Sunday, December 8, 2013

Belgium professor warns Quebec about euthanasia risks

CTV news reported on the presentation by a Belgian law professor who explained how the Belgian euthanasia law is abused. 

Etienne Montero
Professor Etienne Montero, who is the dean of the faculty of law at the University of Namur in Belgium spoke at an event in Montreal organized by the Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice in Quebec.

Bill 52, the bill that would decriminalize euthanasia in Quebec is based on the Belgian euthanasia law.

The CTV news report states:

Eleven years after Belgium passed its euthanasia laws, there remain many risks and abuses, the dean of the faculty of law at a Belgian university told a Montreal audience Sunday. 
Professor Etienne Montero said most requests in Belgium are not rooted in physical pain which can be controlled, but in psychological suffering.  
Originally, Belgian law stated that psychiatric or depressed patients would not be targeted, but the Belgian Control Commission approves euthanasia in such cases today.
The article then states that the book - Rendez-vous with Death that is written by Montero shows that euthanasia safeguards don't work, and that it's very difficult to set legal boundaries. The article stated:
“Now presently in Belgium they're going to pass a law to euthanize children. They are already euthanizing people who are depressed or tired of life because they have taken the interpretations of saying physical and/or psychological suffering - you don't have to have both, if you have one, why is that not enough? If you are suffering, it's a personal experience and it would be discriminatory for someone to judge what a person is suffering. What this teaches us is that despite the government's assurances that they will set very strict criteria, that won't work,” said Dr. Paul Saba of Physicians for Social Justice. 
Saba said that just last week, Quebec's own Commission of Human Rights went on the record with a legal opinion that not allowing euthanasia of children 14 years old and up is discriminatory, an early example he says of a dangerous, slippery slope.
CTV concluded their news story by stating:
Montero’s talk comes after a bill to give residents in Quebec the right to request “medical aid to die” was introduced in the province’s National Assembly in June.
Links to similar articles:
Palliative care leaders oppose Quebec euthanasia Bill 52.
Quebec euthanasia bill will allow euthanasia tourists.
Quebec euthanasia bill is a very dangerous bill.

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