People who opposed the legalization of assisted suicide in Canada continue to warn states in America about the dangers of legalizing it. Mona Latour-Bourque is one of those people, personally sharing her own story to dissuade people from thinking death is the best option for them.
Twelve years ago, Latour-Bourque was diagnosed with a chronic lung condition and told she had only six months to live. In a video about her experience, Latour-Bourque explained, “I was sent to see a lung specialist, who didn’t encourage me very more [sic]; he was a pessimist and seeing nothing good. I was not going to get better, I was only going to get worse. He told me I wasn’t going to live very long, so I was really down and depressed and not feeling good about myself.”
She said if assisted suicide had been legal at the time, she would have considered it, because she felt at such a low point, both physically and psychologically. However, she sought out a second opinion from a family medicine doctor. The second doctor gave Latour-Bourque hope, and tried a variety of treatments that dramatically improved the quality of her life.
When asked if, despite having a chronic condition, she is happy to be alive today, her answer was clear. “Today, yes, very much! But I wasn’t always like this,” she admitted. “Sometimes when I was really, really sick, sometimes I did want to go, but finding this Dr. Saba and being able to manage my illness, it’s made a whole difference in my life.” Twelve years after she was told she would be dead in six months, Latour-Bourque has lived to see the birth of several grandchildren.
Today, she is opposed to assisted suicide, because “doctors, human beings, make mistakes,” a fact made clear by her inaccurate prognosis. Other people told they would have only months to live and considered assisted suicide have also spoken out, saying that they are glad to be alive today.
Dr. Saba, the doctor who treated Latour-Bourque, is the president of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice, a group that has warned about the dangers of assisted suicide. In a press release, Dr. Saba said, “Euthanasia and assisted suicide is dangerous and causes needless loss of lives in Canada and around the world. People with many quality years to live, throw away their lives. In Canada there is abuse with hundreds of patients dying each year who do not meet the guidelines. Assisted suicide promotes dying rather than living.”
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