11:15 a.m. EDT, October 2, 2014
This story illustrates a fundamental problem with legalizing assisted suicide. The assistant can have his or her own agenda to encourage someone to kill themselves.
Bradley D. Williams, Hamilton, Mont.
"[All] the protections [in Oregon's law] end after the prescription is written. [The proponents] admitted that the provisions in the Oregon law would permit one person to be alone in that room with the patient. And in that situation, there is no guarantee that that medication is self-administered.
So frankly, any of the studies that come out of the state of Oregon's experience are invalid because no one who administers that drug . . . to that patient is going to be turning themselves in for the commission of a homicide."Senate Judiciary Hearing on SB 167 on February 10, 2011
"After Monday's column, . . . a few [readers] suggested that if you couldn't save enough money to see you through your old age, you shouldn't expect society to bail you out. At least a couple mentioned euthanasia as a solution." (Emphasis added)So, if you worked hard and paid taxes all your life and then your company pension plan goes belly up, this is how you want society to pay you back?
EPCis concerned about the safety, security and equality of people with disabilities and seniors, which is central to the protections set out under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our Criminal Code.
The debate is over whether what the suicidal person proposes – to kill themselves – is a goal which should be shared and facilitated by the state. I suggest there are alternate goals like the treatment of depression and other symptoms, to which the state should apply itself. When someone has lost hope for the future, finds no meaning in their life, and sees only one solution – death – we recognize a suicidal depression. That bleak tunnel vision should evoke suicide prevention, not euthanasia.
People with disabilities, chronic illness and seniors are negatively affected by assisted suicide and euthanasia because it leads to the impression that our lives are lacking in meaning and value as compared to other Canadians.
The evidence is clear that in jurisdictions where these practices have been legalized, there have been significant abuses of vulnerable people. For example, studies in Belgium demonstrate that 32% of people killed under the Belgian law were killed without consent and without their own request, in breach of a fundamental condition of that law.
Not one of these doctors has been prosecuted.