Pro-life groups across Canada have called for Svend Robinson to resign as a Member of Parliament, following his involvement in the euthanasia death of Sue Rodriguez on February 12. In addition, the groups believe that Robinson should be charged with aiding and abetting a suicide and obstructing justice.
Robinson has admitted that he was actively involved in helping Ms. Rodriguez plan her eath, and comforted her as she died. He refuses to disclose the method of death , or the name of the doctor whom he says was present.
“She wanted me to be with her at the time of her death,” Robinson explained at a news conference on Valentine’s Day. “She told me that she did not want to be alone at that time. I agreed, indeed I considered it a privilege and an honor that she trusted me so much to ask me to be with her at that time. In mid-January she she decided on a date for her death of Saturday, February 12. Sue’s husband Henry was the only other person who was aware of this date.”
Although Robinson described Sue’s voice as failing and often incomprehensible, he says that on that morning of her death she was in control of the situation.
“Saturday morning Henry and her son left the family home. I arrived later that morning. Sue was along. We were together for an hour or so during which time we spoke together and she outlined to me what she wanted to happen after she died. She gave me a list of close friends and family to call and indicated what arrangements she wished to be made after she died. The doctor then arrived at her home and she discussed with the doctor the arrangements for death. I comforted her in her bed.
“Sue remained serene and calm throughout and in total control. She faced her death with incredible courage and dignity. I held her in my arms. She peacefully lapsed into unconsciousness and stopped breathing approximately two hours later. The doctor then left.”
Robinson says that he is refusing to identify the doctor at Rodriguez’s request.
Theresa Ducharme, chairman of People in Equal Participation in Winnipeg, says “Criminal charges should be laid against Mr. Robinson and the unnamed physician for blatantly disregarding the law and aiding and abetting in the killing of Sue Rodriguez,” She says the law is designed to protect the most vulnerable members of society, including the disabled, the chronically ill and the elderly.
“Mr. Robinson and his accomplice have struck fear into the hearts of many of us,” she adds. Theresa Ducharme is a polio victim who also has epilepsy and diabetes. She uses a wheel-chair and needs a respirator for breathing.
Alliance for Life president, Bernadette Mysko, says that any move to make assisted suicide legal or tolerated is particularly dangerous to vulnerable people, “as our aging society is confronted with a mounting inability to adequately fund medicare. In today’s circumstances, voluntary euthanasia (assisted suicide) could quickly become involuntary death (murder).”
Ted gerk, director of Kelowna Right to Life, extended condolences to Ms. Rodriguez’s family, saying that she was a pawn for a political agenda.
“We regret that a politician, a small group of physicians and a right to die organization have used her suffering and death to further their own political aims,” he said.
Gerk called upon Parliament to investigate Robinson’s actions. “If evidence points to a direct role or an indirect role by his presence, we call for his discipline and removal for conduct unbecoming a Member of Parliament.”
Campaign Life Coalition, the political wing of the pro-life movement, also called for Robinson to resign Spokesperson Sabina McLuhan said that his own public statements show a deep personal involvement in a criminal act.
“Svend Robinson has been the most vocal supporter for euthanasia in the House of Commons for many years, “Mrs. McLuhan observed, “It’s one thing to seek to change a law you don’t like through the democratic process, it’s one thing to seek to change a law you don’t like through the democratic process, it’s quite another to break the law to force the issue. Robinson seems to have taken the Morgentaler course in how to fight a political battle.”