Respected European Oncologist Opposes Euthanasia After Cancer Battle

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Respected European Oncologist Opposes Euthanasia After Cancer Battle Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 12
, 2008

Madrid, Spain ( — A respected European oncologist has changed her mind about euthanasia after battling cancer. Sylvie Menard’s change of heart has one leading anti-euthanasia activist to urge people not to abandoned the elderly and disabled patients who need love and support the most as they battle medical problems.

Menard, one of the most renowned oncologists in Europe, has been battling bone cancer and she shared her transformation on end-of-life issues with the Spanish magazine Huellas.

"Those who promote euthanasia do so for two reasons: they don’t want to suffer and they don’t want to lose self-sufficiency, thus becoming a burden for others," Menard explained.

“Even if you do not have complete use of your faculties and you cannot get up because you are confined to bed, but you still have the affection of your family members, in my opinion, even in those conditions, it’s worth it to keep living," she told the magazine.

She said ill patients “do not want to experience pain” and that “they have a right to alleviate it" but emphasized that “pain therapy has advanced considerably in recent years.”

Alex Schadenberg, the head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said he is encouraged by the news and said he hoped Menard’s conversion would help promote the dignity of people whose qualify of life society disregards.

"Dignity is related to how we interact and care for others," he said. "People who feel abandoned in their time of need will often feel that they are a burden on others or that their life has become hopeless."

"The antidote to the culture of death is a culture that cares for and supports the most vulnerable in their time of need," Schadenberg added.

"The culture that we live in needs a radical shift towards a commitment by society and individuals to care for people and not kill people," he concluded.