Svend Robinson hired as her spokesman and fundraiser

Sue Rodriguez formally disassociated herself from John Hofsess and his Right to Die Society following his latest public-relations blunder in announcing that her death would become a public spectacle.

In mid-March. Hofsess announced that more than one doctor, and at least two spectators would be on hand to “assist” Ms Rodriguez in her suicide when the terminally-ill Victoria, B.C., resident decides its time to end her life. The announcement came shortly after a second court in British Columbia had ruled that assisted suicide is illegal in Canada.

“All will go public at the time,” Hofsess said of Ms Rodriguez’s suicide plans. He added that at least two doctors should be present, as well as himself and NDP MP Svend Robinson, the political advisor to the Right to ‘Die Society. “The more people present, the stronger the message that is sent to the government,” Hofsess observed.

However, on March 16, newspapers carried a statement from Ms. Rodriguez that showed, once again, Hofsess had acted without her permission.

“I deeply regret that John has made statements concerning my life which are both inaccurate and made without consultation with me,” Ms. Rodriguez’s release said.

“I am seeking the right to die with dignity at the time of my choosing and certainly not in the public eye,” she continued.

Both Ms Rodriguez and Svend Robinson announced their decision to sever all ties with Hofsess and his organization. Robinson will now act as her media spokesman and fundraiser.

Robinson blamed Hofsess’s “errors in judgment” for causing the split. As reported in last month’s Interim, in February Hofsess had submitted an article to Vancouver newspapers under Ms. Rodriguez’s name, without first obtaining her permission.

Dr. Robert Pankratz of Pacific Physicians for Life, one of the pro-life groups opposing Ms. Rodriguez’s court case, said that this latest development confirms his position that she is being used by the pro-euthanasia activists.

“This only confirms what I’ve been saying all along. When people are asking to have this so called choice to die, what actually ends up happening is that other people come in and it ends up being other people’s choice,” he said.

Cheryl Eckstein Sr., of B.C.’s Compassionate Healthcare Network, says she is not at all surprised by Hofsess.

“It’s always been clear that he was not that interested in Sue’s best interests. Sue was just an attractive figurehead for his crusade,” she said.

Mrs. Eckstein suggested that Hofsess would have been quite prepared to film the suicide so that he would have an emotional video to show that being killed is the “gentle way into that good night.”

Just 20 years ago, Henry Morgentaler performed an abortion on television—on Mother’s Day—to promote his cause. “Euthanasia is the logical outcome of abortion,” adds Mrs. Eckstein.

Sue Rodriguez has confirmed that she still intends to pursue her court case to the Supreme Court of Canada.