The illusion of limiting legalized euthanasia

According to a recent article published in Current Oncology by Dr. José Pereira, Medical Chief of Palliative Care at Bruyère Continuing Care in Ottawa, so-called safeguards to limit the practice of legalized euthanasia don’t work

Dr. Pereira addresses the safeguards one by one.

1. In the Netherlands, where assisted suicide and euthanasia were made legal in 2001, the law states that individuals must give written consent that they want to die. In spite of this, a 2005 study of deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands found that almost 500 people are killed annually without their consent. Belgium has the same safeguard, nonetheless, a 2010 study found that in the Flemish part of the country, 32 per cent of euthanasia cases were carried out without request or consent.

2. Another suggested safeguard is mandatory reporting: all cases of euthanasia must be reported to the proper authorities so that they can ensure the other safeguards are being followed. But Dr. Pereira notes that in Belgium, nearly half of all cases aren’t reported. In the Netherlands, at least 20 per cent of all cases aren’t reported.

3. The third safeguard is that assisted suicide or euthanasia be carried out only by doctors. Yet a 2010 study of 120 Belgian nurses found that nurses administered life-ending drugs in 45 per cent of assisted suicide cases. The study also found that this was more likely when the hospital nurse was male and the patient was over 80.

4. The fourth safeguard is a second opinion. But in Oregon, public reports show that a physician tied to a pro-assisted suicide lobby group provided consultations in 58 of 61 cases of assisted suicide in Oregon. Dr. Pereira notes, “in 1998 in the Netherlands, 25 per cent of patients requesting euthanasia received psychiatric consultation; in 2010 none did.”

READ the full summary of the article from the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada


2 comments for “The illusion of limiting legalized euthanasia

  1. Massoud
    24 May 2011 at 2:44 am

    There is no doubt that legalised euthanasia would lead too to the kind of bureaucratic excesses, foolishness, professional malfeasance and political chicanery of the types mentioned above.

    However, one fact is indisputable: we all only have one garuanteed life(religious fairy tales aside),and it is up to no one else but that person if they choose to end it or not. THEY are the sole judge of whether their life is worth living or not. Not the law, not their families, not the ecclesiastical high-browers or fawning social scientists. But them. If they have a friend who is brave and loyal enough to assist them in their death wish, how is that a crime?

    Ludicriously, suicide used to be a crime. Paradoxically, the “criminals” were never around to receive their punishment, three strikes or not.

  2. Bob
    24 May 2011 at 1:36 pm

    So suicide is now ok?

    Wouldn’t like to have you as a relative if i was feeling sick 🙂

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