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Glorifying assisted suicide

Lindor Reynolds, in her April 25 column, Goodbye, Susan; a privilege to know you, says she does not want to glorify Susan Griffiths' decision to opt for assisted suicide, but that is exactly what she has done.

Reynolds wants us to feel rather than think. She wants us to react -- emotionally rather than rationally -- toward the end that people are more likely to approve of legalized assisted suicide.

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Large epidemiological studies, going back to the work of sociologist Emil Durkheim in the 19th century, consistently demonstrate religious faith and spiritual practices lower the risk of suicide. Also, the group that opposes assisted suicide is not a mere minority of the religious; it is large and diverse.

It includes disability-rights activists, civil-rights organizers, advocates for the poor, medical-professional organizations, the pro-life movement, just to name a few. Winnipeg Free Press readers deserve better than a biased view.


Catholic Civil Rights League -- Manitoba



Re: A lasting legacy of awareness (April 26). While embracing Susan Griffiths' very personal decision, I grieve this loss occurring so very far from home. It was her choice to die before she was incapacitated and riddled with excruciating pain.

Amy Hasbrouck's comment that "all pain can be remedied or at least treated, even in extreme cases" is as inane as stating that no woman can become pregnant as the result of rape.




I oppose the heavy pro-assisted-suicide lobby advocacy of the media.

First, if euthanasia and assisted suicide become legal, it will usher in the ultimate form of elder abuse.

Second, since assisted suicide became legal in Oregon, the suicide rate has been rising since 2000. Now, the suicide rate in Oregon is 35 per cent higher than the U.S. average.

Third, euthanasia and assisted suicide will result in the deaths of people without request or consent.

Fourth, depression fuels requests for euthanasia or assisted suicide. Those afflicted with depression are often dealing with chronic conditions or terminal illness. We can't protect people who are depressed from euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Fifth, for people with disabilities, legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide will result in the loss of the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

Sixth, judges should respect the role of Parliament, which defeated the legalization of euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2010 by a vote of 228 to 59.




Insufficiently diligent

It appears as though clothing line Joe Fresh is better than its competitors in upholding standards, but that is still not good enough (A wake-up call for Canadian consumers, April 26).

The building collapsing is not enough for me to condemn Joe -- accidents and tragedies happen all the time. But even with reasonable standards and auditing, Joe wasn't sufficiently diligent to observe that worker abuses were taking place.

The comments from spokeswoman Julija Hunter indicate that Joe Fresh recognizes some fault and takes ownership, which is a positive step forward. But it is still an enormously troubling situation.

This is one of the unfortunate by-products of globalization, for which no one seems to have a clear solution.




Friends' plans on track

Rather than dwell on the negative tone of Gordon Sinclair's April 25 column, Upper Fort Garry stuck in a rut, I would like to outline our plans for the future.

The Upper Fort Garry Heritage Provincial Park and Interpretive Centre will celebrate the story of Manitoba and its significance to the creation of Canada as a nation. It will present an evocative and attractive vision of our history by telling the story through artistic renderings, community-driven programming, gardens and state-of-the-art technology.

Collectively, we have accomplished so much and now we are entering the next phase of our donor campaign. We knew it would take time to raise the rest of the money. We will raise those funds.

Our plans are to complete the park this summer. The original gate will be the centerpiece for the several acres of new park in the downtown. That is a big accomplishment. We will be giving Winnipeg back a part of its history and providing those students from Clifton School, and all school children, a place to learn about the birthplace of Western Canada and a nation.

It is important to note that the Friends have fully raised the money to complete the park portion of the project by this fall.


The Friends of Upper Fort Garry



Acts of courtesy appreciated

Re: Ageism is rampant in Canada (April 24). Thanks to Arlene Adamson for bringing forward the issue of discrimination toward seniors. Although we agree that elder abuse is a reality, my husband and I appreciate that often people of all ages hold doors for us or pause to allow us the right of way.

These acts of courtesy require consideration and patience, giving few moments of calm in a hectic world. We can all benefit from thinking of others, slowing down and taking time for reflection.




Saving heritage rivers

Re: NDP bills spotlight waterway protection (April 23). I commend Mia Rabson for a well-written story, but she neglects to mention that the rivers of concern are classified as Canadian heritage rivers.

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System was established "to conserve rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational heritage, to give them national recognition, and to encourage the public to enjoy and appreciate them."

One might assume that a heritage-river designation would include some form of legislated environmental protection. Unfortunately, it does not.

One of the rivers in discussion is the Seal, northern Manitoba's last mighty free-flowing water route. The health of its watershed is essential for local people as well as for harbour seals, polar bears, beluga whales, caribou and grizzly bears that are once again making Manitoba its home.

Unlike the other large and powerful northern rivers, such as the Nelson and the Churchill, which have been forever damaged by shortsighted piecemeal developments, we have a chance to get the right balance for the Seal.

I would welcome the provincial government making the Seal River's entire watershed a priority area of the Manitoba Protected Areas Initiative.


Canadian Parks and Wilderness

Society Manitoba



Counting the racists

Re: Anti-Semitic incidents down in province in '12 (April 25). It is commendable how B'nai Brith and the media have been so capable of tallying and reporting the exact number of anti-Semitic incidents each year.

The number of anti-aboriginal incidents goes unmentioned, however. Is it perhaps because they occur too frequently to keep count?



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 29, 2013 A8

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