Friday, October 8, 2010

Getting the euthanasia facts straight

Alex Schadenberg
By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Preventon Coalition

An article written by Neil Francis in the online opinion entitled Dying with Dignity, Francis claims to be setting the facts straight but he also gets the facts wrong. Link:

Francis states:
Opponents also regularly point to 1,000 deaths in the Netherlands each year being a hastened death without a current request for assistance to die, and say that voluntary euthanasia laws promote this kind of behaviour. They offer this as evidence of the slippery slope to involuntary euthanasia but they ignore the facts.

First, the data they refer to - contained in the Remmelink report was collected in 1990. The Netherlands didn’t enact a euthanasia law until 2002.
The fact is that the Netherlands government do a report every 5 years. The last report was in 2005 and it stated that 550 people died in the Netherlands without request or consent. This number may seem much lower than the Remmerlink report of 1990 unless you are one of the 550.

A recent study that was published May 17 in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association stated that 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region in Belgium are without request or consent.

To suggest that there is not a slippery slope is just ignoring the facts.

The fact is that for many euthanasia cases, choice is an illusion

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