Death by doctor gets legislative protections for citizens without insight but a DNR order can be imposed on handicapped patients without insight in Alberta and no one is interested in legislated protections. Why not? Why do doctors have the power of life and death over our handicapped family members? Why? Because the government of Alberta allows this business. The DNR business.
While folks are talking publicly about expanding the death by doctor business which is fairly robust as it is so that additional resources are being dedicated to death by doctor in Alberta-no one wants to talk about the lax oversight of the DNR order business.
Why is this?
Why do doctors have the power of life and death over our handicapped citizens without insight?
It's not right.
Families should yap about the problems of DNR orders placed on their family members without insight to ensure their family members have the right to live as long as they are able to live rather than be prematurely terminated by a system that has no respect for the mentally ill or for the severely ill person without insight.
It is all about respect.
These folks have it hard enough.
Who are doctors to say that a mentally ill woman can't live a long life simply because of issue with compliance?
Who are doctors to decide life and death for beloved family members?
These are all matters of public discourse.
We should be asking government for the protections required for disabled citizens so that they are not at risk of premature termination for no damn reason other than the system is fed up of repeat visits.
We should protect our family members.
They are not dead yet.
Why aren't they protected like the folks who get to do the death by doctor route?
It is a question that requires an answer from the government of Alberta and legislation put in place to protect the rights of disabled citizens.
Death of dementia patient revives debate over assisted suicide
Published Wednesday, February 22, 2017 8:05PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 22, 2017 8:06PM EST
The killing of a woman in a long-term care facility is reviving the debate about medically-assisted death.
Jocelyne Lizotte, 60, had Alzheimer's disease and limited mobility. She used a wheelchair to get around the Emilie Gamelin nursing home where she lived.
Her husband, 55-year-old Michel Cadotte, is charged with her murder.
Police said Lizotte may have been smothered by a pillow, and on Facebook Cadotte said that he "cracked" and "consented to her demands to help her die."
One of Lizotte's relatives said the woman had asked for medical assistance to die, but was denied.
Medical ethicists said it could be due to the woman suffering from dementia.
"Both provincially here in Quebec and federally, we're consistent on that point, you have to be competent not only when requesting it but at the time of receiving it. Which is why both federal and provincial you cannot receive an advance directive," said Dr. Eugene Bereza.
Dr. George L'Esperance, an advocate for medically-assisted death, said the law should be broadened for dementia patients.
"When you know you will be able to decide in two, three, five years after, that you cannot actually give your consent, but it would be most important that when you can give your consent you can give it so it would be available when you need it.,"said L'Esperance.
The Alzheimer Society disagrees.
It argues that patients need to be protected because everyone's progression through the disease differs, and their desires can change over time.
"It's very difficult with the complexity of dementia to know for sure what a person with dementia would want today," said April Hayward.
"They may have expressed a wish ten years ago and do we know for certain that's what they would want today?"
Veroninque Hivon drafted the law, and said the topic of advanced consent is still being debated in society at large.
"I think that it is a question for the society for sure to discuss and I think of course that we have to be very vigilant," said the MNA.
Dr. Bereza thinks a good first step would be to test the idea with unique cases, including people with dementia.
"Having a very robust requirement to do it carefully to document it with multiple evaluations, very explicitly over time, family, physicians and others - that's a very different kind of process which we haven't requested. Maybe that's a proportionate, creative response legislatively, for this category of patients," he said.
But he acknowledges that finding the perfect balance between access to assisted death, and protecting vulnerable patients, will be very difficult.
The death by doctor business is big enough without including folks without insight. In addition there needs to be legislation in place for "Do Not Resuscitate" orders used on patients without insight. Why is there a ton of regulations for death by doctor but none for DNR? It's a good question and no one wants to do anything about the wild, wild west of DNRs -especially where the mentally ill and handicapped citizens are concerned. It's time for open discourse of these problems faced by families and real solutions rather than ignoring the problems. When will Alberta Health provide protections for citizens without insight?