Saturday, February 8, 2020

Man who filled out federal government's MAID survey 68 times questions its validity

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last week I reported that the Canadian (MAID) euthanasia consultation questionnaire was a sham and the data was unreliable.

Marian Klowak reported for CBC News that she interviewed one man who filled-out the questionnaire 68 times and questioned the validity of the survey. Klowak reported:
Ken wanted to know how far he could push the virtual envelope — so he filled out a federal government survey on medical assistance in dying 68 times. 
Ken, whose name the CBC isn't publishing because he fears threats or harassment, decided last month to see whether he could fill out the online MAID survey more than once. 
Ken took screen shots of 50 of the 68 surveys he filled out, with dates and times, as proof. 
He even filled the survey out on Jan. 28, a day after it was supposed to close, he said. 
"I wanted to see how far this could go without being shut down," he said.
Curtis Brown with Probe Research in Winnipeg told Klowak:
"A public consultation survey like this one is designed to get people's feedback and it is quite open and people have a lot of opportunities to weigh in," he said. 
"That means they may respond more than once if they really feel passionate about a particular issue." 
The other kind of survey is statistically valid, questioning a number of people and making sure that group reflects the larger population.
The Justice Department told Klowak that the questionnaire was more of a consultation and not a survey. Ken questioned whether or not 300,000 people actually participated in the questionnaire, as claimed by the Justice Department.

Klowak interviewed Jim Cowan, the chair of the euthanasia lobby group, Dying with Dignity who stated:
I am concerned people could respond more than once. I believe if you are going to do polling and having consultations, you want to make sure they are as active and reflective as they can be," Cowan said. 
"If a few people did vote more than once, that doesn't affect the validity of the overall result."
Alex Schadenberg
Klowak also interviewed Alex Schadenberg (myself) from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition stated:
"The data in this survey was unreliable because it did not control the number of times a person could respond," he said. 
"On top of that, quite a few of our supporters refused to fill it out because when they opened up the questionnaire, they felt a lot of the questions were not written in a neutral manner."
Whether or not the Justice Ministry intentionally enabled people to vote 68 times on the "MAID" consultation the questions were written in a biased manner, people refused to participate in the consultation because of the wording of the questions and the Justice Minister claims that the consultation proves that Canadians want euthanasia expanded.

I conclude that the Canadian (MAID) euthanasia consultation questionnaire was a sham and the data was unreliable.


Karen Y said...

I'm one of those people who refused to fill out the "survey" because I didn't want the gov't to use these results as valid and against the FOR LIFE people. I knew it would be biased towards the gov't side so they could do what they wanted to do anyway but say we all agreed. And that's what they're doing now!

Theresa said...

I felt the same way. The survey automatically assumed you were for euthanasia. I quit the survey part way through.

Anna A said...

I am unfamiliar with that survey. But I know that it can be easily done about preventing folks from accidentally filling it out twice. More than once when I tried to sign a petition for a Pro-Life organization, it has informed me that I already did.

Ironically, the American Library Association wasn't as careful. (I signed that one twice, again by accident.)