Euthanasia Opponent Worries Washington Will Approve Assisted Suicide

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Euthanasia Opponent Worries Washington Will Approve Assisted Suicide

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 19
, 2008

Olympia, WA ( — A leading euthanasia opponent says the pro-life, medical, and disability rights communities need to get engaged in the battle against a state measure that could legalize assisted suicide in Washington. If they wait any later to get energized, Alex Schadenberg says it may be too late.

Schadenberg heads up the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the says the I-1,000 measure to make the state to second in the country to legalize assisted suicide is one of the most important votes this election cycle.

He says he can’t agree with Faye Girsh, the vice president of the Hemlock Society of San Diego California on euthanasia but concurs when she says it is the most important bioethcis vote in 10 years.

"Sadly, many of the leaders of pro-life, religious, disability and medical communities, remain unaware of the importance of the I-1000 initiative in Washington State," he tells

Schadenberg worries the initiative, if approved, will open the door to many more states approving the grisly practice.

"If the I-1000 initiative passes in Washington State, the momentum is likely to shift toward the legalization of assisted suicide throughout the United States in a series of state by state Initiatives," he says.

At the same time, a victory in Washington could be a blow to the pro-euthanasia movement and set back their attempts to make legal assisted suicides the law of the land.

"Washington State was chosen by the euthanasia lobby as the ‘most likely’ place to legalize assisted suicide in the United States," he explains. "The euthanasia lobby has combined forces by focusing on Washington State at a national level. We must hold the line."

"The euthanasia lobby is united in their effort to use Washington State as a springboard for their nationwide goal of legalizing assisted suicide. They have raised an incredible amount of money from throughout the U.S.," Schadenberg said.

He is urging pro-life advocates to help the Coalition Against Assisted Suicide and other groups that are working to defeat the proposal.

They will have their work cut out for them as the most recent poll of Washington voters found strong support for the assisted suicide measure.

The poll, sponsored by KING 5 and conducted by Survey USA, was taken from August 11 to 12 and includes 1,000 adults and 718 likely voters.

On Initiative 1000, 51 percent of those polled said they were leaning towards supporting the measure while just 26 percent were leaning against it. Another 23 percent of voters are undecided.

Earlier this month, a statewide Elway Poll of Washington voters showed so many undecided that neither side had a majority.

Some 39 percent of those polled said they favor the assisted suicide measure while 26 percent opposed it.


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