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The New Face of Euthanasia

April 26, 2012 2 comments

Hey guys! This is my first official post as your new co-webmaster and we are starting on a high note here. In our focus on euthanasia I am sure many of you are aware of the Rasouli case. For those of you who are not, this case was started by 2 doctors, right in Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, who filed an affidavit because they “saw no medical purpose in keeping Mr. Rasouli on life support” after an infection resulting from surgery for a brain tumour left him in a persistent vegetative state. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where many believed it would be a new precedent setting case for euthanasia.  The decision to pull the plug however was opposed by Mr. Rasouli’s family, who long said that they saw improvement in his condition. At this point let me say how disturbing I find this. This is not a case of a person asking themselves for the right to take their own life, or even a family member of a vegetative relative asking someone to pull the plug on their relative, but a doctor, with no consent from anyone, unilaterally making the decision of life and death over another human being. I have always had the greatest respect for doctors and their efforts to save the lives of others, but in my opinion and I think the opinions of many others, this puts a troubling amount of power in their hands. But there is good news to report in this case. It seems that Mr .Rasouli is, although not completely, recovering. An article in the Globe and Mail on Tuesday reported that Mr. Rasouli is able to voluntarily control certain gestures, including the ability to give a thumbs-up gesture to communicate (although not yet completely) with loved ones, answering verbal requests from his wife. Doctors report that, at the moment, Mr. Rasouli is conscious of the world around him and suggest that far from being in a persistent vegetative state, only a step away from brain death, he may be, at least partially, conscious but paralysed. This to me is a reminder of the incredible mystery of the human body and medicine, that we can say that someone will absolutely never get better, and that term persistent vegetative state is always one that you hear connected with that, and then the next day someone is communicating with their thumbs to their wife. Who knows what ways Mr. Rasouli will surprise us all if we give him a chance to heal his body. We simply do not know. However, shockingly, this new development have not caused doctors to stop their calls to pull him from life support, saying that they “remain of the view that the standard of care does not require continuation of mechanical ventilation given his condition.” Now there is no doubt that this is a horrible situation for Mr. Rasouli and his family to be in. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be paralysed, with almost no way to communicate with my loved ones. The pain and fear would no doubt be unimaginable. However, like all life issues, to me it comes down to the issue of who has the right to make that call? What right do doctors, who have already misdiagnosed him once and admitted that they are as yet unclear about what his prospects are, have to tell him that his life does not have value, that he does not give meaning and hope to his family and loved ones crouched around his hospital bed. What right does any human being have to tell another living, conscious, feeling human being that his existence means less to the world then the bed he is occupying and that they are better off dead?  That’s what it comes down to for me anyway. What do you think my friends? Please comment, whether you are for or against this issue. I would love to talk to others and get their opinions about this issue.


Study Claims Abortion Not Depressing

January 29, 2011 1 comment

Well this is certainly a new one. A study reported today that they could find absolutely no correlation between mental health problems and abortions. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. First of all I suppose it is good news. I guess the thousands of members of Silent No More and its affiliates can all just pack up and go home right? Meanwhile we will have to rewrite our signs to say “Women regret not having abortions?” Right? Wrong. The group CareNet, which has dealt with 23,000 men and women over the last year alone who have sought help with them to deal with the pain that abortion has caused them , has already spoken out against the preposterousness of this study, countering it with the literally dozens of studies that have come over the last few years linking abortion to anxiety, depression, substance use, suicide ideation, and suicide. CareNet’s president says it best :

“If it’s true that having an abortion has zero impact on mental health, then why do CareNet centers have tens of thousands of women and men knocking on their doors every year seeking help dealing with a past abortion?” Delahoyde said. “Women facing unexpected pregnancies deserve medically accurate information about abortion risks before making an important life decision about their pregnancy.”

I cannot imagine how anybody could come up with results like this, or what ideology they may be trying to put forward, but these kinds of studies are not just absurd, they are dangerous. It is things like this which leave women who are getting an abortion completely unprepared for the physical and psychological effects it will have on them and those around them for the rest of their lives. Let’s just hope that with the weight of evidence against it, this study is dismissed for the junk science it is.

Categories: Abortion, General Tags:

Real Stem Cell Research

January 5, 2011 1 comment

Hello again. I came upon this article and it really made me think. We have been hearing for years that embryonic stem cell research, the kind you actually have to kill an unborn child to do, is going to lead to a new world of medical breakthroughs curing all kinds of diseases. Yet time and time again we see that the real breakthroughs are being done by adult stem cell research, where an adult gives cells from their own bodies to help another human being in need. This is a really touching story about a woman who donated stem cells in her eyes so that her sister could see. It was a huge medical breakthrough. No one is against advancing science or saving lives, and this is a great example of doing this without having to go down that dark road of judging how many lives you must end to do it. Kudos to all the people out there who are doing real stem cell research, and have the courage not to sacrifice human life to do so.

Categories: News, Stem Cells Tags:

Another Kind of Graphic Image

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Hi folks, I was just reading the newspaper the other day and I came upon an article about cigarette packages. Apparently the government of Canada has imposed a new line of images on the front of them showing the various heath problems and diseases that can happen when one smokes cigarettes. They include a picture of a man dying of lung cancer, as well as reminders of how smoking can hurt both you and the people around you, as well as showing graphic images of lungs diseased by cancer and other disgusting images showing just how badly smoking can mess up your body. Now whatever your opinion on smoking is, I couldn’t help but compare this to the view that our society has taken to abortion. The government in this case forces cigarette companies to put graphic images of dying and dead people, as well as well as medical pictures of cancerous lungs, on the front of packages. In the case of abortion, a procedure with the actual purpose of killing another human being, people who disagree with it can actually be arrested for displaying graphic images which have been deemed “content disturbing or offensive to some people because of its graphic nature” on their own campus, miles away from the nearest abortion clinic. Or compare for a moment the big red sign on the front of cigarette packages that says “Cigarettes cause cancer” to the numerous medical studies linking abortion to breast cancer that have been unilaterally dismissed as junk science by the medical profession. Once again we see the hypocrisy of a society terrified of being labeled “anti-abortion”. Now, I say this in full knowledge of the fact that graphic images are some of the most controversial in the pro-life movement, and believe it or not I do see both sides of this issue. Many say that they are detracting from the real message and I get that. The most important thing is that we get our views out there, and to do this we need to have conversations with people, not gross them out. That being said, if anyone reading this ever does find themselves in a position where they are using graphic images in a protest and someone asks “How can you show such disgusting things” you might try pointing to the nearest cigarette package and asking them what they are really mad about. Just my opinion.

Parliament too scared of abortion to illegalize coercion

December 18, 2010 1 comment

Well there seems to be one more example of the fact that not only does our government not care about the unborn lives ended by abortion, but also does not care about the women whose lives are scarred by it. In its rush to let women have abortions, on December 15th the parliament of our country once again voted to severely curtail the rights of women. Yesterday the long battle over Roxanne’s Law, a law that would make it illegal to force a woman into getting an abortion against her will, after frequent attempts to table the bill it finally failed with a vote of 178 votes against to 97 for it . There was no party that universally supported this, but there were 2 parties, the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP (whose leader I am ashamed to say represents my riding) which were universally opposed. The law was named after Roxanne Fernando, a young woman from Manitoba who was beaten to death by her boyfriend for refusing to get an abortion. At this point in reading about this, I had to ask what possible reason anyone would have for not supporting this. After all, the foundation of the pro-choice argument is that women have the right to choose. Now flawed as this argument is, surely even they would have to admit that if someone is being forced through the door of an abortion clinic, or worse being murdered by their boyfriend if they don`t, isn’t exactly free choice! Well, our elected officials had a quick answer to that question:

The Prime Minister has always said he wouldn’t support a bill that reopens the abortion debate.”

This is a clear indication of the state of reasoned political discourse in this country on complex moral issues, namely that it terrifies our leaders. We now have a situation where the idea of opening the door to the fact that abortion just might not be as cut and dried as Morgenthaler made it is seem is so terrifying that it has paralyzed people from acting on what should be a easy decision. Apparently they would rather send the message that forcing someone to get an abortion isn’t really coercion under the law. Now there are other arguments that people have given for not voting it down, saying that there are already laws on the books covering coersion, why have this one just because it includes abortion? Well this response by our elected officials in exactly why. Even they are so terrified of talking about abortion that they torpedo a bill which stops illegal coercion! No matter where you go no one is willing to talk about abortion other than to give a sound bite about choice. Meanwhile there are real live people out there who never hear the whole story about the horrors of abortion and are left with only the people around them, many of whom are fueled by there own selfish interests to guide them in this time. Coercion always thrives when no one is willing to debate issues they would rather not think about.

Amnesty International’s War on Life

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Particularly after our Maternal Health lecture and hearing the horror stories about life and motherhood in the Third World, I find it more and more important to look out at the world and find organisations that are genuinely doing good for the world at large, organisations that take life seriously and try to help even the poorest and most downtrodden in the world. This is why I was so disappointed reading this article. Amnesty International, the hugely influential non-profit humanitarian charity, has gone a step further in its war on life. This is not exactly new news – Amnesty came out in 2004 for abortion – but in the last week it has been using all of its influence to send demands to Third World countries that they rid themselves of all abortion laws and make the process more accessible to women. It has been doing this by sending out petitions to the governments of Peru and Indonesia demanding that they strike down their already comparatively liberal abortion laws. All this having happened since last week! This is part of a long tradition which has been attempted throughout the Third World. Pressuring countries into institutionalizing the unborn as property rather than human beings.
Needless to say I am appalled at the stance of Amnesty International. How can an organisation who’s motto is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” be so blind to the fact that the unborn are, in fact, some of the individuals that most need to be defended in society, because they don’t have a voice? Or how can Amnesty International forget that abortion is in fact harmful to the very women they are trying to defend, both physically and emotionally, causing long-term damage such as breast cancer? It is no surprise that when they do attempt to explain their actions, they cite the fraudulent argument that standing up for abortion increase maternal health by decreasing maternal deaths. All this despite the research of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation saying that this is just not true. More than this however is the underlying belief that somehow abortion will make society better for the people who live in it or that it is somehow a human right instead of the violation of one. To say that I am disappointed in Amnesty is an understatement, and it goes to show that even those organisations that seem to have the best intentions in all other areas are blind to the simple scientific fact that the unborn is just as much a human person as anyone else. I can only hope that Amnesty International will abandon its attempts to force a dehumanising stance on the unborn, and refocus its efforts on those who really need their help, inside and outside the womb.

Media Coverage of Carleton Arrests

October 8, 2010 3 comments

Just a thought, folks. Has anyone else been following the media coverage of the shameful arrest of peaceful pro-life protesters at Carleton University? Today an article came out in the National Post’s Holy Post section that I thought was interesting. Although it didn’t really focus on the insanity of arresting a group of peaceful protesters for “trespassing” on their own campus, which they paid thousands of dollars every year to attend, or why pro-life protests should be required to host their protests in a small auditorium off the beaten track (no doubt the Carleton Student Union’s next move would have been to move them in a basement behind a locked door). However, it was a fairly thoughtful piece about the use of graphic images in the pro-life movement, specifically the GAP protest style, and whether by using it they were doing more harm than good. This got me thinking about how the other major newspapers are framing the issue. After all this is a big story, right? Students get arrested on campus for protesting. If this had been a protest against the war or other human rights causes, arrests would be all over the newspapers, right? I should have known better. In my scouring of the Internet, I found a short story piece by the Ottawa Citizen… and nothing else. I scanned the major news outlets in Canada, the CBC, the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun, The Globe And Mail… not a single one had picked up the story. A full three days after the Carleton University students were arrested and, besides the National Post, the greatest source of news on this issue is an independent blog associated with the Vancouver Sun. Not a single major news outlet thinks it’s in the best interest of Canadians to know that a group of protesters have been arrested by their university in blatant violation of their right to free speech. In fact, here is a fun piece of trivia for you: what is the first thing that comes up when you type in “student arrested for protest Canada”. That’s right, we do. In the whole country our humble blog is the first thing to come up on what should be a huge media story. I don’t know whether to be flattered or horrified. My dearest wish is that somehow I am wrong, that by the time I post this I will be made a fool of a media storm sweeping down to express outrage at the violation of these protesters’ rights. However, given my experience in the movement, I’m not holding my breath.

Categories: Abortion, News Tags: ,