May 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The publication ban was lifted last week on the name of the woman who was granted a legal exemption last month from an Alberta judge to be euthanized by two abortion doctors. Now family and friends of the deceased Hanne Schafer are using the woman’s identity and story to encourage the federal government to quickly pass proposed legislation that would govern the practice of a doctor killing his patients.
“We want to honour her whole contribution to this matter of assisted dying,” Schafer’s longtime friend Mary Valentich told reporters last Thursday, calling Schafer a “trailblazer.”
“She is not ashamed of what she was doing, she saw herself as an activist. She wanted change in this whole area of assisted dying,” Valentich added.
But Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition called Valentich’s postmortem activism misplaced.
“Although the media is celebrating this woman’s activism, there’s nothing good in what she did, or what the so-called ‘doctors’ did to her. Her death at the hands of doctors was really an act of homicide. It was morally wrong because when you strip away the euphemisms, it’s one person killing another,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Valentich said that Schafer was willing to have the publication ban lifted after her death so that her death might inspire others seeking death as a solution to the problems of pain and suffering.
“It’s a right that we now have in Canada, so that’s why it was so important to get this publication ban changed so that we could be free to speak and not only celebrate her name but to honour her for doing what she did,” Valentich said.
Schafer’s husband Daniel Laurin said the federal government should quickly pass the proposed legislation to governing the practice of doctors killing patients who request it.
“She couldn’t die in her own bed, in her own home, she had to die in some strange place . . . this shouldn’t happen to anybody,” he said.
Schafer suffered from ALS, a neurodegenerative disease, and was granted a legal exemption from Alberta Justice Sheilah Martin to have doctor-abetted death prior to the Supreme Court February 2015 ruling overturning the ban on the practice having yet come fully into effect. Schafer’s death followed that of a Quebec woman who made use of the province’s own newly enacted doctor-abetted death law in January to end her life.
Euthanasia bill a ‘disaster’
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said that the pro-euthanasia movement has turned Hanne Schafer into a “poster child” to push Canadians into accepting the Liberal government’s proposed law for doctor-abetted death, a bill that he said has not been designed to protect vulnerable people from abuse.
“Every Canadian should be alarmed about Bill C-14. It practically allows anyone to perform euthanasia, and moreover, there are no real safe-guards to protect vulnerable people from abuse since the bill states that the provider “must be of the opinion” that a patient qualifies, meaning there is really no oversight.”
“The bill is simply a disaster in that it completely fails in protecting vulnerable people,” he said.
Schadenberg also called the bill a “smokescreen” for what amounts to euthanasia on-demand.
“The bill’s promoters talk about restrictions, safeguards, and conscience rights protections for doctors. But, on close reading of the bill itself, these aspects are either not present — such as in the case of conscience rights — or the language used to frame the so-called controls and safeguards is simply inadequate to the point of being useless.”
“The bill is not only insane, but totally irresponsible,” he said.
Garnett Genuis, MP for Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan and past member of the Special Joint Committee which studied Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, agrees that the bill is a “matter of mere smoke and mirrors.”
“This legislation does not protect the conscience rights of healthcare practitioners. The trumpeted ‘safeguards’ are highly subjective and do not provide the necessary certainty that the vulnerable will be protected, and there is no mechanism in this legislation for advance legal review,” he commented on the bill earlier this month.
Why abortion docs euthanized Schafer
Because no doctors were willing to euthanize her in Alberta, Schafer traveled to British Columbia where she secured the services of two abortionists, Ellen Wiebe and Roey Malleson.
Wiebe, medical director of the Willow Women’s abortion clinic in Vancouver, told reporters after Schafer's death that abortion and euthanasia go hand-in-hand.
“There are so many parallels between them. In both cases it is a matter of a person’s autonomy, their choice over their own life, their own body. In both cases, there are both the legal issues and then the provider/access issues,” she told the Vancouver Sun in a March 13 interview.
“We’ve had legal abortions since 1969 and yet there are still access issues in Canada, where there are communities with no services and where people have to travel long distances because there is no provider around. This is the same kind of thing. Now we have the law (of physician-assisted death) but we need access and access means drugs and providers, so pharmacists, nurses and doctors. It has so much of the same issues.”
Wiebe said at the time that she was “grateful” to be able to participate in Schafer’s death.
“She was finished. She had the horrible ravages of ALS that had taken away all the things important to her, and she wanted to end it. She wanted to end it in a way where she could have all her family with her and she was able to,” she said. “I felt so grateful to give her what she wanted and to end her suffering.”
Dr. Roey Malleson, also an abortion provider in B.C., said that ending life at the early stage led her – “naturally,” she says – to ending it at the later stage.
“Over the years I have been a strong advocate for reproductive choice and accessibility to appropriate services. This naturally leads me to advocate for choice at the end of life and I am passionate about and proud to have become a provider in medical assistance in dying,” she wrote in her bio found on Dying with Dignity Canada’s website.
Fonseca commented that abortionists seem to be eagerly offering their services for those opting to be euthanized because “real doctors don’t want to kill their patients” since they understand their vocation is one of healing, not one of causing death.
“Abortionists are rushing in to fill the void, and it makes sense. They’re killing babies that they know are fully human. What’s the difference in killing older humans? I would hazard a guess that euthanasia killings pay just as well as abortions, which rake in about $600 for 15 minutes work. So long as the money’s there, these abortionists will be happy to fill demand for execution of the elderly, disabled persons, and the mentally ill,” he told LifeSiteNews.
Fonseca lamented how society is “regressing to barbarism” by allowing some people to kill others in the name of choice, autonomy, and rights.
“Hitler legalized euthanasia for the disabled and mentally ill too, but we don’t hear too many people signing his praises these days, although our medical community seems to be following in his footsteps, by agreeing that yes, killing is indeed an acceptable solution to human suffering,” he said.
The Supreme Court has given Parliament until June 6 to have legislation in place to replace the stuck down portions of the criminal code that had previously banned the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide.