Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition co-hosts press conference during the World Federation of Right to Die Societies Conference

Clare O'Dea from Swissinfo.ch, reported on the opening of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference that began in Zurich Switzerland today.

Swissinfo.ch reported that:
Alex Schadenberg
The Canada-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) is the official organiser of the counter-conference, which is being held in a venue across the road from the right-to-die congress.
Alex Schadenberg told swissinfo.ch that the idea behind the counter-conference was to provide balance for people who would be hearing news stories and possibly interested in attending the world federation conference.  
He plans to present several studies that uncover serious problems with applying legal euthanasia or assisted suicide. “There are no circumstances where the law should allow others to aid, counsel or encourage others to commit suicide,” he said.
Emma Thomasson from Reuters reported on the comments by Ted Goodwin, the President of the World Federation of Right to Die Societies:

He said ageing societies meant that half of medical costs are now falling in the last three to six months of life on care that does not change the trajectory of a disease. 
The number of Swiss residents who died by assisted suicide rose sevenfold between 1998 and 2009 to almost 300, statistics published for the first time showed in March

During the press conference, Alex Schadenberg from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition explained that legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is simply not safe. It is a public safety issue.

Schadenberg explained that recent studies from Belgium have found that: 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium are done without request or consent and only 53% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium are reported.

He then explained that the 2005 meta study of euthanasia in the Netherlands found that there were 550 deaths without request or consent in 2005  in the Netherlands and approximately 20% of all euthanasia deaths went unreported.

Schadenberg continued by explaining that: a study from the Netherlands that was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (September 2005) found that people with a depressed mood were 4.1 times more likely to request euthanasia. The study concluded that a depressed mood is a primary indicator for requests for euthanasia.

Schadenberg then reinforced that it is not safe to legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide.  He stated, that this is not a perfect world and abuse will occur. When abuse results in the death of a person, that the act is irrevocable.

He concluded by stating that euthanasia and assisted suicide are being debated throughout the world and yet it has only been legalized in very few jurisdictions. He reminded the media that the euthanasia lobby has lost in nearly every attempt, except for a very few.

Reuters reported on the EPC press conference in this way:

Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, pointed to studies from the Netherlands and Belgium which he said showed significant numbers of deaths by euthanasia "without explicit request or consent". 
"The problem with euthanasia or assisted suicide is you're giving somebody else the right to be involved in causing your death," he said. 
"Society needs to be vigilant about suffering, but the answer is not giving power over life and death to somebody else."
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is sponsoring a counter-conference to the World Federation of Right to Die Societies conference, on Friday June 15 in Zurich Switzerland.

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