A Conference on Euthanasia, sponsored by the Dutch Embassy, was held at Mt. Saint Vincent University.Both Dianna [Smith] and Ann Marie [Tomlins] attended; along with Mary Ann Hennessy from Nova Scotians United For Life (NSUL).We listened with horror as a representative of the Dutch government described Dutch policy regarding euthanasia.

Having done our research, we became aware that the representative of the Dutch government; Mrs. Kits-Nieuwenkamp, was only telling part of the story. Following the presentation, we quoted from our own documented information and asked questions which revealed the true nature of Dutch policy on euthanasia. Mrs. Nieuwenkamp could not reply to our questions. It was obvious that she had not been prepared to be confronted by a knowledgeable and critical audience.

A panel discussion followed, and fortunately, some of the local panelists were pro-life, including Dr. Kevin Dempt from camp Hill Hospital and Rev. S. Pedigrew, Calvin Presbyterian.

One local RN, Rea Hobson from Dalhousie University, also a panelist, was not only pro-death, but began her talk by claiming to represent women!

Dianna and Ann Marie were invited to have lunch with Hans Hageman, secretary for Press and Cultural Affairs for the Royal Dutch Embassy in Ottawa. Mr. Hageman tried to convince us that the Dutch policy on euthanasia was acceptable. He used arguments similar to those used by abortion advocates.

In her presentation, Mrs. Kits-Nieuwenkamp sued similar arguments, referring to the “proverbial Dutch sense of freedom… I am free to decide what to do with my own life and with my own body.”

It is apparent that euthanasia is on the horizon and that we must do what we can to keep people informed on this issue. It would be beneficial for pro-life groups in each area of the province to arrange presentations on euthanasia.

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The above is excerpted from the (first) provincial newsletter of the Council for Life-Nova Scotia (February, 1990)