Ottawa - International evidence shows that deaths by assisted suicide and euthanasia have been increasing wherever the practices have been legalized.
The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is releasing its study today called No second chances: International experience shows legal euthanasia is never just for “exceptional” cases. It compares Quebec’s proposal with three jurisdictions where euthanasia/assisted suicide are already legal:
- In the Netherlands, euthanasia deaths have increased 64% between 2005 and 2010.
- In Washington, assisted suicide deaths have increased 130% between 2009 and 2012.
- In Oregon, assisted suicide deaths have doubled since 2005.
Around the world, eligibility rules are highly subjective. The criterion of having six months to live, for example, depends on the subjective diagnosis of a doctor. In Oregon, Jeannette Hall was approved for assisted suicide. She has since recovered her health and outlived her diagnosis by 13 years.
Still, advocates push for the removal of remaining limitations. Their success in the Netherlands has resulted in the legal killing of babies and the mentally ill. For the first time, in 2013, a woman was killed who was afraid of going blind. In Oregon, arguments are being made to open eligibility for assisted suicide to anyone who is merely old.
The report expresses concern that the proposed law in Quebec has loose criteria from the outset.
“The lack of solid criteria is really shocking. Quebec is starting out not far from where the Netherlands is today, allowing euthanasia for ‘psychological pain,’” says Derek Miedema, the report author.
“If Quebec is able to go ahead with this legislation, there’s concern other provinces will follow. When euthanasia and assisted suicide are accepted as medical treatment and offered to patients as a solution, the door is wide open to a world of abuse. This is what we see in the international research,” Miedema concludes.
The study can be found online at: http://www.imfcanada.org/no_second_chances
To arrange an interview please contact Eloise Cataudella, Communications Strategist, at 613-565-3832 ext. 7505.