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Letter from a Toronto Jail

One of Canada’s prisoners of conscience, Mary Wagner, in a moving letter from her Vanier Centre cell, writes of her concern that many members of our Christian medical associations, “despite their earnest desire to resist doctor-abetted suicide, have succumbed to defeatism.”She points to . . . . Continue Reading »

The Terminators

Canada’s pending legislation on euthanasia and assisted suicide raises a question: What shall we call people who are legally involved in the destruction of human life—particularly those who do the actual killing? Shall we call them medical executioners? They are indeed executioners, as none can . . . . Continue Reading »

RSVP “No” to Suicide Party

Back in 1991, I received an invitation to a party. My elderly friend Frances wanted to die. Her plan, she said, was to hold a life celebration with her closest friends: We would hold her hand, kiss her cheek, and tell her how much she meant to us—as she expressed her love for us. Then she would . . . . Continue Reading »

Euthanasia's Open Season on the Mentally Ill

A few years ago, I spoke about end-of-life care at a town-hall event; it quickly devolved into an intense debate on assisted suicide. When the time came for audience questions, a self-described “mentally ill” woman took the microphone and declared that she had a right to doctor-prescribed death. More than half the audience burst into applause. Continue Reading »

Apostolate of Death

On November 1, after posting a Facebook message stating, “Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer,” twenty-nine-year-old Brittany Maynard took a lethal dose of barbiturates, prescribed by an Oregon physician, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Europe’s Euthanasia Craze

The case of Frank Van Den Bleeken—the Belgian murderer and rapist who requested to be euthanized rather than spend life in prison—has provoked its fair share of comment. And rightly so, the facts of this case are undoubtedly shocking. But far more shocking is the rapidly growing euthanasia culture that made this whole affair possible. This increasing normalization of euthanasia is just one of many social trends that reveals a Europe that is becoming profoundly estranged from its Judeo-Christian heritage. As that happens, European societies are losing the moral and spiritual armory with which to resist the gradual slide into a complacent nihilism Continue Reading »

The Historical Kevorkian

I am often asked for interviews by students who are writing papers about the assisted suicide issue. I am always happy to oblige. Most ask why I oppose assisted suicide and whether I think guidelines can prevent the slippery slope. But, the other day, I was contacted by a high-schooler writing a paper about something I had never considered: the historical significance of Jack Kevorkian. Continue Reading »

The Death of Martha Wichorek

In the winter of 1996, while I was studying the record of Jack Kevorkian’s first forty-seven physician-assisted suicides, I received a letter from a woman I did not know named Martha Wichorek. This letter was to be the first of many. Dated December 2, 1996, it read: Prof. Kaplan, Dear Friend In . . . . Continue Reading »

La Petite Mort et la Grande Mort

I admire the Archbishop of Montreal, Christian Lépine, for speaking out against the new euthanasia program that our politicians have sanctified by calling “medical aid in dying.” Rumour has it that he was forced to buy his own space to do so, inasmuch as Quebec papers proved . . . . Continue Reading »

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