakers, even at the request of the patient, oversedate him causing death or withhold medication or treatment causing death, or if they select a treatment that would shorten life relative to some other treatment, even if that other treatment would cause excruciating pain, the caregivers are technically guilty of first degree murder. This is insane, but that is the law. Members of parliament are afraid of outraging the Catholics and other anti-euthanasia advocates.

However, in practice, sanity often prevails. There is something called prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors don’t have to take the caretakers to trial, especially if they think a jury would ignore the law and refuse to convict them. So in practice, if you are suffering great pain or nausea that cannot be controlled by drugs, often caretakers will at your request oversedate you and allow you to die in peace. If they are prosecuted, usually they will be charged only with administering a noxious substance. If convicted, they would usually only get probation or a requirement their work be supervised. Unlike for murder, there is no minimum sentence. The caretakers would not lose they right to practice medicine. Of course, if the Catholics get wind of this and butt in, all bets are off what will happen.

The other piece of good news is that you have the right to refuse any medical procedure, including resuscitation. If your doctor ignores your request, he can be changed with assault. The catch is, if you are considered mentally incompetent, you lose that right. All you need do is make your wishes clear on an advance directive card in your wallet.

On 2013-06-12 Québec tabled a bill to legalise euthanasia, with many conditions. You must be in the final stages of an incurable disease.

Mark Pickup

BC Almanac

CBC BC Almanac radio show read two letters on the air that showed listeners did not understand what physician assisted suicide was. One believed that physician assisted suicide was currently highly regulated and all regulation was about to be removed and so abuse would explode. The very opposite is true. Physician assisted suicide occurs all the time, but on the quiet without any regulation or oversight. A new law would add legal, medical and psychological oversight to make sure all happens in the light of day and by the book.

The second writer suggested that people should register on their drivers’ licence whether they approved of euthanasia. She apparently thought physician assisted suicide was a sort of living will to decide what you wanted done with you if you went into permanent coma. With physician-assisted suicide, you request assistance with suicide at the time, in full control of your mental faculties to avoid the last few weeks of suffering or dementia. It is very much like having a pet put to sleep, only it is yourself.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Mark Pickup is an anti-euthanasia advocate. He has multiple sclerosis. Be became depressed and wanted to die. He was not in physical pain and he was not paralysed, but felt worthless. He was well enough kill himself, but did not actually attempt suicide. He wants to keep assisted suicide illegal because he fears had it been available, he might be dead now. This is a groundless fear. Had he applied for help with his suicide, he would have been treated for his depression and for his delusions of worthlessness. As it was, his problems with severe depression went untreated. He would have been in less danger of rash suicide had he applied for help dying. All assisted suicide programs have an assessment and waiting period. It is not death on demand.

Pickup also argues that the terminally ill person has no right to choose when to die. He should stay alive to please those around him no matter how intense the pain. This is insane, considering postponing grief of more importance than avoiding torture. Pickup imagines modern medicine can always manage pain. I have only once been near death, but I have been seriously ill many times in which modern medicine could in no way begin to manage the pain. Try a passing a kidney or gallstone, or being so nauseous you threw up continuously for 30 minutes. Then imagine that level of pain bedeviling you for the rest of your days without letup.

What gives people like Mr. Pickup who have never felt serious pain, the right to tell others who have, how much pain is unbearable? How much pain is too much is a highly subjective thing and it is not something you can decide for someone else. Just because I can bear a particular pain does not mean someone else is equally insensitive to it. My sister prefers to have dental work done without anaesthesia. However, that is no reason to demand everyone do it.

Pickup also expressed worry that people might bump themselves off because they felt too much of a burden. I look at it this way. If somebody finds being a burden even more awful than death, then who am I to condemn them to a fate they consider worse than death? I likely would not feel tortured in that situation, but obviously they do. The compassionate solution is not to force them to suffer by cutting off their only escape route, but to help them over their guilt about being cared for.

Marie of Montréal

Euthanasia Tradeoffs

Dr. Will Johnston frets that a mentally ill patient might elect to die to avoid the suffering of a temporary condition. He considers this fear sufficient justification to deny physician assisted suicide to all mentally ill patients. Further, it can be rational to elect death rather than go through a year of chemotherapy. Those are the patient’s decisions. He does not give a hoot about the thousands he would force to endure endless unendurable suffering. All that matters is conforming with his religion.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
On 2007-11-22 Paula Todd aired a show on CBC ’s The Verdict on euthanasia. She had an anti-euthanasia guest identified as Marie of Montréal. Marie’s view what that shooting someone in cold blood, killing them when they were terminally ill without their permission, killing them at their request when they were terminally ill, providing them with the means to commit suicide, committing suicide, (and presumably abortion and the morning after bill) were all killing and hence all were equally wicked and should be considered the same thing without distinction. This allowed her to provide an argument against killing the terminally ill without their permission, then apply it to all forms of killing since they were perfectly equivalent in her view.

This women’s dishonest and irrational way of debating suggests she is a member of some church and she is simply parroting the views of the church. She believes her church to have an exclusive hold on absolute truth, hence everyone should adopt those views. What she is doing has little to do with euthanasia and a lot to do with proselytising. Whether someone’s views are rational or not has nothing whatsoever to do with their right to lobby for them. Most of the people against euthanasia are meddling religious busybodies who think they have a right to interfere in other people’s most personal choices. It is cosmically unfair that those most affected by euthanasia legislation have little energy to promote their views and those with least interest and maximal nuttiness have the loudest voices.

Gordon Brown

Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Canada’s new euthanasia law requires someone who wants to die to apply to a panel. They decide if the petitioner is suffering enough and is close enough to natural death to be worthy of physician assisted suicide. They reject 9 out of 10 people. The panelists base their decision on the law, their religious superstitions and their imaginings of how they would suffer in the petitioner’s circumstances.

Suffering is subjective. The petitioner knows better than anyone else just how intolerable their suffering is. If they are rejected, they can legally starve themselves to death. Why do panelist opinions, based on very incomplete information, trump the petitioner? Whose life is it anyway?

Requiring the petitioner to be close to natural death makes no sense. If you had only 3 days of terrible suffering to endure, you might be willing to suffer. But if you had a year of unbearable suffering, you would demand relief.

The panel should decide if the petitioner is mentally competent, (or has provided written instruction) and is fully informed of the options, and if so, get out the way. Every hour delayed creates needless suffering.

The law is designed to maximise suffering and prolong the end of life process, permitting relief for only the most egregious cases. The only reason for this is Christian superstition. That should be unconstitutional.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Gordon Brown was the Prime Minister of UK. He was is adamantly opposed to physician-assisted suicide on the grounds, if it were permitted, families would pressure their elderly into committing suicide. I find this argument invalid on four grounds.

  1. Simply being elderly surely would not be sufficient grounds to grant physician-assisted suicide. You would need some sort of severe suffering, physical or mental.
  2. If I were a terminally ill person and my family and friends had abandoned me, what point would there be in dragging on a few more months? Why insist I suffer that additional onslaught? Should it not be my decision? Who else’s business is it anyway?
  3. If I were a terminally ill person and my family were so heartless as to tell me that the world would be better off if I were dead, there is no reason I have to humour them. They have no legal power over me. I can tell them to take a flying leap at the moon. In fact because there are third parties involved investigating, it is much harder for relatives to pressure me into suicide than the way it is now.
  4. If I were a terminally ill person and my family were so were so eager for their inheritances they started heavily pressuring me to kill myself, the whole matter would come to light as soon as I applied for physician-assisted suicide. I would then have an advocate to help me get my cruel family off my back and help me find some alternate emotional support. The way it is now, my suicide would be completely hushed up.
In short, it is not really all that terrible a thing if a terminally ill person opts for physician-assisted suicide when you would not in the same circumstances. No one commits suicide on a whim. The law deliberately would make it difficult. The red-tape ensures physician-assisted suicide were was not taken lightly. However, it is an extremely cruel to force someone to suffer with no possible way out, just to satisfy your religious superstitions, which the terminally ill person may not share. It is not your business to tell someone else how much they are suffering or how much suffering is too much to bare. You have absolutely no right to force your religious beliefs on others, particularly at the very end of their lives.

Gordon Brown’s policy could be compared with a mandatory automobile passenger restraint device, presumed by its inventors to be beneficial, but never tested scientifically, that was excruciatingly painful for a sizable proportion of people.

Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Dr. Emanuel is an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote a famous essay called Why I Hope to Die at 75. In his practice, over the years he has seen many people suffer the last decades of their lives with poor health and greatly diminished capacity. He feels we would be better off if nature took its course swiftly and promptly. To that end, he advocates a rather extreme measure: at age 75, even if you are healthy, to ever after refuse any drugs or medical treatments whose primary purpose is to extend your life. However, he considers it acceptable to use measures to reduce pain or increase quality of life.

On 2014-12-07, Michael Enright interviewed Dr. Emanuel on CBC radio The Sunday Edition. He pointed out that Dr. Emanuel had also written an essay opposing the legalisation of physician assisted suicide. Mr. Enright asked him to explain how he could hold such apparently contradictory views.

Let me deal with Emanuel’s points one by one:

  1. Refusing medical care is in no way a form of suicide. Refusing drugs is similar to refusing food or water. It is just a slower way to commit suicide than using helium, sleeping pills or firearms. The intent is to cut your life short in order to avoid suffering. Back in 1999, I protested the Makah whale sacrifices by going on a sort of Gandhian hunger strike, by refusing to take my HIV drugs that keep me alive. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) arrested me. They apparently considered what I was doing a form of suicide. Perhaps Dr. Emanuel means that insurance companies do not invalidate life insurance policies for refusing drugs or medical treatments.
  2. People in extreme pain that cannot be controlled are rare, therefore there is no need to provide such a drastic option for them. I am sure there are many rare cancers, but I sure Dr. Emanuel would never dream of withholding treatment when an inexpensive treatment exists, when withholding it is justified only by bureaucratic convenience.
  3. Even in countries like the Netherlands where physician assisted suicide is freely available, almost no one uses it. Thus, there is thus no reason to provide the option to anyone. Over my lifespan I have encountered a number of physicians with strong religious views. I am a gay atheist and pro-euthanasia activist. You can imagine how badly things went with some of them. One doctor walked out in the middle of an operation requiring general anaesthesia that he was performing on me and ever-after refused communication of any kind. My biggest nightmare is falling into the hands of such physicians at the end of my life when I do not have the energy to do battle with them. Granted, there is something odd about me, because pain killers, even strong ones like Tylenol-3, codeine, oxycontin and morphine seem to have almost no effect on my pain. The idea of pain as overpowering as infected wisdom teeth, kidney stones or gallstones, for months on end, is unendurable. I am the expert on how endurable my pain is, not anyone else, not even a (fundamentalist Christian) physician. I sincerely hope I die peacefully, but I cannot even live peacefully knowing that some physicians I consider sadistic madmen have the legal right to torment me indefinitely, and refuse to let me die. Some of these people have expressed their glee at me suffering eternal torment. They seem eager for the chance of an early start! I want the option to die should life become unendurable. I also sincerely hope I never have to use that option. In like manner, I would like access to a parachute when I fly in a small plane, but I strongly wish to avoid ever having to use it. I am the last person who would use it on a whim. Oddly, Emmanuel counsels self-suicide much, much sooner, for much more trivial reasons than I would advocate physician-assisted suicide, with his proviso you must you kill yourself by refusing medical care.
  4. The main problem the terminally ill have is depression, not unbearable pain. It would be irresponsible to hand them a bottle of suicide pills and shove them out the door. Legal physician assisted suicide is not a casual procedure. There are forms, waits, counselors, lawyers, interviews… (Unfortunately, it requires considerably more mental energy than people in the final stages of life have.) In contrast, illegal assisted suicide (the way we handle it now) is a wink wink, nudge nudge affair. Self-suicide has no safeguards at all. If someone comes in and requests legal physician assisted suicide, skilled practitioners will diagnose and treat any depression. In Oregon, the Netherlands and Switzerland, most people who formally request physician-assisted suicide either abort the process part way through or do not ever use the pills they are given. But in those jurisdictions, the option is there and it gives people courage to carry on. They don’t have to kill themselves prematurely while they are still strong enough to effect it without aid. They know it is theoretically completely safe to procrastinate suicide to the very, very last second or indefinitely.

Given Dr. Emanuel’s background, I would have expected well-thought out, consistent and compassionate arguments for his positions, but they struck me as juvenile, off-the cuff, shallow and incredibly self-centred.

I can’t help the feeling that Dr. Emanuel is pulling my leg. He is like a brilliantly polished Onion spoof of a dotty radio guest. This could almost be a generation X+1 This Is That skit.


All over the world, populations are aging. Every country will be swamped with people with Alzheimer’s and no budget to care for them. This means the level of care will be nightmarish. Personally, I see no point in a life while demented. It is just degrading and a costly nuisance to others. Presumably, there are other people who think as I do. Unfortunately, the Christians are in control and work tirelessly to prevent people from avoiding that nightmare using physician-assisted suicide. We have to get rid of this stigma. I am not for a second suggesting involuntary euthanasia for people who want such an existence. I just want people to be free to choose to check out early when they are faced with looming dementia.


What are the best methods to commit suicide?

  1. Rat poison

    This is the method my mother threatened to use. She died of natural causes. People kill rats in ways to make them suffer, not euthanise them. You do not want to do this.
  2. Jumping off cliffs

    (or bridges, tall buildings, dams etc.) Unless you calculate carefully you may not die. This also requires considerable athleticism to launch yourself. You will likely will not have the energy.
  3. Drowning

    The problem is the suffocation reflex kicks in very quickly and you feel an overwhelming desire to surface and breathe.
  4. Hanging

    This requires careful calculation of length of rope, degree of slack, height of drop. If you don’t get it just right you will dangle and slowly strangle, a rather unpleasant death. This is favoured by people in prisons with no other means available.
  5. Pills

    Pills are designed to cure you, not kill you. They may make you throw up or feel deathly ill, but there is no guarantee an overdoes of some random medication will actually kill you. Some medication overdoses are intensely unpleasant. Years ago, seconal and nembutal were favoured. The catch is, the manufacturers have added a small amount of emetic to each pill. If you take an overdose, you will probably throw up. The problem is magnified when you are deathly ill with a sensitive stomach.
  6. Gases

    People need oxygen for life. If you breathe gas that contains no oxygen you will die.
    1. Oxygen

      does not work because it just makes you light headed.
    2. Carbon dioxide

      CO₂: does not work because it stimulates the suffocation reflex.
    3. Hydrogen

      the catch is it is highly flammable. You could easily start a fire in the process.
    4. Methane

      natural gas (also propane). The catch is it is highly flammable. You could easily start a fire in the process. You could easily kill others using it. This could be made to look like an accident.
    5. Nitrogen

      When divers get excess nitrogen into their blood they suffer from nitrogen narcosis then the bends, a very painful condition. However, this does not happen when you breath even pure nitrogen at atmospheric pressure.
    6. Argon

      like helium but more expensive and harder to get.
    7. Krypton

      like helium but more expensive and harder to get.
    8. Helium

      this is not flammable. It does not trigger the suffocation reflex. It rises, dissipating so it will not harm others. Easily available. Reasonably priced. The tank is heavy and the valves need strength, so you would need some assistance.
  7. Plastic Bag

    This is usually used in conjunction with some other method. You need a large bag. If you use a small one, the suffocation reflex will trigger quickly and you won’t be able to help yourself from ripping it off. The idea is you want the suffocation reflex delayed long enough so you are already unconscious from some other method. Make sure you use one without tiny holes, e.g. a heavy duty garbage bag.
  8. Physician-assisted suicide

    This the best. They will give you an overdose injection of a sleep-inducing drug like seconal. This is the same way pets are euthanised. It will work even if you stomach is too sensitive to accept food or pills. Unfortunately, in most of the world, the technique is illegal.

Catholic Hospitals

In Canada are hospitals that were historically run by the Catholic church. Some are still run by Catholic corporations such as Providential. They are fully funded by the province. They are demanding exemption from the coming euthanasia laws. They demand the right to impose Catholic religious superstitions on the non-Catholic patients unfortunate enough to live near one of these Catholic hospitals. They claim allowing euthanasia would be religious discrimination, even if it were performed by non-Catholic doctors on non-Catholic patients. The hospitals have no concern whatsoever for the religious freedom of the patients. They are purely self-centred. I think the hospitals should be expropriated to force them to comply with the charter of rights and freedoms. The government has no business funding the imposition of religious dogma.

By Catholic logic, the hospitals should also have the right to refuse to treat gays, or even to kill them. They should be able to refuse any procedures related to birth control, abortion, sterilisation, even though the patients have pre-paid the premiums for these procedures.

This should be treated as a balance of rights. Yet the hospitals either ignore or spit on the rights of the non-Catholic patients. They are only concerned with rights of Catholic doctors to follow silly, irrational Catholic superstitions. Such rights are not serious. If denied, they do no harm at all other than create distress at displeasing an imaginary god. But the key point, the Catholics are not asking for rights for themselves, but to impose their religious beliefs on others. They have no legitimate claim to such bullying. Their behaviour is high handed, based on a paternalistic belief Catholics know what is best for everyone else.

Early Christians frequently committed suicide. Their lives were so miserable and the sales pitches for heaven were so appealing, and they were so naïve, they would kill themselves by jumping off cliffs, drowning themselves, falling or swords or taking poison. The bible itself is silent on the morality of suicide. Augustine, around 400 AD announced without scriptural justification that suicide was a cardinal sin, and committing suicide would block you from going to heaven. Modern day Catholics take this as given, to the degree they impose the rule on non-Catholics too.

Recent Developments


This has brought on a firestorm from meddling Christians who wanted to make sure Ms. Taylor did not miss a microsecond of the suffering they believe their god Yahweh was inflicting on her. This is as insane as insisting she have her appendix out without anaesthesia. They wanted to force their religion, complete with unsubstantiated superstitions about suffering, death, ghosts, bodies possessed by souls and after death torture on non-believers. Christians like Will Johnston refuse to respect the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, which includes the right to reject Christianity.

Back in 1990, I comforted my friend David Lewis as he ended his life to avoid the final stages of AIDS. At the time Christians meddled outrageously as well. I wrote an essay about it.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70) source

On 2011-11-14 and 2011-11-15 the CBC Radio 1 aired discussion of euthanasia and allowed phone-in callers. Unlike previous such shows, there was no mention of hell, god and Yahweh being the slaveowner of all human bodies. Instead the lines were swamped with callers all saying the exact same thing, namely that legal euthanasia was a plot to encourage elder abuse and extorting them of their worldly goods. There was almost no input from the opposing view.

The anti-euthanasia people are primarily motivated by a desire to impose their religious beliefs on others. They discovered such arguments would not fly, so are now pushing a bogus argument that legal euthanasia will lead to increased elder abuse. Nonsense! Obviously there is much more unbiased scrutiny of legal euthanasia than illegal. Further, people rashly attempting suicide will be much less likely to carry through if they go the legal euthanasia route which would necessitate reevaluation and talking it over with a trained counselor.

What it boils down to is, who is in a better position to make wise decisions about my end-of-life, me or Dr. Will Johnston, (the B.C. spokesman for EPC (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Canada)). Who has more at stake? Dr. Johnson or me? Whose business is it anyway? How arrogant he is to claim he knows better than I just how bearable my suffering is. Suffering is multi-dimensional and subjective. Nobody else can possibly know as well as I just how bearable my existence is. Johnston is motivated by religious dogma, but he carefully hides that. He relies almost exclusively on straw man arguments, pretending the debate is about some Hitlerian purge of the disabled without their consent. He advocates under-the-table euthanasia accidental overmedication without any formal consent, since in his legalistic mind the god Yahweh would not count this as murder. Yet he claims a formal procedure to bring physician-assisted suicide out into the light of day will increase abuse. The man is nuts.

This notion that all pain is manageable is ridiculous. Have these meddlesome busybodies never had an infected tooth, a kidney stone or HIV-induced nausea? In my experience, pain laughs at any analgesic modern medicine can throw at it.

On 2012-06-12 the BC Supreme Court struck down a ban on physician-assisted suicide. The argument was peculiar — equality. Severely ill or disabled people cannot kill themselves as able-bodied people can. Denying them the right to die is denying them equality. I would have used a freedom of religion argument, that Christians do not have the right to impose their religious dogma on others, but all’s well that ends well.

On 2015-02-06 the Canadian supreme court overturned Harper’s anti-euthanasia law. They gave him until 2016-02 to write a new one. Harper did nothing. Justin Trudeau won the election on 2015-10-19 He has asked for a 6 month extension.

Judge Lynn Smith

BC Supreme court judge Lynn Smith did an interview on the Lee Carter case. She said that Canada argued that legal euthanasia would put the disabled and frail at risk of being murdered. This risk exists, but it would be considerably less than it is now. Today, euthanasia goes on all the time under the table without review. The new bureaucratic rules would add protection. The new rules do not need to be perfect, just better than what we have now. This is so obvious, I suspect those making this argument have little concern for increased murders. They are motivated by a desire to impose their Christian beliefs on everyone else.

Good Life, Gentle Death. David Lewis’s Suicide


Court Ruling on Euthanasia

The courts overturned the law making physician assisted suicide illegal. Then Stephen Harper and his band of fundamentalist meddlesome loonies are tried to get their religious superstitions about death and god burned back into law. They wanted to micromanage the end-of-life decisions of the terminally ill. They wanted to force their religious beliefs down the throats of the terminally ill. They didn’t care how much suffering the terminally ill had to endure because they believed one should not escape suffering imposed by the sadistic god Yahweh. Other people’s end-of-life decisions are none of their business. Those decisions do not concern them in the least. Ask the terminally ill what safeguards they want. You will find don’t want Christians making those decisions for them. Only they are qualified to decide if and when life is too unbearable to require help dying. Christians keep trying to force their completely unscientific ideas about euthanasia, contraception and abortion on everyone else. The constitution guarantees freedom of religion which includes freedom from religion. What Harper and friends were doing is as wrong as making it illegal to refuse communion.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

I was present when David Lewis took his life in 1990 to avoid the final stages of AIDS. So many people wrote to the newspapers to pontificate on the event. They had absolutely no clue what it was like. After several weeks of lobbying, the newspapers finally let me tell what actually happened. What follows is what I wrote based on an essay I wrote the night he died:

In recent weeks pundits have pontificated on TV and in the press over David Lewis’s decision to commit suicide rather than face a lingering death. None of these men ever even met David. I was present the night David died. Here is what really happened Friday night 1990-08-24.

In some eyes, David is a coward and a sinner and I am a murderer for not interfering. If you were present, I think you would see it differently.

Before, when I heard people talk of death as a natural and even beautiful part of life, I thought them ghoulish. I still hate death, but now I can at least understand that point of view.

I know that the way David chose is the way I wish to die as well, eventually.

David was terminally ill with AIDS. He had a stroke so one side of his body was paralyzed, he was partially deaf and partially blind. He was incontinent. He could not eat any food without immediately throwing it up. He had a rapidly growing painful brain tumor, He had toxoplasmosis — a festering of the brain. He complained of the nausea and the pain of the brain tumor. He was expected to die within days or weeks.

David did not want to die. He enjoyed his life immensely, even to the very last second. Unfortunately, living was not one of the options. Two of the choices were:

  1. Go into palliative care, go on higher doses of morphine, die naturally with tube up his nose in a hospital, become demented gaga to use his term, probably alone. He would be too weak to take charge of ending of his life no matter how intense the suffering.
  2. Face the ultimate terror — death, surrounded with the comfort of his friends, in his home, with flowers, music and gentle readings. He could say his last good-byes properly with full emotion. He would have to sacrifice a few days or weeks of suffering. He would have to face the moment of truth when he switched the IV that would eventually kill him.
David repeatedly insisted, "I am not committing suicide. Suicide is when people are emotionally despondent and don’t want to live. I am opposed to suicide. What those people need is counseling. I am a professional counselor. I have helped hundreds of suicidal people come to see that these emotional wounds eventually heal. I don’t want to die. I have to die. All I am doing is adjusting the time of my death a little so that I can die with dignity. This is completely different. We should have a different word for it."

The press have been phoning every few hours over the last week to ask Is he dead yet? The seven men and three women David chose to be with him do not want to be named. They wish to avoid media hassles and the potential of legal action. David wanted his death to have a greater meaning. He hopes his death will make it possible for other terminally ill people to die gently.

David held a barbecue last Sunday. Friends, sexual buddies and relatives came to say goodbye. We laughed and joked and David told ribald stories of the distant and recent past and how one of his medications made him very horny.

The Friday night was much more subdued. David already had the IV in his arm that he put there himself. It was dripping harmless saline solution.

David kept asking, "What’s going to happen to me after I die? I don’t know, I just don’t know. I’m so scared. Probably nothing. Probably nothing at all — just poof."

I told him about all the myths I knew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Tibetan etc. One person suggested that perhaps he would meet his lover who died of AIDS last year. I wanted so badly for those myths to be true.

We joked that perhaps, like an Egyptian, he should take a small gold cat with him, or some change. Because of the Social Credit policy of making all experimental drugs free except those for AIDS patients, David detested Premier Vander Zalm right to the end. BC is the only province to attempt to reduce its NDP-voting gay population by charging $425 per month for drugs. If possible, David will haunt the premier’s theme park, Fantasy Gardens.

David talked of his experience, many years ago, when he was dead for a short time on the operating table and how he did not want to come back to life then.

I told David, "Look, you have set up this theatrical event here. You don’t have to go through with it just because we all came. I think you are doing this too soon. I will not interfere. I want this to be 100% your decision. Don’t let anybody rush you. If you want to call this all off, or stall, it is fine with us. "

Other people said similar things, though with more heart. I nearly always sound like a robot.

One guy said, You know this already David. I don’t want you to go. Please stay. Then he just started to cry and cry. We all cried.

David has a huge bed. We sat around it and in it. Someone wiped his forehead. Another massaged his foot. Another held his hand. He rested his head on one of the women’s breasts. David told us how frightened he was. Someone would say, You don’t have to do this. Then he would firmly snap "But I have to! The alternative is too terrible."

We sat in silence. We would cry. David would tell a little joke and we would all giggle. Finally David said, I want you to leave the room. We each hugged him for the last time. David sobbed and clung to us. "I love you so much. I miss you all so much. I hate to leave all this love, but I have to" were his last words.

A few stayed behind. They read from Steven Levine’s Who Dies page 243. Louis Armstrong sang on a tape It’s a Wonderful World. David changed the bag from saline to a sleeping potion. A while later he went peacefully to sleep. A while later he stopped breathing.

David was always the clown. I never saw him sentimental in the twenty years I knew him till that night. David died supremely happy, at first frightened, then peaceful.

David felt unconditionally loved. He received it before, but never felt it inside. When he threw up, no one batted an eyelid. He was still just as lovable. We adored him the way parents adore a new baby. David felt his own love for his friends more deeply then ever before at any time in his life. He made a proper and fitting farewell.

Outside during all this, a beautiful family of strangers stood a candlelight vigil. They held a sign Your life is precious to us, we care, David. In his last hours David talked of his gratitude at the kindness of complete strangers who had sent good wishes or various unusual offers of comfort.

Some of us cleaned him up, put on fresh sheets and clothes. We all came downstairs. Ms. Brutus (his enormous basset hound) jumped up on the bed. David had asked that we allow Ms. Brutus to lick his face. She made snoring noises. I could not help but think David — this is another of your practical jokes. You are not really dead. I can hear you snoring. It was like being five years old waiting as your sibling played dead — holding the breath. I held his arm. It felt cold, but it felt cold ever since the stroke. I felt his forehead. It was very cool. It took a long time for it to sink in that David really was dead. This body was not David. It looked like a respectable middle aged man — not the outrageous David I knew.

Then I began to feel joy. It was as if David was saying to me I’ve escaped. I’m free of the suffering. I feel sorry you guys trapped in your bodies. The real David, if he was anywhere at all, was somewhere else. The corpse seemed like a giant wax puppet, of no further importance.

David had asked that we toast him with Champagne. Nobody felt festive. Eventually we followed orders and toasted David. I took a glass down to him and put a few drops in his mouth. The gesture was irreverent, so I knew David would approve.

Love Roedy

Random Thoughts

Advantage of Being A Dog

Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death.

~ Milan Kundera (1929-04-01 age:89) The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Gloria Taylor was a woman with ALS and the only person in Canada currently with a legal right to physician-assisted suicide. The KRTLS tried to take that right away from her. The KRTLS argued that taking the life of a human being is not an act of compassion.

Of course, taking a life is not an act of compassion, but that is not what was happening in the Gloria Taylor case. If the KRTLS had right on their side, why are they lying about something so basic? Christians were trying to ensure she suffered long after she had found life unbearable. That is far from a compassionate act.

Christians were doing this for sadistic-religious reasons. Christians have a warped S&M (Sadism & Masochism) view of suffering. They enjoy contemplating their enemies being roasted alive for eternity.

In order that the happiness of the saints may be more delightful and that they may give to God more copious thanks for it, they are permitted perfectly to behold the sufferings of the damned… The saints will rejoice in the punishment of the damned.

~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 1274-03-07 age:48)

Mother Theresa refused to give pain killers to people dying of extremely painful diseases like pancreas cancer. She would tell them they should enjoy the pain as Jesus’ kisses.

Christian women titillate themselves contemplating the suffering of the near naked Christ. Christian men in some cultures whip themselves bloody in emulation of the suffering of Christ. Nuns and priests torment themselves in penance hoping to placate the god Yahweh. The point is Christians have a rather unhealthy relationship with suffering, especially the suffering of others. They see it as a Good Thing™.

In this case, busybody Christians were trying to pretend they knew more than Gloria Taylor when her life was unbearable. They were sadists trying to force their nutty religious views on her when she was at her weakest. It was absolutely none of their concern. If Christians want to impale themselves on the altar of their cruel imaginary god Yahweh, they are welcome to it, but please leave Gloria, me and everyone else alone.

My biggest nightmare is on my deathbed to fall into the clutches of arrogant, meddling Christians like those in the KRTLS.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Euthanasia For Kids

Belgium is enacting an euthanasia law for people under 18. It requires parental consent and terminal illness. I welcome this. There is no more reason to permit Christians to torment children than to torment adults to placate their sadistic god. However, Anna Marie Tremonti, of the CBC ’s The Current was concerned that children would not understand that death was permanent. I personally figured it out at age four by repeatedly digging up a turtle to see if it would truly stay dead. Further, it does not matter if the child has poor judgment because the parents have a veto. The problem with the law is a child could have the misfortune of two sadistic Catholic parents who will force her to suffer so matter what because their god feasts on suffering.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Death and Money

In BC the cost of medical care is going up. Why? Technology usually reduces costs. I can see three reasons:

So what should we do about it?

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Catholic Catechism for All

The Catholic position on this question [physician assisted suicide being legal] is clear, human life is a gift from God. Therefore, as taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2280, We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

~ Richard W. Smith (1959-04-28 age:59), Archbishop of Edmonton, head of the CCCB (Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops)

Smith freely admits his motivation is purely religious. He wants to force the Catholic catechism on non-believers. Surely the constitution grants me freedom of religion and the freedom to reject his religion.

Definition of Death

Death is the ultimate treatment for pain. It always works. Christian morality (aka Harper’s law) demands you should not use it under any circumstances (pets are a possible exception). You must instead make do with treatments that do not work. This is to avoid offending their sadistic god. What yours allegedly thinks does not matter.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Imposing Religion

A woman called into the CBC 180 show to explain that if people were given the option of end-of-life physician assisted suicide, millions of people would be immediately at risk for being murdered by being coerced into signing up for suicide by their relatives, their doctors or the government. Then she uttered three incomprehensible sentences about God and Jesus. This let us know the first argument was a smokescreen and her real motivation was she wanted everyone to adopt her religious superstitions.

But does her paranoid argument have any merit? The way things are now, there is no formal procedure for physician assisted suicide. However, it goes on all the time under the table. Fellow physicians look the other way. It seems to me, an improper physician assisted suicide is far more likely today, than it would be with a formal procedure with mandatory review by several experts to make absolutely sure there was no coercion and that all alternatives had been exhausted.

The formal procedure would also force sober second thought. The suicide could not be rushed through as it can today. Further, someone rashly considering suicide, might apply for physician assisted suicide and in the process be given treatment for depression, illness or whatever temporary problem triggered the suicidal thoughts.

It is goofy to discount the real suffering of the terminally ill in order to prevent imaginary potential harm to people who would not even use the service.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)


Gloria Taylor had ALS, an incurable disease. My friend Geoff Sirois died of it on 2001-08-19. It is one of the most horrible ways to die. Gradually your muscles stop working so you can’t move, cannot eat, cannot speak and finally cannot breathe. It is like being buried alive. My friends at the BC Civil Liberties Association and three others in a similar boat to Ms. Taylor sued and overturned the law in Canada making physician assisted suicide illegal. The judge declared it inconsistent with the constitution. If parliament does not fix the law by 2016-06, it will become invalid.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)

Death Panels

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s death panel so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their level of productivity in society, whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

~ Sarah Palin (1964-02-11 age:54)

Sarah will spout any crap, no matter how fanciful, if she thinks it will get her on TV. She likes to treat imaginary things like death panels and god as if they were real.

My Own Physician-Assisted Suicide

Even though I strongly support physician assisted suicide, I hope I will not have to use it. It is merely an insurance policy in case things get too horrible. I am not a Christian. I see no value whatsoever in excruciating suffering. I don’t want Christians imposing their sadomasochistic values on me.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)


book cover recommend book⇒Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, third editionto book home
by Derek Humphry 978-0-385-33653-6 paperback
birth 1930-04-29 age:88 978-0-9606030-3-9 hardcover
publisher Delta B004TGU1VY kindle
published 2002-11-26
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book cover recommend book⇒The Right to Die: The courageous Canadians who gave us the right to a dignified deathto book home
by Gary Bauslaugh 978-1-4594-1116-6 hardcover
publisher Lorimer 978-1-4594-1117-3 eBook
published 2016-04-01
This is about the pioneers who challeged the religious-based anti-euthanasia laws:
  • Sue Rodriguez, whose experience led to a split decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to retain laws against assisted suicide
  • Robert Latimer, convicted of second-degree murder for ending the life of his daughter who lived with debilitating cerebral palsy
  • John Hofsess and Evelyn Martens, who spent years giving practical assistance to those seeking help in dying
  • Donald Low, a renowned doctor who battled Toronto’s SARS outbreak, yet was denied control over his end-of-life when diagnosed with a brain tumour
  • Kay Carter and Gloria Taylor, the Vancouver women whose end-of-life struggles were at the heart of the 2015 Supreme Court case.
book website. Gary is a local Victoria author.
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French flag Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag abe Nook at Barnes & Noble American flag
Italian flag Kobo American flag
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UN flag other stores
Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.


Dr. Donald Low, famous SARS doctor click to watch
Anti-euthanasia argument summary
BC Civil Liberties Association position paper née the Hemlock Society
Dignatas Swiss Euthanasia service
Dignitas née UK Voluntary Euthanasia Society
Dying with Dignity: supreme court challenge
Hilda Krieg: anti-euthanasia advocate
inert gas asphyxiation
Kay Carter’s lawsuit
Religious Tolerance site
Right to Die Society
suicide bag


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