Commentary by Alex Schadenberg, Chairman, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
August 20, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Yesterday, I received a phone call and then an email from Bernard Stephenson M.D., M.Div., concerning Joshua (Kulendran Mayandi) the pastor of a small Christian church in Brampton. The letter outlines several significant problems and two huge concerns for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
First: Joshua (48), who is not otherwise dying, is being dehydrated to death (euthanasia by omission). This is not a case when hydration and nutrition need to be withdrawn because he is actually dying and nearing death, but rather the decision appears to have been made to intentionally cause his death by withdrawing IV hydration and nutrition because he is unlikely to recover from his disability.
We understand that Joshua has otherwise stabilized and is likely to live for many years in this condition. Society cannot condone intentionally dehydrating a person to death because of their disability or the potential cost of long-term care. Article 25 (f) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states: Prevent discriminatory denial of health care or health services or food and fluids on the basis of disability.
Second: It is deplorable that the Consent and Capacity Board in Ontario, the hospital and the lawyer for the hospital, who are all paid by the government and have nearly unlimited resources to pressure people to consent to their will, appeared to appoint a Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) to make decisions on behalf of Joshua, based on that person’s willingness to agree to a non-treatment plan, even though there is no proof that the plan of non-treatment represented the values of the person.
The Consent and Capacity Board was established to ensure that consent to treatment is based on the prior wishes or values of a person, before that person became incapacitated to make decisions for themselves. The fact that Joshua did not write down his personal wishes or assign a person to make legal and health care decisions on his behalf in these circumstances, does not negate the fact that based on his religious convictions it is unlikely that he would have agreed to death by dehydration.
To pressure a person to agree to intentionally dehydrate a person to death (euthanasia by omission) based on the cost of continuing the legal battle to defend the values of a person, is unconstitutional and inconsistent with Ontario law.
Everyone needs to strongly respond by sending letters and emails to:
- Brampton Civic Hospital - email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Communications Hotline at: 905-494-2120, ext. 22505.
- Consent and Capacity Board of Ontario - email: email@example.com, Phone: 416-327-4142, Fax: 416-924-8873
The letter should state something to the effect of:
I am disgusted with the decision by the Brampton Civic Hospital, its lawyer, and the physician for (Joshua) Kulendran Mayandi, to intentionally cause his death by removing his IV hydration and nutrition even though he is not otherwise dying (euthanasia by omission). If this decision is not reversed, it will create fear among the citizens of Brampton that if they experience a disability that they too would be killed by dehydration and starvation.Read more
For the sake of justice and equality, I demand that you change your policy and once again continue feeding.