Dr. Frank Humphrey may play an important role in discussions about Bill 52 - "An Act respecting end-of-life care."
In a previous blog, I noted that on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, days prior to the Summer recess, the Quebec provincial government introduced Bill 52, a bill if passed will permit euthanasia.
Section 26 of the 20-page bill presents four criteria authorizing euthanasia. These are:
- be of full age, be capable of giving consent to care and be an insured person within themeaning of the Health Insurance Act;
- suffer from an incurable serious illness;
- suffer from an advanced state of irreversible decline n capability; and
- suffer from constant and unbearable physical or pyschological pain which cannot be relieved in a manner the person deems tolerable.
Dr. Humphrey, a quadriplegic, may play an important part in the discussions because he fulfills all four of these criteria.
Dr. Humphrey has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gerig's disease).
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease, akin to muscular dystrophy. In Dr. Humphrey's case it has progressed over the past eight years.
Further after a recent six-month stay in a hospital dealing with pneumonia, his wife Daria was told by a number of physicans that maybe it was time for her husband to die.
Yet, Dr. Humphrey, until recently pastor with the Peoples Church of Montreal, is an accomplished author. He has recently published a text on origins of the universe, melding science with faith.
Bill 52 is a failure for it ignores the giftedness of the person as manifested not only by those who have published works of science but also by simply being a member of the human family.
For a couple of stories about Dr. Humphrey and issues related to the proposed legislation, see Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice and the Suburban newspaper.
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