Is Canadian Bill 52 the First Step to Abolishing Palliative Care?

Is Canadian Bill 52 the First Step to Abolishing Palliative CareIs Canadian Bill 52 the First Step to Abolishing Palliative Care?

In early June 2014, the Quebec National Assembly voted on Bill 52, which legalizes euthanasia on demand in the Canadian province. Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, stressed that Bill 52 “gives Quebec physicians the right to intentionally and directly cause the death of persons by lethal injection. This represents an act of homicide and not an act of “end of life care.”

Schadenberg continues, “Bill 52 claims to limit euthanasia to voluntary requests from people who are at the end of life but Bill 52 does not define ‘end of life’. Quebekers should not trust their life to the provisions in Bill 52, which are imprecise, open to abuse, and based on the Belgian euthanasia law.”

The Belgium euthanasia system is having a significant impact on the Belgian population, allowing doctors to euthanize not only people who are terminally ill, but also those who are living with depression. The law has even been extended to children with life-threatening diseases. According to Schadenberg, studies have proven that euthanasia is even done to people without their request or consent.

Studies and surveys have shown that euthanasia is not accurately represented in the Belgium government reports, and that a significant percentage of the patients that are euthanized have not given explicit consent. This is subject matter that scares many of the residents of Quebec, who fear that palliative care could and will be replaced by euthanasia deaths.

This development is evidence of what Bryan Baird, president of K&B Underwriters, predicted when interviewed for a news article in July 2013 regarding cultural risk management. Baird stated that senior living facility staff should focus on creating a customer experience for the whole person (mind, body, and soul), which would help residents develop a sense of a purpose driven life even in the most challenging times, as they are suffering and preparing for the end of their lives.

Baird says that by doing this, we help the elderly to gain acceptance and sense of peace. He also stressed that we have a moral obligation to participate in this effort of supporting the elderly, due to our aging population, longer life expectancies and spiraling medical costs. Baird emphasized, “If we don’t, then the stage is set to make a pragmatic case to view euthanasia or assisted suicide as not only an efficient way to reduce expenses but frame it as the ‘compassionate’ choice instead of palliative care.”

This focus on cultural risk management is what differentiates K&B Underwriters and DigniCARE from other senior living facility specialty insurance programs. President Bryan Baird and his staff have a history of going above and beyond, in many cases leveraging their compassionate attitude to educate staff as opposed to merely training them.

At DigniCARE, we believe wholly in taking a “resident care” approach when it comes to protecting caregivers, residents, and senior living facilities. The DigniCARE program offers key insurance coverages to protect you in the event of a loss, in addition to providing you with risk management tools and protocols that offer proactive support and programs with a standard of care that puts the wellbeing of residents first and promotes engagement throughout your organization. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 883-6306. 

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