Canada Euthanasia Opponents Worried Assisted Suicide Headed There Next

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 7, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Euthanasia Opponents Worried Assisted Suicide Headed There Next

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 7
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — Now that Washington voters made their state the second in the U.S. to legalize assisted suicide, euthanasia opponents in Canada are worried they’re the next target. Canada activists in the pro-life and disability rights movements, along with medical officials, are starting to organize.

Alex Schadenberg, the head of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, has been monitoring the possibility of a private member’s bill in Parliament for some time and he says the Washington vote exacerbates his concerns.

"This is a tragic loss to vulnerable people everywhere," he told about the I-1000 vote.

Schadenberg pointed to post-election comments from Ted Goodwin of the Final Exit Network who, he says, is pushing for greater liberalization of assisted suicide laws elsewhere.

"The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is responding by moving forward with more coalition building and examining the questions – what can be learned from this tragic loss and what do we need to do to ensure that this never happens again," he explained.

He says he has heard from euthanasia backers that MP Francine Lalonde (BQ) "will re-introduce her private members bill at the earliest opportunity."

Assisted suicide backers are also organizing and a pro-assisted suicide group in Quebec, the Quebecoise pour le Droit de Mourir Dignement, has been created to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. It is one of three new organizations that have become members of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.

Schadenberg’s group is also organizing its second international symposium on euthanasia and assisted suicide that will take place in Washington in May.

"The focus of this Symposium is to establish where we are currently, and to build a unified coalition to enable us effectively engage in all future initiatives. We must never lose again," he said.

Schadenberg is appealing for finances to help his group combat assisted suicide in Canada. It had been urging donors to back the Washington efforts to stop the I-1000 measure and now it needs funds to be able to continue its work.

Related web sites:
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition –

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