Politics and its Discontents: No Simple Solutions

Over the years, I have learned to be wary of those who promise simple solutions or argue issues within a black and white framework. People who embrace, for example, Donald Trump’s promises to ‘bring jobs back to America’ without asking the key question, ‘How?’ are acting like those religious fundamentalists who accept The Bible as ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Archbishop And Assisted Dying

One of the things that I think distinguishes progressives from rabid reactionaries is that the latter tend to have reflexive positions on key issues, while the former can appreciate nuance. I hope the following helps to reflect that difference. The other day, the Archbishop of Toronto, Cardinal Thomas Collins, issued a statement and a video ...

The Disaffected Lib: Tories Look to Make Death With Dignity a Wedge Issue for 2015 Elections

Well, that didn’t take long.  Just days after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the criminal prohibition on physician assisted suicide, Harper justice minister Peter MacKay let’s slip the Tories see it as a possible election issue. [MacKay] noted the court provided a calendar year to deliver its answer, but said the government will ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 5: Death and the supreme court; the comeback of measles.

The big story of the week was a Supreme Court decision allowing physician-assisted deaths in certain cases. Polls have shown Canadians solidly in favour of allowing Canadians to die with dignity when all hope is lost, but politicians have treated the issue the same way they’ve treated the abortion issue — by simply ignoring it. ...

Bill Longstaff: Dying with dignity in Quebec

Quebec’s new Liberal government has decided to reintroduce Bill 52, the end-of-life care bill first tabled by the PQ in June 2013. The legislation will allow terminally ill patients to request medical assistance in dying if they suffer from an incurable illness that is in an advanced state and which inflicts intolerable physical and psychological ...

Scott's DiaTribes: Thoughts on Assisted Suicide

This story in the National Post talks about how quadriplegic Conservative MP and one-time Cabinet Minister Steven Fletcher argues assisted physician-assisted suicide should be an option in Canada, this on the heels of Dr. Donald Low, who recently passed away from a brain tumour, arguing the same thing. A very tough issue. A large majority ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Torture, The Movies and the Politics of Caregiving

A couple of nights ago, my husband Jim and I went to the movies.  We saw Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” – a film already infamous for its portrayal of torture as a measure to ensure post 9/11 homeland security and as a tool to locate and eliminate Osama Bin Laden. It’s a good film, ...

The Disaffected Lib: Euros Strongly Back Assisted Suicide Laws

A poll of 12-European countries conducted for the Swiss Medical Lawyers Association found very strong majorities in all but one country in support of legalizing assisted suicide. In almost all the 12 countries polled, three-quarters or more of those responding to questions posed by the Swiss Medical Lawyers Association (SMLA) said people should be able ...

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM - A Blog by Donna Thomson: Kill Me Now, I’m Disabled – The Assisted Suicide Debate

Yesterday, I was listening to the radio on my drive home from Montreal.  I had driven from our cottage in the Quebec Laurentians in the early morning to join my sister because, finally, our Mum was being discharged from the hospital after a long stay. There is a lot to do when someone’s care needs ...

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Religious Bullshit and Assisted Suicide Law Struck Down

If you are a religious person you know that life is sacred and only god can decide when and how you will die. You also know that god has a plan for you and works in mysterious ways. So he might decide that you will die quietly in your sleep after living a long fulfilling ...

Song of the Watermelon: Assisted Suicide, Discrimination, and the Constitution

Suicide is a difficult case. I do not believe that people, under most circumstances, have a moral right to unilaterally kill themselves. An individual’s life is not the sole property of the individual; it belongs also to her or his loved ones, to all who are deeply affected by such an irreversible decision. But does ...