National Post 16 June 2014
My brother, who is severely handicapped, was once admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. During the few hours my family was not with him, a “do not resuscitate” bracelet was attached to his arm. My mother found out about it by accident when she asked what the purple bracelet was for.
I can imagine the assumption: he’s so severely handicapped that we should let the pneumonia kill him. To have my brother die this way would have been absolutely devastating to our family.
Bill 52, which ushers in doctor-assisted suicide in Quebec, has been discussed a lot by now. However, no one has addressed how arguments over life and death for loved ones can have lasting effects on family relationships and radically alter family dynamics.
My brother survived. Not such a happy ending for Tom Mortier, whose mother was killed by euthanasia in 2012. She was clinically depressed and had cut off contact with her son, contrary to his wishes. Tom found out his mother was dead only when he was called to make arrangements for her body at the morgue.