December 11, 2014

Beware euthanasia and assisted suicide

Euthanasia is lethalSharing photo from Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Senate Bill S-225 based on Member of Parliament Steven Fletcher’s bills would legalize both assisted suicide and euthanasia.
It would permit euthanasia by lethal injection and assisted suicide by lethal prescription.
Many persons with disabilities oppose these bills including the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.
Assurances that safeguards will protect the vulnerable can be refuted by data on the euthanasia experience in Holland and Belgium where it is legal.  In these jurisdictions, some patients have been euthanized without consent or explicit request in spite of safeguards. We know from a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in June 2010 that 31% of euthanasia deaths were done without explicit request in Flanders, Belgium between June and November 2007.
As for assisted suicide, consider the experience of Oregon cancer patient Jeanette Hall who voted for assisted suicide in a state ballot initiative.  After the enactment of Oregon’s law, she was diagnosed with cancer and asked for assisted suicide but her physician encouraged her to “think of living instead of dying”.
Said Jeanette: “I am so grateful that Dr. Stevens worked with me and helped me change my mind to fight. If he believed in physician-assisted suicide, I would not be here 13 years later to thank him, I would be dead.”
Killing the patient by lethal injection or providing the patient with the means to end his own life is not medical care.

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