“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The United Nation’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities will be observed globally on December 3rd 2011. Canadian advocate for disability inclusion, I applaud UN initiatives to ensure people with disabilities have a voice in their communities and countries as well as inclusion and full equality rights.  Although Canada has made strides in areas of accessibility, citizens with disabilities are getting mixed messages.  This past October the House of Commons gave its unanimous support to a National Suicide Prevention Strategy and now in November the British Columbia Supreme Court is considering a challenge (Carter case) to whether Canada’s law against assisted suicide should be overturned for the terminally and chronically ill and disabled.

I am chronically ill with aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and is electric wheelchair dependent. The Carter case is meant for people like me!

Let’s understand the message people like me will hear if the BC court rules in favour of the assisted suicide lobby. The healthy population should receive suicide prevention when suicidal. The old, sick and disabled get help committing suicide.

Canada’s laws must protect people from euthanasia and assisted suicide. I believe that laws and public policy must promote life with dignity for people with disabilities through supports for Canadians with disabilities to reach their full potential as individuals and citizens. Ensuring access to education, transportation, appropriate housing, recreational opportunities and other forms of reasonable accommodation can help full inclusion in society.

Mark Davis Pickup

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The eyeless "I" of assisted suicide

A Canadian court is considering a challenge to the nation's law prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia. Consequently the topic are in the news. I received an email from a woman named Paula who doesn't know what to think as the assisted suicide is pulling out all their compassionate sounding euphemisms to promote death. Paula wanted my thoughts. Below is the text of my comments to her:

"Dear Paula - Assisted suicide is not about pain control. Palliative care in the 21st Century has come so far as to be able to eliminate virtually all physical pain. Assisted suicide is about the illusion of personal control even over death.

Death is not a right, Paula, it is an eventuality that will visit us all regardless of what any law may state. It is life that must be protected. All the great human rights documents such as the American Declaration of Independence, the UN's Declaration of Universal Human Rights and even Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms place the Right to Life as the first legal right. Why? Without the Right to Life assured all other rights become arbitrary and uncertain.
A truly progressive and compassionate society is concerned about life with dignity - especially for those who do not have it. Death with dignity is not an event, it is the natural conclusion of having lived with dignity. Dignity is not achieved by witholding water and food or injecting poison into a person's bloodstream when they are at their lowest point. That is not dignity: It is profound abandonment! We have a right to expect the best palliative care and pain management.
Ask yourself how assisted suicide acceptance serves the Common Good? It doesn't. It will put vulnerable people at risk.
The push for assisted suicide is the natural conclusion of personal automony gone amuck.
Gloria Taylor wants assisted suicide for herself which is different from suicide because it obviously requires assistance -- a coarsening of some other person's conscience. The eyeless "I" of assisted suicide does not consider the consequences to others.
Autonomy is diametrically opposed to community. The natural conclusion to unfettered autonomy is the right to even self-destruction. That is what is being considered in the BC Supreme courtroom as I write these words. Acceptance of the autonomy of suicide (assisted or otherwise) is to reject the interconnectedness of community. It proclaims with a final shout and sneer, "I am my own island!"
Canada is not 33 million little islands entire unto ourselves. As the 17th Century poet and divine, John Donne wrote "No man is an island entire unto itself. Every man is a part of the continent, a part of the main. ... any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." Only independence and autonomy -- the eyeless "I" -- sees self and self alone. Interdependence and the interconnectedness of community call for consideration for others -- especially the weakest.
You see, Paula, I do not have a right to ask or demand something that may hurt others. The independence of the individual must only exist within the interdepence of the community. If the desire of the individual threatens the security of whole then individual desires must give way to the greater interest of the community. Otherwise we are only left with 30-million little islands without the whole of a continent, a nation, a community that protects the interests of the weakest against the interests of the powerful.
And so the choice before us is stark, Paula: Independent and autonomy versus interdependence and community. Laws must protect the weakest and that's what Canada's law against assisted suicide does.
Mark Davis Pickup
(nb. For some reason, which I can't explain, this blog does not accept comments. If you have a comment, send it to MPickup@shaw.ca. I will try to post as a blog.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


CONTEXT with Lorna Dueck, Pain & Suffering (episode 1109)

On November 13th the above noted program dealing with with assisted suicide will be aired across Canada. (See link above and click on image.) I only appear in third segment. 
(For local show times across Canada go to http://www.contextwithlornadueck.com/airtimes-stations . Readers outside Canada see link at the top of this blog posting.)
It should be noted that this program was produced in anticipation of a British Columbia court challenge of Canada's laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia. The legal challenge is expected later in November by the BC Civil Liberties Association. Happily Lorna Dueck provides some balance to counter an appallingly biased program produced by one of Canada's national broadcasters.

In late October the CTV television network aired a pro-assisted suicide program entitled "Let Me Go" on their W5 current affairs show.  A complaint was lodged with both W5 producers and the President of CTV News Wendy Freeman not only by me but a number of Canadian advocates for people with disabilities. As of yet no reply has been received. See the show at the link at the bottom of this posting.

The W5 documentary "Let me go" was dishonest from the outset. It was thinly veiled pro-assisted suicide propaganda -- disguised as journalism. It's certainly not the first time for CTV. A few years ago, Paula Todd used (or abused) her position with CTV to push the assisted suicide agenda, shutting down Margaret Somerville and me in favour of assisted suicide advocacy.

The first case in the W5 show featured Kay Carter who went to Switzerland for assisted suicide. Her family is now challenging Canada's laws prohibiting assisted suicide. Kay Carter was a member of the death with dignity movement. (She had an agenda.)

They started off their interview with Victor Malarek by saying everything had to be done secretively. No it didn't. All they had to do was book a flight to Switzerland and go. There are no police at our airports waiting to stop people from travelling abroad. Everything was undercover? That's gross exaggeration and should have been challenged by Mr. Malarek.

Kay Carter had spinal stinosis. There are treatments -- far more than with MS (which I have). Victor Malarek, in true journalistic form (not), just accepted Carter's claims and statements at face value. No challenges. Kay Carter said there is no quality of life in a wheelchair. I've been in an electric wheelchair for years -- much longer than her. I have quality of life.

Carter's agenda seems to have been more important than finding quality of life or proper treatment. She said she wanted to end her life before she became "a nothing but an ironing board and a bed." (?) I don't even know what that means, although I suspect it was meant to be degrading to life with a disability. Her family said she is dying from spinal stinosis. Her son said Kay was afraid of her dying "bit by bit" and Malarek restated it, with the most earnest of expressions, just to drive the point home to viewers. Very dramatic but for one problem: spinal stinosis is not terminal. Malarek must have considered this point because he later acknowledged it in passing.

Malarek asked who raised the idea of assisted suicide when things got unbearable? The real question was what forms of relief, pain management and supports were explored? Kay's daughter said "You can't die with dignity in Canada." That's not true! We have some very fine palliative care in Canada and even in British Columbia where Kay Carter lived. Again Malarek did not challenge this outrageous statement. (It was hard to believe that he's W5's senior reporter.)

Malarek asked how long she would have lived without assisted suicide? Carter's daughter said she could have lived for years. Wait a minute! I thought she was dying "bit by bit". Carter's daughter said Kay would have been bedridden, trapped in a body. How does she know that?! They didn't want treatment; they wanted assisted suicide? The folks at Dignitas asked Kay if assisted suicide was what she wanted. According to the daughter she said "Yes, I want to die with dignity." Since when is dignity bestowed on people with poison?! No one questioned that premise.

 It is my experience that people only die with as much dignity as they live with. Dying with dignity not an event, it is a process -- the end result of having lived with dignity. Apparently such an idea did not occur to "senior reporter" Malarek (or if it did he kept it to himself).

Russell Ogden talked about choosing death and setting up a suicide clinic. Alas, he hints at the real issue. Assisted suicide is not about pain control, it's all about control.

 The next person was Cam with MS. Malarek said he's confined to a wheelchair. Ah, perspective. I live in my electric wheelchair. It is a tool to aid my life and not confine me -- just like many people use glasses or hearing aids or canes. Cam fears a day when there's so much pain that nothing can be done. Who is advising this poor man? Virtually all pain can be controlled or eliminated. Cam doesn't need assisted suicide, he needs a new doctor.

The next profile was Elizabeth Macdonald who also had MS. She too was obsessed with control. She is quoted elsewhere as saying "Why can I not pre-empt a more horrible fate, by choosing to die on my own terms, in a way and at a time of my own choosing?" Again the issue was control more than pain control. Incidentally, if all she had was morphine as the story infers, she was not well served by her doctor.

The interview with Dr. Jose Periera's was revealing about the program's bias. Dr. Periera's warnings against assisted suicide acceptance were accompanied with ominous sound effects injected by W5 (the first in the documentary). The doctor made a case for palliative care and warned of the dangers to vulnerable people. Such a villain!

Elizabeth Macdonald's husband said Elizabeth would have none of it (palliation). She was too independent for palliative care. (?)

In his concluding remarks propagandist senior reporter Mallory said the BC case will surely go the Supreme Court and reminded octogenarian Lloyd Robertson that the last case the Supremes dealt with was Sue Rodriguez in 1993 and the Supreme Court was split 5-4. With the steady coarsening of public consciences, will that still be the case?

Why didn't W5 name this program "Better Dead Than Disabled" ? (See W5 assisted suicide program at

Mark Davis Pickup 

Saturday, November 5, 2011


John Jalsevac, "Abortionist pleads guilty to murder after killing dozens of newborns at "House of horrors" clinic"", 4 November 2011, LifeSiteNews.

According to LifeSiteNews, Philadelphia abortionist Steve Massof (picture to right) has "admitted to severing the spinal cords of around 100 living and breathing newborn babies at Philadelphia’s notorious “House of Horrors” abortion clinic, has plead guilty to two counts of third-degree murder." This is just the latest of many horrors to emerge from the abortion industry.

Read the rest of the horrible story unfolding at the City of brotherly love at the link above.