Canadian Euthanasia Opponents: We Can Defeat Bill to Allow Assisted Suicide
by Steven Ertelt
September 10, 2009
Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — Leading euthanasia opponents in Canada say they think they can defeat Bill C-384, the measure Parliament will consider later this month to legalize assisted suicide. Bill C-384 was introduced by the Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde in May 2009 and it is her latest bill to promote suicide.
Alex Schadenberg, the director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, emailed LifeNews.com saying he thinks it is possible to defeat the bill.
"We have organized a campaign that is proving to be very effective," he said, adding that he needs the help of pro-life advocates to make it a reality.
Schadenberg says the controversial bill promotes both euthanasia and assisted suicide, both objectionable practices to the pro-life, disability rights, medical and religious communities.
"Euthanasia is an action or omission of an action done to directly and intentionally cause the death of another person, usually by medical means. Bill C-384 would give the right to medical practitioners to directly and intentionally cause the death of their patients," he explains.
"Assisted Suicide is when one person is directly and intentionally involved with causing the death of another person. Bill C-384 would give the right to medical practitioners to be directly and intentionally involved with causing the death of their patients," he adds.
Schadenberg says the bill is not about withholding or withdrawing medical treatment that is useless or burdensome and is not about helping patients battle pain.
The pro-life movement has always supported efforts to allow patients to receive the best pain care possible.
"Euthanasia and assisted suicide is about directly and intentionally causing the death of people and Bill C-384 directly threatens the lives of people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups in our country," he said in the email to LifeNews.com.
The bioethics leader said people who are not elderly or disabled should have reason to worry about passage of the legislation.
"The fact is that Bill C-384 states that people who experience physical or mental pain would be eligible for euthanasia or assisted suicide," he explains. "That would include people who experience chronic physical pain such as many people with disabilities, or chronic mental pain such as people who experience chronic depression."
Schadenberg said some believe that "mercy killing" would only be done to people when they have competently requested to die.
"The fact is that Bill C-384 measures competency based on ‘appearing to be lucid,’" he said. "To appear to be lucid does not mean a person is actually lucid or competent."
He also said the bill does not contain reasonable safeguards to prevent abuse.
"Bill C-384 is not limited to the terminally ill and it does not define terminal illness," he said.
"It does not require that individuals at least try effective treatments, (it gives medical practitioners the right to lethally inject people with chronic depression, even when the person has rejected effective treatment for depression) and the bill does not have a residency requirement allowing Canada to become a destination for suicide tourists," he explains.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has produced a Stop Bill C-384 package it hopes to get in the hands of more bill opponents so they can educate their friends and family.
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