OPINION – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition raises concerns about assisted dying law

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
News release

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) recognizes that the design of the law will either prevention or enable abuse of assisted dying law.

In all jurisdictions where assisted death is legal, the laws lack effective oversight stated Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Consequently, safeguards including the need for consent from the patient are often ignored.

A study concerning assisted deaths in Belgium published in the NEJM (March 19, 2015) found that more than 1,000 deaths were intentionally hastened without request in the Flanders region of Belgium in 2013. The same study determined that many assisted deaths are not reported.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition legal counsel, Hugh Scher, urges the government to ensure effective oversight of the law:

Prior approval by the court or an expert panel is essential to any assisted suicide regime that Parliament introduces.

It is the only way to ensure compliance with legislative criteria established to identify vulnerability and prevent abuse of the law before people are put to death.

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition VP and disability leader, Amy Hasbrouch agrees:

Effective oversight based on a court approved or expert panel is endorsed by multiple stakeholders across the country including from the disability community, the medical community and legal experts.

Dr. Will Johnston, the EPC – BC Chair stated that Euthanasia is not a form of health care. Defining euthanasia as health care would mean that lethal injections become a form of medical treatment.

Not only is this an Orwellian concept, but may leave Canadians without a safe space within the healthcare system.
Johnston continued: Forcing doctors to participate in killing their patients is paternalistic. To require doctors to refer patients to a doctor who will lethally inject them undermines conscience rights and my oath that I will “Do No Harm.”

EPC urges the government to protect people at the most vulnerable time of life.

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