The Quebec government is expected to re-introduce its euthanasia bill later this month. By analyzing data from recent studies concerning Belgium and the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal, some concerning facts emerge.
1. One study found that 32% of the assisted deaths were done without explicit request.
2. Another study found that 47% of the assisted deaths in Belgium were unreported.
3. A third study found that nurses are euthanizing patients even though the Belgian law limits the act of euthanasia to doctors.
“fits the description of vulnerable patient group at risk of life-ending without request.”
The most recent data concerning the Netherlands euthanasia law indicated that the unreported assisted deaths increased from 20% in 2005 to 23% in 2010. Reported assisted deaths in the Netherlands has increased from 1923 in 2006 to 3859 in 2012. On March 1, 2012, six mobile euthanasia teams began operation leading to an increase in assisted deaths for psychiatric reasons in the Netherlands.
Opposition to euthanasia is based on three main concerns.
1. No person or institution should have the power to cause the death of another person in society.
2. Giving power to one person, in law, to cause the death of another person, will be abused. In this circumstance the abuse results in death.
3. Discrimination exists towards identified groups of people or individuals. Legalizing euthanasia , for instance, threatens the lives of people with disabilities and the frail elderly.
Canadians need to focus their efforts on how we care for every citizen.Euthanasia is not healthcare, it is lethal and it is not safe.