World Leaders Gather for First International Anti-Euthanasia Conference

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 10, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

World Leaders Gather for First International Anti-Euthanasia Conference Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 10,

Toronto, Canada ( — Leaders from organizations across the globe that are dedicated to battling assisted suicide and euthanasia will gather for the first International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide at the end of November. Top speakers and activists will address current issues and the future direction of the movement.

"Euthanasia and assisted suicide have become the social issues of the 21st century," says Alex Schadenburg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Canada.

He tells that the conference will address what is happening in the battle to stop the spread of these grisly practices, "why is assisted suicide a threat to vulnerable people," and "what we need to do to turn the tide and keep ‘mercy’ killing illegal."

Internationally-known speakers from as far away as Britain, the Netherlands and Germany will appear at the conference.

The symposium isn’t limited to pro-life groups, but will include key disability rights activists such as Alison Davis of the British-based group No Less Human and Diane Coleman, the founder of Not Dead Yet, an American organization for the disabled.

Rita Marker, executive director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, talked with CitizenLink about the conference.

She said organizers have to be concerned about how legal assisted suicide has spread from Europe to the state of Oregon and now around the world.

"There are different ways we address this," she said. "At the same time, we have to recognize that Oregon is being used as the model for ‘problem-free, gentle suicide’ everywhere."

"We definitely have to be concerned about what is happening everywhere," she told the news magazine.

Some of the other speakers at the event include Margaret Somerville from the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law; noted author and attorney Wesley J. Smith; Catherine Frazee, professor of disability studies at Ryerson University and former chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission; and Dr. William Toffler, Professor of Family Medicine at (OHSU) and the national director of Physicians for Compassionate Care in Portland Oregon.

Related web sites:
International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide –