By John-Henry Westen

  HALIFAX, June 21, 2007 ( – Elizabeth Jeanette MacDonald of Windsor, Nova Scotia recently died at the Dignitas assisted suicide clinic in Zurich Switzerland, possibly with the help of the Right to Die Society of Canada. MacDonald, who lived many years with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), died on June 8, 2007.

  An obituary listed in the Halifax Chronicle Herald on June 20, 2007 concluded: “Last, but not least, we would like to thank Herr Ludwig Minelli, and the members of Dignitas in Zurich (Bernard and “Gaby”, in particular), for helping Elizabeth deliver herself from the burden of a life which had become too great to bear.”

  Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told that his organization “is primarily concerned with the care that is provided and attitudes toward vulnerable people in Canada.”  He added, “The act of assisted suicide must be debated within the realm of the total social effect it has on society and primarily its effect on people with disabilities and other vulnerable Canadians.”

  Section 241 of the Criminal Code of Canada states: “Every one who (a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or (b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”

  Mark Pickup, founder of the pro-life group Human Life Matters ([email protected] ) also has MS.  Pickup told that he is concerned about the abandonment of people with MS and other disabilities.  “The fact that MacDonald was accompanied to a suicide clinic represents the ultimate abandonment,” said Pickup.

“We have a responsibility to the common good of society, not just to ourselves,” he added. “We must consider the wider implications to all people with MS, people with disabilities, and other people who are vulnerable.”

  It is very disheartening to hear these stories, said Pickup. “We do not have the right to assisted suicide but we do have the right to demand the best possible care whether it be physical, psychological or spiritual.”

  The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is demanding an investigation into the case by Canadian legal authorities. These questions need to be answered said Schadenberg: “Did someone aid, abet or counsel MacDonald to commit suicide in Zurich? Did someone travel with MacDonald in order to enable her to fulfill this act? Did the Right to Die Society of Canada provide information or counsel MacDonald? Has the Criminal Code of Canada been broken by this act?”

  For more information contact the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at: 1-877-439-3348 or [email protected]

  See the obituary notice in the Chronicle Herald here:


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