“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

Saturday, February 28, 2015


“Having turned away from the knowledge given by God, the Christian influence on the whole of culture has been lost. In Europe, including England, it took many years ― in the United States only a few decades. In the United States, in the short span from the twenties to the sixties, we have seen a complete shift. Ours is a post-Christian world in which Christianity, not only in the number of Christians but in cultural emphasis and cultural result, is no longer the consensus or ethos of our society."

Dr. Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)
"Do not take this lightly! It is a horrible thing for a man like myself to look back and see my country and my culture go down the drain in my own lifetime. It is a horrible thing that sixty years ago you could move across this country and almost everyone, even non-Christians, would have known what the gospel was. A horrible thing that fifty to sixty years ago our culture was built on the Christian consensus, and that is no longer the case.” – Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer in 1984[1]

Within three months of writing these words, the great American theologian, thinker and author of two dozen books, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, was dead from cancer. That was more than thirty years ago. Today our Christian roots have, in large part, been forgotten and even denied. Francis Schaeffer’s heart would be completely broken if he was alive today. Perhaps it is best he’s gone.

Although Dr. Schaeffer wrote about America’s drift away from Christianity, the drift toward secular humanism in Canada has been just as striking -- if not more. The drift away from Christianity became a strong current and now Christians find themselves swimming against a tide of secularism and even open hostility. It is startling to consider that Canada was a Christian nation at the beginning of the 20th Century and a secular nation by the beginning of the 21st Century. 

How did this happen in the span of less than a hundred years?! A Christian moral consensus that formed the basis of our laws, culture, and mores is all but gone – a fading memory.[2] 

I am reminded of an incident that occurred to me when the movie Passion of the Christ came out in 2004. I went to a DVD store to purchase it. When I got to the counter, I asked the clerk if he saw the movie. The young man looked at the DVD jacket with a puzzled look and said, “I don’t know the story.” Initially I thought he was joking but he was not. He was honestly ignorant about Christ’s Passion, crucifixion and Resurrection. 

We are reaping a bitter harvest for turning away from Christianity.

Who would have believed, at the beginning of the twentieth
century, that one in five pregnancies in Canada would end in abortion and paid for at taxpayers' expense!  A woman can have an abortion for any reason (or no reason) and she can have as many as she wants. No questions asked. Who would have believed that the definition of marriage would be changed in an audacious social experiment not based upon social science but political and ideological fashion! Who would have believed that pornography would be widespread and accepted by mainstream media, or that our children would freely engage in premarital sex against a backdrop of rampant sexually transmitted disease! 

Who would have believed that the highest court in the land (the
Canadian Supreme Court) would strike down the nation's laws against assisted suicide in favour of physician assisted suicide for any medical condition! This includes any illness, disease or disability "that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition." Intolerable suffering includes physical or PSYCHOLOGICAL pain. A whole new phase of killing will soon begin under the guise of choice and autonomy.

There was a time, not so long ago, when physician assisted
suicide would have been considered murder. Now it will be a right for suicidal people! The next thing to be dismantled will be conscience rights of doctors and nurses of faith who refuse to participate.[3] The right to death will be accompanied with the duty to kill, or be accomplices to murder by referral to physicians who have no qualms about euthanizing suicidal people. (Disguise killing suicidal people with the cleverest of euphemisms but it is still crossing a cultural taboo ... that of taking a human life.) 

This New Age barbarism will put in peril the weakest of society who have sunk beneath the waves of their circumstances (just as it has done with widespread abortion). The generals of this army of cultural barbarians are politicians in high places and judges surrounded by a coterie of bureaucratic minions who draft ever more audacious social policies so perfectly dark as to be impregnable to the divine light of Christ's absolute truth. Each corpus delicti will be promoted and heralded by a willing press. Ideological atheistic professors in universities have indoctrinated the young so ripe for rebellion against truth and morality in favour of unfettered freedom without responsibility. 

They all have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

I believe that Canada has lost the Christian moorings upon which it was built and gave it any claim of aspiring to greatness. 
My country is not post-Christian, it is now anti-Christian in its new morality, behaviour and beliefs. For proof, all you need to do is look at the laws emanating from legislatures and policies of professional organizations, government departments and tribunals as well as school boards down to elementary levels.

Critics and enemies of Christianity are quick to point out failing of western Christian civilization. Have you noticed something? Christians are quick to admit sins of the past and present. Anti-Christians are not prepared to admit their slightest failings, sins or corruptions. They charge headlong toward a cultural abyss.

They do not believe in absolutes of right and wrong for themselves
but are quick to absolutely decry Christian wrongs. They have come to completely and absolutely believe in their relativist fiction. They call themselves "progressives" and progress to hideous evil where the value of life is arbitrary. The deformity of the moderns' character crawls to extinguish the noble flame of enlightenment of universal human rights. Their progress is regress toward a New Dark Age. 

The sanctity of life has been exchanged to the sanctity of death. 

Christians face dark days. We serve a God of light yet live in the logic of darkness. The Apostle John said this about Jesus: "In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." [4]

Jesus said this of himself: 

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light, because their deed were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." [5] 

Jesus is truth and life. [6]  It is upon this reality that the cultural war will ultimately be fought. Expect to be hated just as Christ was hated.[7] The hour is late and the forces of evil are strong but take heart and stand resolute for the truth of Christ despite formidable opposition. Nothing less than the sanctity of human life is at stake -- both in a physical and spiritual context.

We must strengthen what remains of our former Christian heritage and reclaim what has been lost. Take heart. If God is with us who can be against us? [8]


[1] Francis A. Schaeffer,  The Great Evangelical Disaster (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1984) pp. 28-29.
[2] The laws of Canada and America have British Common Law at their foundations dating back hundreds of years. Common Law is was based on Christianity. In his inaugural address of 1829, Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University said "There has never been a period in which Common Law did not recognize Christianity as laying at its foundation." (Quoted in Perry Miller, editor, The Legal Mind in America (New York: Doubleday, 1962), p.178. 
[3]See Sharon Kirkey, "In the wake of ruling, who does the killing" National Post, 11 February 2015, A-1. Kirkey quoted the President of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, Dr. Susan MacDonald's response to the Supreme Court ruling of assisted suicide. Seventy-four percent of the Society's membership will not help their patients commit suicide once the act is legalized. Dr. MacDonald said: "It is anathema to us, to many of us. How would I ever inspire trust when people already have this terrible of what I do already."
[4] John 1:4-5.
[5] John 3:19-21.
[6] John 14:6.
[7] Matthew 10:22, John 15:18-22.
[8] Romans 8.31.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


It is my wife's 62nd birthday. She and I have been in love since we were children. Even as a boy I knew I would marry LaRee. We will celebrate our 42nd anniversary this year. 

As young lovers our parents vehemently opposed our marriage so we eloped when we were both 20 years old. Their opposition only drove us into each others arms. Naysayers said the marriage would not last. 

We both became Christians so on our tenth anniversary, we renewed our vows before God. Time eventually silenced the naysayers. They are all gone now but LaRee's and my love still dances on.

Multiple sclerosis put me in a wheelchair years ago. We haven't physically danced in years but we still remember our last dance. My legs don't work but our hearts still dance as one. We waltz with a smile; our hearts twirl with a knowing glance. We are the only dancers on the dance floor in the little grey cells of my mind. Ah yes, I can imagine it all.

And then I think back to the early passionate days of our marriage. LaRee asked me what I wanted most. In the glow of her breathless charm I said all I wanted was to grow old together. My wish is coming true. We will dance to the end of love. The beauty of real love is that it does not end with a last breath or kiss. I have learned that not even death ends love. 

Marriages still do last -- not just ours'. Don't listen to naysayers, the cultural cynics and give up on commitment to matrimonial love.  

The Church teaches:

"In his teaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning: permission given by Moses to divorce one's wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts. The matrimonial union of man and woman indissoluble. God himself has determined it: "what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder."" [1]

Imagine our dance LaRee! Imagine it though my shoes never touch the floor; the soles don't wear out. Our bodies will but our souls never will. 

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGorjBVag0I for Leonard Cohen and "Dance Me To The End of Love".

[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1614.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


In the wake of Canada's Supreme Court decision to strike down the nation's laws prohibiting physician assisted suicide, I write to Canada's Prime Minister asking that conscience legislation be put in place to protect conscience rights. Below is the text of that letter dated 25 February 2015.


The Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper,                                    
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons

Dear Prime Minister:

I am writing this letter in the wake of the Supreme Court’s appalling decision to strike down Canada’s laws prohibiting assisted suicide. Quickly enact federal conscience legislation to protect physicians from being forced to kill suicidal patients or provide referrals. If doctor assisted killing is against their religious or moral beliefs, they must be able to refuse to participate or be complicit by providing referrals of suicidal patients to doctors willing to kill.

According to a recent National Post article, 74% of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians’ membership stated they would not help their patients commit suicide when the act becomes legal. The Society’s President, Dr. Susan MacDonald, an associate professor of medicine and family medicine at Memorial University in St. John’s, N.L., stated:

“It’s just anathema to us, many of us. How would I ever inspire trust when people already have this terrible fear of what I do.”[1]

Enact a law to protect conscience rights for physicians, and nurses, that overrides any provincial laws or policies or Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association or other professional association policies or directives to the contrary.

I specifically include nurses because of a number of nurses who have articulated their fears to me of being compelled to participate in assisted suicide. One prominent palliative care nurse wrote to me about the experience in other jurisdictions that allow physicians assisted suicide and said,

Many physicians just leave orders for nurses to carry out and in this issue we must also be protected. Many great nurses lost their jobs in the initial years after abortion opened up to every woman for any reason. We must have rights of conscience to object when this act of “assisted death” is ethically, morally and spiritually intolerable.”
We now know that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an inferior document that can be twisted and manipulated any direction our activist high court wishes to reflect their particular ideologies. A federal law will help bolster Fundamental Freedoms (S-2) of the Charter until the Supreme Court strikes that down too.

Please provide protection for conscience rights.[2]

Thank you for reading my letter.

I am, dear Prime Minister,
Yours sincerely, 

Mark Davis Pickup
Life and disability issues advocate

The Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Canada.
Mike Lake, Member of Parliament, Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont.                                                               

[1] Sharon Kirkey “In wake of ruling, who does the killing?” National Post, 11 February 2015, A1.
[2] For supplementary reading see
Wesley J. Smith, “THE COMING OF MEDICAL MARTYRDOM”, FIRST THINGS online magazine, 15 February 2015.

Monday, February 23, 2015


My daughter Ronaele Pound
Ronaele and Darin Pound are my daughter and son-in-law. They have decided to adopt a little girl from Haiti to complete their family as their fourth child.  

My new granddaughter will go from an orphanage in the poorest country in the western hemisphere -- still reeling from a 2010 earthquake -- to a loving and secure home in Canada. 

Her adoption process is expected to take up to 18 months and the costs associated with this international adoption are very high. Your financial contribution will help defray those formidable expenses and are most appreciated.  To donate go here: http://www.gofundme.com/poundfamily

Help bring my granddaughter home. Thank you. 

Monday, February 16, 2015


Mother Nature
grocery shopping
Julia Roberts is Mother Nature? Is that right? That's quite a claim. She has quite a high opinion of herself. 

See Wesley J. Smith's column "Julia Roberts Narrates Radical Environmentalist Video Claiming Animals Greater That Humans", LifeNews, 16 February 2015. at http://www.lifenews.com/2015/02/16/julia-roberts-narrates-radical-environmentalist-video-claiming-animals-greater-than-humans/ 

If you can't access the video "JULIA ROBERTS IS MOTHER NATURE" click on image below of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmVLcj-XKnM 

Sunday, February 15, 2015


We often think that ignorance is a lack of knowledge, education or
social training. But if ignorance is not knowing, then not knowing God is the greatest human ignorance. I want to address ignorance in the context of the human heart’s ignorance of God.  It is my opinion that this form ignorance is the primary crisis of the 21st Century.

Heart-ignorance to a direct experience of God is the worst human predicament and at the root of all internal poverty.  It creates spiritual darkness that shuts out possibilities for internal enlightenment only the light of Christ can give. It breeds despair that’s manifested in things like drug abuse and sky-rocketing suicide rates among the young.

Decades ago, large blocks of my generation (the baby-boomers) turned away from the Christian heritage we were born into. For awhile we were able to ride on the residual benefits of western Christian civilization.  The last vestiges of that residue are fading away.

Ignorance of God is rampant among the Children and grandchildren of secular ‘boomers. They are unaware of their spiritual predicament. Many of them have no memory of the former Christian civilization that laid the greatest foundations of freedom and liberty in history. Granted, they have a spiritual longing that stems from the image of God within them but they are ignorant of the experience of God.

This new cultural ignorance of experiencing God, through a relationship with Christ, presents enormous challenges for the western Church in spreading the Gospel. The hard ground of materialism and self-gratification seems impenetrable. We are in a time when sins seem delicious and virtue pointless ― a time when disillusionment gives way to cynicism, and cynicism gives way to hedonism. 

Seeds of this situation were sown in the 20th Century. In 1934, the English poet T.S. Eliot wrote: 

“Why should men love the Church? Why should they love her
laws? She tells them of Life and Death, and all they would forget.  She is tender where they would be hard, and hard where they would be soft. She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts. They constantly try to escape, from the darkness outside and within, by dreaming of systems so perfect no one will need to be good.”[1]   

More than eighty years later the concept of “good” or objective truth has been rejected by post-Christian culture. 

If darkness is all a person knows, he may not believe there is light. Secular man of the western world thinks he is enlightened: The notion that he may, in fact, be ignorant and in spiritual darkness does not even occur to him.  He is obsessed with the concerns and seductions of the world.  He may think that’s all there is. Spiritual realities are beyond his ability to grasp. In his unbelief he says “If God is real then show Him to me!” The faithless man cannot experience God because the darkness of his heart is complete. He needs the miracle of spiritual light to dispel his darkness.  But where will spiritual light come from?

Saint John said that Jesus is the true light that shines through the darkness, and the source of authentic internal illumination. The answer is also the problem.

The darkened human heart will find divine light too intense and
painful for eyes of the heart to bear. Men of the 21st Century prefer darkness to Christ’s light because the light exposes those old and uncomfortable ideas of sin and evil.

Christians must speak clearly to this generation about light and truth that originates beyond the human mind. We must speak to a lost and baffled generation about the possibility of experiencing God, through a relationship with Christ, and trust the Holy Spirit to convict people.

The light of Christ sheds light on the internal man and calls the individual away from himself, self-interest and pleasure toward a total change of heart to desire holiness more than happiness. Will he take the arduous and painful path toward holiness to enter the presence of God? Does he understand what it requires of him?

To seek holiness requires that the individual dies to himself so that Christ can live in him. He must crush his ego and that involves pain.  He does it because he has, at a certain point of despair, opened his dark heart’s door and caught a hint of an encounter with Christ’s light. (He may slam the door shut because the experience terrifies him.) But if he has the courage and desire to let Christ stay he will find himself slowly being transformed to be more like the Savior. His heart will finally experience God and he will know why Jesus came to earth. 

[1] Choruses from "The Rock", VII.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


In his book The Nazi Doctors, author Jay Lifton wrote about the Nazi euthanasia programme. He pointed out that it was important to blur and ultimately destroy the boundary between healing and killing to convince German doctors to participate. The imagery of killing in the name of healing was an effective tool in achieving this end. Tens of thousands of people with psychiatric, developmental and physical disabilities were euthanized.

It is a historical irony that in Nazi occupied Holland, Dutch doctors refused to comply with the euthanasia programme. (It's ironic because the subsequent generation in Holland championed euthanasia and assisted suicide.)

Graves of Nazi euthanasia programme
It should be noted that the Nazi euthanasia programme had no legal force in law. In his comprehensive book THE THIRD REICH, Michael Burleigh wrote "... the 'euthanasia' programme never enjoyed legal sanction. It was murder even in terms of the laws of the Third Reich."[1] As of 06 February 2015, Canada cannot say the same. 

Canada's Supreme Court gave legal sanction to physician assisted suicide. The death parameters are so broad, so encompassing, that it will eventually translate into wide-spread euthanasia for physical or psychological pain, as history will attest. 

Canadian doctors of various faiths must stand together, use the courageous example of Dutch doctors during the Second World War, and refuse to participate in doctor assisted death killing. Steadfastly refuse to go along with the Canadian Supreme Court's odious decision to open wide the gates of assisted suicide and euthanasia. Refuse to support the CMA's softening position. Refuse to engage in assisted suicide or even be complicit by referring patients. Advocate and militate within medical circles against the obvious implications of the Supreme Court's horrible decision. Exercise conscience rights now and civil disobedience if they are taken away. Stand resolute against euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. Refuse to cooperate or comply! God will be with you.

This may be your greatest witness for the value of human life! Post modernism of the 21st Century and its consuming god of nihilism and personal autonomy exist at the expense of interdependent community. Its god breeds pestilences of hopelessness, despair and death in every society it infects. The god of self and the eyeless "I" will leave behind a desolate moral landscape. -- Mark

Do you want to see what that looks like? Implications of Canada's Supreme Court assisted suicide decision on vulnerable populations can be seen in the dark music and Beksinski paintings below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iogXktRSDzI ] 

[1] Michael Burleigh, "THE THIRD REICH: A NEW HISTORY" (New York: Hill and Wang, 2000) p. 383.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


The Canadian Supreme Court is about to delivery its decision on
euthanasia and assisted suicide. I published on this blog a letter I wrote to the Chief Justice. A few weeks later I sent a second expanding on my plea not to strike down the nation's laws prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia. The text of that second letter is below.

There was no reply. I am informed the esteemed Chief Justice does not condescend to read letters from ordinary people. 

I may be one of the ignorant and dusty unwashed masses but I still care deeply about the future of my nation. I can not simply sit back when a major shift may occur to the social, legal, and medical landscape of Canada that sanctions the killing of vulnerable Canadians. 

The text of my second letter of last November is below. -- Mark


November 2014

Dear Chief Justice McLachlin:


I wrote to you last month appealing to Canada’s high court not to strike down Canada’s law on assisted suicide. A copy of that letter is attached. Please ensure the other Justices adjudicating the case of Kay Carter and the wider issue on Canada’s law against assisted suicide receive copies of that letter for consideration.

Euthanasia and assisted suicide lobbyists say Canada’s laws against assisted suicide are discriminatory against the incurably sick and disabled because they are denied the ability to commit suicide that able-bodied Canadians can do. That argument is deeply flawed. Just because someone can commit suicide does not mean they have a right to do it. There is no “right” to suicide in Canada. If there was a right to suicide, why would Canada’s Parliament UNANIMOUSLY support the idea of a National Suicide Prevention Strategy as they did in October 2012?

If the Supreme Court strikes down Canada’s law against assisted suicide or expresses support for assisted suicide for incurably ill and severely disabled Canadians (like me) what sort of message will that send to us? Parliament gives full support to suicide prevention for the healthy and able-bodied while the Supreme Court supports assisting the suicides of the sick and disabled? That is the message I will hear loud and clear. Public policies and laws do not exist in isolation; they must have continuity and consistency.

Right to die proponents bolster their argument for assisted suicide by citing Section 7, Legal Rights, of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” The very section they cite for security of the person undermines their argument about a “right to die”. Section 7 begins by affirming and declaring the right to life: It says nothing about a right to death![1

As I mentioned in my last letter, pain management of the 21 Century is so advanced that people need not suffer and die in pain (see quote by palliative care specialist Dr. John Scott).

Advocates of assisted suicide say people should be able to decide the time and place of their own death. If that is true then the ‘right’ of autonomous self-determination applies equally to suicidal healthy and able-bodied people as to the sick and disabled. There is no place for a National Suicide Prevention strategy or suicide prevention programs because they impose on the “right to choose the time and place of one’s own death.” The suicidal able-bodied and physically healthy person can say their emotional pain is as bad (or worse) than my physical pain and who are we to say it’s not. They could be right.[2] They could ask for help killing themselves in fear they might botch their suicide, putting them in a worse position, and jeopardize their twisted interpretation of “security of the person.

In order for society to recognize one person’s perceived 'security of the person' the greater community’s proper sense of interdependence will suffer. This must not be, Madam Chief Justice. The Common Good must prevail.

                                                                                                     Believe me,                                                                                         dear Chief Justice,
                                                                                                     Yours Sincerely, 
                                                                                                   Mark Davis Pickup 

[1] Even the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 3, declares firstly the Right to Life before the Right to security of the person. It says nothing about a right to death either – and with good reason. Without the Right to Life guaranteed, all other human rights become arbitrary and uncertain. Death is an eventuality not a right.
[2] I have suffered great physical pain and great emotional pain. It is my experience that emotional pain is worse than physical pain and more difficult to treat.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Horse sense: This horse is kinder to a little Israeli boy with Williams syndrome  than many liberal 'progressives' in the medical profession who would kill such a child before or shortly after birth. Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjKaJOREiBw


Monday, February 2, 2015


Canada's Supreme Court
On Friday February 6th 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court is expected to deliver its decision  pertaining to Canada's laws opposing euthanasia and assisted suicide. I am not hopeful. And so this evening I wrote to the Premier of my province of Alberta with suggestions to minimize the negative impact of a bad decision by the high court. [1] See below. 


Text from email to: The Honourable Jim Prentice, Premier of Alberta

Dear Premier Prentice – I understand that on Friday February 6th 2015, Canada’s Supreme Court is expected to deliver its decision in the Carter Case concerning Canadian laws that protects people from assisted suicide and euthanasia. As an incurably ill and disabled Canadian and Albertan, I fear they may strike down sections of the federal Criminal Code prohibiting assisted suicide and euthanasia.  If this happens, federal and provincial governments will be faced with a quandary:

In October 2012 the Canadian Parliament gave UNANIMOUS support to the idea of a National Suicide Prevention Strategy. Healthy and able-bodied suicidal Canadians should receive suicide prevention while incurably ill and severely disabled suicidal Canadians should get help killing themselves? People like me will get a clear message that our lives are worth less than the healthy population – so much less that the highest court of the nation sanctions killing us.

In the event that the Supreme Court decision is as I fear, it will be inappropriate for provincial governments to wash their hands of the issue under the pretext that it is a federal matter. The actual killing of people will occur in the provinces. I want Alberta’s government to publicly and unequivocally express its disapproval and disappointment with the Supreme Court decision. Respond in a number of life-affirming ways that do not directly contradict the high court yet do not contradict the higher ancient ideal of the sanctity of human life. This would include:

1. Strengthening support for the establishment and expansion of suicide prevention counselling – with specific intention to include individuals and families facing terminal or chronic illnesses or degenerative diseases.
2. Approach a number of community based social services agencies, mental health agencies, faith communities, and humanitarian organizations (Lions, Rotary, Knights of Columbus, etc.) to partner with the province to sponsor/deliver counselling or support services such as respite or hospice services.
3. Establish an Internet website for physicians and health care providers to consult when dealing with patients in difficult pain management situations. Provide consultation stipends for pain-management specialists to advise in such cases. Make the service well known in medical circles.
4. Have the Ministry of advanced education meet with university medical faculties and provincial nursing programs to expand training in palliative medicine and up-to-date pain management techniques.
5. Institute a province-wide media campaign informing Albertans of palliative care options for their times of need that make euthanasia and assisted suicide unnecessary, and counselling services available for incurably ill and disabled Albertans contemplating suicide.
6. Despite massive shortfalls expected in oil revenues, stand firm in maintaining (and expanding) home care services. It is less expensive to deliver home-care than institutional care. (It’s also easy to govern and implement policies in good times; the real test of leadership mettle comes in the hard and lean times.)
7. Lastly, but certainly not least, establish a task force comprised of an end of life medical specialist who has particular expertise in up-to-date pain management, a palliative care nurse, psychologist, community social services representative (Catholic Social Services?), government officials from the pertinent departments and someone from the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. This task force would hold a series of town hall meeting across the province to answer end-of-life or disability concerns and inform Albertans about services available to address their issues. ...

Mark Pickup

[1] A provincial premier is similar to a state governor.