Russia Worried Euthanasia Would be Done Without Consent if Legalized

International   |   Alex Schadenberg   |   Sep 17, 2012   |   4:34PM   |   Moscow, Russia

The following article was written by Sergei Vasilenko and published in the Russian newspaper – Pravda under the title: Euthanasia in Russia unacceptable forever and always?

Vasilenko examines the issue of euthanasia in the UK and world-wide and then comments about whether or not euthanasia should be legalized in Russia. He writes:

In Russia, the ban on any form of euthanasia is regulated by the law from November 21, 2011, under which medics are prohibited to commit any action or inaction aimed at depriving patients of their life.

In Russia, like in any other part of the world, there are many of those who support and oppose euthanasia. Stanislav Minin, an observer with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, believes that it is up for a person, but never for the government to decide whether to live or to die.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said that maybe it is not necessary to maintain life with the help of medical equipment if a person was suffering for many years, showing no signs of meaningful life. In this case, Chaplin said, it is not clear whether there is a soul in the body or not.

However, chief sanitary doctor of Russia, Gennady Onishchenko, speaks strongly against euthanasia. He says that doctors should not be executioners. According to him, such actions and thoughts humiliate medical specialists.

Should Russia allow euthanasia on the legislative level, even in a passive form? Probably not – for a variety of reasons.

If euthanasia is approved in Russia, where corruption is still quite strong, it will most likely lead to the appearance of a great deal of violations at this point. It is quite possible that people will be put to death through forged documents and bribed doctors in order to obtain material benefits.

I am not suggesting that other nations face the same level of corruption as Russia, but corruption exists everywhere.

For instance in Belgium there were three studies published in 2010 concerning euthanasia in Belgium:

1. 32% of euthanasia deaths that were done by physicians in the Flanders region of Belgium were done without explicit request or consent.
2. A similar study that analysed euthanasia deaths that were done by nurses in Belgium found that 45% were done without explicit request or consent.
3. The third study concerning the reporting of euthanasia in Belgium found that only 52.8% of all euthanasia deaths were reported.

Belgium is a highly educated country with a well developed medical and justice system.



It is not only unsafe to legalize euthanasia in Russia, it is unsafe world-wide. Note: Alex Schadenberg is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and you can read his blog here.