May 22, 2015

Dangers of assisted suicide and euthanasia

Elderly couple on walkThere is reason to be concerned about assisted suicide and euthanasia. Consider the following:

  • Assisted suicide and euthanasia devalue the lives of people with disabilities or chronic illness.
  • There is a disability prejudice underlying the push for these practices in some instances. Persons with disabilities know only too well that some think their lives are not worth living.
  • A “right to die”might create a “duty to die”. Think of elderly people who feel that they are a burden to their families.  Subtle pressure might steer vulnerable persons towards assisted suicide and euthanasia.
  • When people are suffering with physical or psychological pain, we should direct our efforts towards alleviating this pain. Kill the pain not the patient.
  • In Belgium, where euthanasia is legal, it has been allowed for persons with depression.
  • The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada would also permit those experiencing psychological suffering to make this irreversible decision.
  • Suicide prevention and assisted suicide are at odds with each other. In assisted suicide,  you have suicide affirmation.
  • Data on the euthanasia experience in Holland and Belgium where it is legal, clearly show that no amount of safeguards will protect people from abuse. Patients have  been euthanised without their consent.
  • Only 30% of Canadians have access to palliative care.
  • Assisted suicide and euthanasia are not medical care, they are killing.

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