Friday, May 17, 2013

Remarks of Hugh Scher on behalf of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at the Quebec Springtime March against Euthanasia

Remarks of Hugh Scher on behalf of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at the Quebec Springtime March against Euthanasia - May 18, 2013

Hugh Scher
I bring best wishes and strong support from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Canada, EPC -International and EPC- Europe.

We understand the difficult problems that arise from the issue of legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide especially in Quebec at this time.

Our goal today is to express a clear and united message and to put the public, the media and politicians on notice here in Quebec, throughout Canada and around the world with respect to the dangers of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Our message is common to doctors, seniors and people with disabilities, the groups most vulnerable and directly affected by the proposed changes here in Quebec.

The proposals under consideration put each of us at risk especially those who are made vulnerable because of a society that views our lives in a devalued way or as having little or no value.

We have seen and learned from the dangerous lessons that have come out of the experiences in Holland and Belgium with respect to legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide. These lessons teach us that euthanasia and assisted suicide represent a serious threat to the citizens of Quebec and of Canada.

We are aware that there are safeguards in place for the purpose of protecting people in Holland and in Belgium. However these safeguards do not work and put people at risk as a consequence of a culture that views euthanasia as acceptable. This is especially true for those most vulnerable in society.

We understand the problem when 47% of people are killed by euthanasia in Belgium without having those deaths properly reported despite the legal requirement to do so.

We also understand the serious problem that exists when 32% of people who are killed by way of euthanasia or assisted suicide are killed without request. People with disabilities and seniors remain the most vulnerable.

In spite of the existence of safeguards in place to protect people from abuse, these are often ignored.

Consequently, the lives of innocent people, who are deprived of choice and autonomy, are too easily lost without consent. Sadly, the protections that exist at this time are not rigorously applied creating a perilous situation.

It would be extremely dangerous if these same biases and abuses are allowed to happen here in Quebec in the event that the law is changed.

We must work as hard as possible in order to defeat these certain dangers by rejecting euthanasia or assisted suicide in Quebec and throughout Canada.

This threat and these risks require us to rise up and to express a message grave and clear to all, that euthanasia and assisted suicide should never be permitted here in Quebec or in Canada.

Let’s work together to fight against these proposed changes that put all of us at risk and that represent a grave and dangerous threat to our society and most certainly to our most vulnerable citizens.

Thank you all for your efforts and for your presence here today on this historic occasion.

Thank you very much.

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