Assisted suicide and euthanasia are prescriptions for abuse and must not be legalized in Canada or anywhere else in the world. It is clear that in the few countries or states where assisted suicide and euthanasia is legalized, safeguards and controls do not work and euthanasia is extended to include:
- Children where the law was recently passed in Belgium and is tolerated in the Netherlands. This practice is currently being recommended by the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Commission.
Moreover, euthanasia causes the premature deaths of people in the following circumstances because of:
- Incorrect diagnoses
- Errors in predicting how long people will live
- Patients, whose cases are so burdensome and overwhelming, may be euthanized on the initiative of either the patient him/herself or the medical staff and/or family members.
No system of monitoring can prevent abuse. In Belgium there is a commission to oversee abuses. It is clear that this commission has failed since no remedial action has been taken despite:
- In Belgium, 32% of patients did not give consent (Canadian Medical Journal Association, 2010)
- 47% of cases of euthanasia went unreported (British Medical Journal, 2010).
- Depressed people and those who are tired of life without any physical illness are euthanized.
For those who are in the terminal phases of life, good palliative care is an effective and compassionate way to care for our loved ones.
The problem is that in Canada only 30% of people have access to palliative care.
In a recent press conference former 3 term state representative Nancy Elliott explained why New Hampshire overwhelmingly rejected assisted suicide and why progressive societies like Quebec, Canada should reject euthanasia.
Ms. Elliott gave the example of Richard Bloom from New Hampshire who was given 18 months to live with pancreatic cancer. Initially he was refused treatment and after battling with his medical providers was able to procure treatment and is doing well 9 years later.
She also explained the open door for family abuse, particularly those who can gain from an inheritance.
In summary Nancy Elliott states that “euthanasia is a prescription for all types of abuse of people at the most vulnerable times of their lives.”
In the video “Quebecers call to stop euthanasia,”
16 year old Nadine described how she survived leukemia and a bone marrow transplant when she was 14 years ago. She described how young people need love and support to get through and do not need the deadly seduction of euthanasia.
Dr. Sylvia Baribeau, a family physician emphasized the need to treat and support those who need medical care and not abandon them when they need it most. “Euthanasia is not medical care, it is the cruelest abandonment and abuse of our fellow human beings.”
In the video letter “From a child to a King”, 4 year old Jessica and her family describe the abuses and dangers of child euthanasia for the children of the world. Jessica’s mother warns that a pediatric euthanasia law might encourage parents of sick or handicapped children “to give up too early” and “what families need is loving, caring social support and not euthanasia.”
Dr. Paul Saba who is President of the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice reminds us that “over 9 million doctors in over 100 countries represented by the World Medical Association reject euthanasia and request physicians not to euthanize people in countries or jurisdictions where it is permitted. It also is contrary to United Nations conventions and agreements.”