Monday, January 31, 2022

Ontario euthanasia deaths incease by more than 30% in 2021.

"Approximately 10,000 Canadian assisted deaths in 2021 and approximately 31,000 Canadian assisted deaths since legalized"

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario released the 2021 MAiD data which indicates that there were 3102 assisted deaths up from 2378 in 2020 representing more than a 30% increase.

The Ontario December 2021 data showed a significant increase with 298 reported euthanasia deaths as compared to 188 reported euthanasia deaths in December 2020.

A further analysis indicates that the growth in killing by lethal injection is  actually worse. According to the data, in the first half of 2021 there were 1363 assisted deaths, up from 1127 in the first half of 2020 or a 21% increase, but in the second half of 2021 there were 1739 assisted deaths up from 1251 in the second half of 2020 which is a 39% increase.

The 2020 Canadian euthanasia report indicated that the number of reported assisted deaths increased by 34% in 2020 to 7595 up from 5,660 in 2019 which was up more than 26% from 4,478 in 2018. Euthanasia deaths represented 2.5% of all Canadian deaths in 2020.

Since the federal government has not released data, based on the Ontario data, I predict that there were almost 10,000 Canadian euthanasia deaths in 2021 and there have been approximately 31,000 Canadian euthanasia deaths from legalization to December 31, 2021.

Some would suggest that this indicates that the killing program is successful, but rather I suggest that Canada is normalizing killing and our healthcare system is abandoning people to death.

Note: There have been 9796 euthanasia deaths and 2 assisted suicide deaths in Ontario since legalization in June 2016.

The number of cumulative reported assisted deaths in Ontario (since legalization):
Dec 31, 2018 - 2529 (30 months),
June 30, 2019 - 3303 (774 in 6 months),
Dec 31, 2019 - 4318 (1015 in 6 months),
June 30, 2020 - 5445 (1127 in 6 months),
Dec 31, 2020 - 6696 (1251 in 6 months),
June 30, 2021 - 8059 (1363 in 6 months),
Dec 31, 2021 - 9798 (1739 in 6 months)
Is there enough killing yet?

Canada's federal government and the Québec government both established committee's to discuss the further expansion of euthanasia in Canada. These committee's are considering euthanasia for incompetent people who requested death in their advanced directive, euthanasia for children and the rules to implement euthanasia for people with mental illness alone. The Québec report supported euthanasia for incompetent people but not for mental illness but Bill C-7 has already approved euthanasia for mental illness in Canada.

The current Canadian government remains committed to more euthanasia.

We need your help. Thousands of deaths means that there are thousands of stories. We need you to tell your story. Some of the people were depressed and had questionable competency. Some of these people were subtly coerced. Some of these stories are known by you. We can effectively challenge the culture but we need your stories. 

Contact Alex Schadenberg at the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition at: or 1-877-439-3348.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Being disabled does not mean death is better than life: Oppose assisted suicide.

This article was written by Terri Hancharick as a Special to the USA TODAY Network and published on January 28, 2022.

Brigitte & Terri Hancharick
By Terri Hancharick, the chairperson for the Delaware State Council for Persons with Disabilities

The disability community has thoroughly studied and vetted the effects of assisted suicide. It is a dangerous practice that is impossible to regulate and unfairly targets people with disabilities.

My 34-year-old daughter, Brigitte and I, have testified at the Delaware legislative hearings each year on this subject. Brigitte has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, profound cognitive disabilities, epilepsy, chronic pain, and multiple other medical disabilities. I have been a disability rights activist for 34 years. This experience along with many studies and the evidence from states that have already passed such laws has led me to vehemently oppose assisted suicide. I urge the Delaware legislature to also oppose this deadly bill — HB 140.

The National Council on Disability published a report on Oct. 9, 2019, about the dangers of assisted suicide laws for people with disabilities. The Council clearly opposes assisted suicide as demonstrated in this extensive report, citing ineffective “safeguards” that fail to protect patients. There are many national disability rights groups that oppose assisted suicide including but not limited to ADAPT, American Association of People with Disabilities, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, National Council on Independent Living, TASH and ARC of the United States.

In another example of how assisted suicide laws are deficient in providing protections for patients, comes from a recent study regarding the state of Washington’s assisted suicide law. In his study the author found the state severely deficient in its enforcement of the legal requirements of the law. This has resulted in an inadequate understanding whether the law was in fact providing the safeguards guaranteed by the law. It begs the question, why is the state of Washington not enforcing the law? What are they hiding?

Delaware’s assisted suicide bill is based on legislation in Oregon, where assisted suicide was first legalized. Data from Oregon provides insight into the top reasons that patients ask for assisted suicide. The top five reasons which people gave were:

  • the loss of autonomy 
  • being unable to participate in activities that make life enjoyable 
  • loss of dignity 
  • loss of bodily functions, 
  • becoming a burden on family, friends, and caregivers,

These reasons are all disability related. Pain, contrary to popular belief, does not even make it into the top reasons which people give to justify their application for assisted suicide.

These disability-related concerns are similar to the concerns that my daughter and other Delawareans with disabilities face daily. Able-bodied people have a hard time accepting the prospect of becoming a person with a disability, which often requires you to develop dependencies on others. They are shocked by the loss of “dignity” that this dependency brings, and they believe premature death is preferable to such a fate. They decide to end their life because they fear circumstances which they may experience. These disability-related concerns are serious and deserve appropriate multi-disciplinary care–but they are not worth seeking death as an alternative. Legalized assisted suicide devalues the life of my daughter and her peers, and it simply sends the wrong message to the disability community: they are better off dead than disabled.

As written in the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, 

“When people are offered the option of suicide but not the option of affordable home care, they do not have any meaningful choice. People with significant disabilities due to illness should not have to die to have dignity.”
Because there are no safeguards against social and medical bigotry towards people with significant disabilities, assisted suicide is simply too dangerous–even with so-called “safeguards” in place.

Instead of institutionalizing death for the disability community, the Delaware legislature should focus on ensuring that everyone has the care and resources that they need. We must continue to advocate for reliable and competent care in the community. We must continue to advocate for full inclusion of people with disabilities. We must continue to lobby our elected officials for allocating the money needed to help provide for and empower people with disabilities.

Every day, the disability community fights to be seen and to be heard. Instead of enabling a pervasive ableist mentality by legalizing assisted suicide, let us work toward a society where everyone has the opportunity to live a dignified life. Please vote no to legalizing assisted suicide. The disability community deserves better.

A wish to die is most often linked to loneliness and depression.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An Irish longitudinal study examined the wish to die (WTD) among 8174 patients who were over the age of 50. The study that was published in February 2021 followed the participants for 6 years and it determined that people who had a (WTD), almost three-quarters reported being lonely and 60% had clinically significant depressive symptoms. Other factors that led to a WTD was functional disability and chronic pain.

When the WTD was reassesed two year later, 72% of the people indicated that loneliness and depression had receeded, which re-affirmed previous studies that prove that a WTD fluctuates.

The study was conducted to inform legislators who were considering a bill to legalize euthanasia in Ireland. The study states:
In order to inform discussion around this complex issue (euthanasia and assisted suicide), this report examines the prevalence of WTD in a large population-representative sample of people aged ≥50 years. We specifically examine factors associated with WTD; the longitudinal course of WTD and the relationship between WTD and death.

The study found that 3.5% (279 out of 8174 participants) had indicated that they had a WTD within 30 days of the interview. Participants with a WTD were more likely to be female, separated or divorced, and were 7 times more likely to have depressive symptoms and four times more likely to have been previously diagnosed with depression than people without a WTD.

The wish to die fluctuates.

Since this is a longitudinal study, some participants were interviewed several times. 72% of the participants did not indicate a WTD two years after their first interview while 175 who did not indicate a WTD in the first interview did have a WTD two years later. A person who indicated a WTD at the first interview but then did not have a WTD two years later were much less likely to be lonely or to be experiencing depressive symptoms.

Clearly a WTD fluctuates and it is closely connected to loneliness and depressive symptoms.

The study also found that studies from other jurisdictions have similar results. A study from the Netherlands (2011) indicated that 3.4% of people aged 58 - 98, had a WTD which is nearly identical to the 3.5% in this study.

The study further examines the issues of loneliness and depression and stated:

WTD appears to be closely linked to loneliness and depressive symptoms. Almost three-quarters of participants with WTD also reported loneliness, while almost one fifth reported that they were lonely all the time. 60% of participants with WTD also had clinically significant depressive symptoms.

Importantly, only half of those with WTD and co-existing depressive symptoms report an established diagnosis of depression. Prior work has highlighted the potential burden of undiagnosed and therefore untreated population with depression within the TILDA cohort. It is not surprising therefore that less than one-sixth of those with WTD and co-existing depressive symptoms have accessed psychological or counselling services given this apparently high rate of undetected depression.

This last paragraph proves that most of the people who had a WTD and depressive symptoms that the depressive symptoms were nearly always undiagnosed and the person was not receiving treatment for their depressive symptoms.

Very few people who request euthanasia or assisted suicide are sent for a psychiatric evaluation. The Oregon 2020 report indicates that of the 370 people who received a prescription for a lethal assisted suicide drug cocktail, only three of them received a psychological or psychiatric evaluation. The Oregon 2019 report indicates that of the 290 people who received a prescription for a lethal assisted suicide drug cocktail, only one received a psychological or psychiatric evaluation.

This study proves that people with a wish to die are most often living with loneliness or experiencing depressive symptoms. The study also proves that most of the people who are experiencing depressive symptoms, that the depression is not diagnosed and the person is not receiving treatment for depression.

Finally the study re-affirms the conclusion of previous studies which proves that a wish to die fluctuates. I would encourage people who are interested in this topic to read the articles and studies by Dr Harvey Chochinov concerning Dignity Therapy and how the Wish to Die fluctuates.

Sadly many people who die by euthanasia or assisted suicide are experiencing a wish to die which is closely associated with loneliness and depression. Most of those who are experiencing depressive symptoms are not being treated for their condition and they are not sent for a psychological or psychiatric evaluation.

7 Spaniards who were euthanised last year donated their organs

This article was published by Bioedge on January 28, 2022.

By Michael Cook, Editor of Bioedge.

Well, that didn’t take long, did it?

Spain legalised euthanasia on June 25 last year and already transplant surgeons are using organs from euthanised patients. According to a report in the Spanish magazine Redaccíon Médica, 7 patients donated their organs – even though the government has still not release national guidelines for such procedures.

Why the rush?

The head of Spain’s National Transplant Organization (ONT), Beatriz Domínguez-Gil, said that the ONT “intuited” [sic] that some euthanasia patients would like to donate their organs. It quickly drafted some guidelines for transplant coordinators so that euthanasia donation could be “normalised” throughout the country.

Every case has to be treated very delicately, says Sra Domínguez-Gil. If a euthanasia patient wants to donate, he has to do it in a hospital setting, and not at home.

She emphasized that the decision to donate and to provide aid in dying must be “independent”. “Totally independent professionals participate. The provision of aid in dying is channeled and then the donation is considered,” she says.

No official figures have been released, but the ABC, a national newspaper estimated that about 50 people had been euthanised in 2021. To have persuaded 7 out of those 50 to donate their organs – 14% — is an amazing achievement.

Article: At least 50 Spanish euthanasia deaths in the first six months (Link).

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Compassionate Community Care February 5 Volunteer Being With Training Session

Being With Volunteer Training Session
Gain knowledge and confidence to journey with those who are suffering, socially isolated, sick, or dying. 

Kathy Matusiak Costa
Help to renew hope and purpose in life.

FREE Online Training – Live on Zoom!
Saturday February 5th from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST

You must register in advance by clicking on this link: (Registration Link).

Link to the poster for the February 5 training session (Poster link). 

Meeting capacity is limited to 100 participants.

Alex Schadenberg
With Kathy Matusiak Costa, Executive Director of Compassionate Community Care, and Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

You must register in advance by clicking on this link: (Registration Link).

The training session will give you information and knowledge for visiting people in your community.

Compassionate Community Care is a registered charity

Office tel. 519-439-6445 • •  

CCC Helpline: 1-855-675-874

Letter writing campaign supporting conscience rights.

Dear Friends:

On February 4, 2020; Kelly Block MP introduced Bill C-230: The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act.

Medical professionals, who refuse to participate in (MAiD) euthanasia or assisted suicide, are being required to refer their patients to a medical professional who will kill their patient.

Medical professionals who oppose MAiD need their conscience rights protected, not only for their sake, but for the sake of patients who want nothing to do with MAiD.

Sign the Petition to Kelly Block MP in support of Bill C-230 (Link).

Conscience rights have become more important after the passing of Bill C-7, last year, extending MAiD to people who are not terminally ill and people with mental illness.

Some medical professionals have moved to jurisdictions that protect conscience rights while others have retired from medicine, while others are saying that they would move to a jurisdiction that upholds conscience rights if they are forced to refer patients to death.

Doctors in Oregon, where assisted death has been legal for sometime, are not forced to refer their patients for an assisted death. Read: My personal story - The importance of trust between patient and doctor by an Oregon doctor.

We need you to write a letter about your concerns, fears or personal reaction to the attack on conscience rights for medical professionals.  
  • Are you concerned that you might be encouraged to die by assisted death when you are at a low time of your life?
  • Are you concerned that a friend or family member may die by assisted death, when they are at a low time of their life, even though they would normally not consider death by lethal dose?
  • Based on your health condition, do you fear subtle or overt pressure to assisted death?
  • Do you feel safer if your physician is not complicit with assisted death?
  • Do you believe that physicians conscience rights should be protected?
Other important points to consider:
  • Conscience rights for healthcare workers protect patients when they are living with depression and experiencing challenging health conditions.
  • Conscience rights provide health professionals with the legal and moral ability to provide caring options rather than killing their patient.
The letter needs to be simple and straight forward: 

(Sample Letter. Do not copy the sample letter it is only an example) 

To whom it may concern. 
I am concerned that with the extension of MAiD by Bill C-7 last year, that I may someday be subtly pressured to die a premature death. 
I need a physician who will not participate in MAiD, feel compelled to ask me if I want MAiD or refer me to my death when I am at a psychologically or emotionally low time of my life.
Please protect my right to have a physician who shares my values.
You must sign the letter with your addressyour phone number and your email address.

Mail or email your letter to your member of parliament  (List of Members of Parliament) or to your local newspaper.

Please send your letter to Kelly Block MP at:

If want the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition to publish your letter, send it to:

Links to excellent articles on conscience rights:
  1. Assisted suicide and conscience rights must be reconciled (Link).  
  2. Physicians should not be forced to make referrals for MAiD (Link). 
  3. Dr Leonie Herx: Without my conscience rights I cannot be a good physician for my patients (Link).
  4. Dr Ramona Coehlo speaks on conscience rights (Link).
  5. We are a nation of laws and conscience (Link).
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The public are being "scared" into supporting assisted suicide and euthanasia

Press release from: The Association of Palliative Medicine (UK)

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2022

The public are at risk of being “scared” into supporting assisted suicide and euthanasia, because of a handful of hard cases, exaggerated reporting, and a lack of accurate information about palliative care, warn end of life doctors.

The claims are contained in a new study from the Association of Palliative Medicine (APM), which surveyed its members at end of last year. The survey found high levels of concern among end-of-life doctors, who believe that there is too great a focus by some media on the “negative" and "traumatic" while ignoring "good palliative care and good deaths".

Asked, given the work you do, do you feel there has been enough press coverage of good deaths? nearly nine in 10, (87 per cent) answered No, while just one in 13, (7.5 per cent) said yes.

Given the opportunity to expand on their views one doctor added: 

 “I wish there would be a lot more publicity and promotion about all positive experiences of death and dying that occur across the country… Most of the time the bad ones hit the news and overshadow all the good work that's carried out by palliative care teams”, 

Another added: 

“There has been huge bias in reporting misery of deaths and less on good palliative care and good deaths”. While a third suggested the current campaign to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia was “generating fear”.

The survey found doctors were alarmed at common misconceptions about palliative care in the UK. Asked, would you say that some patients and families think you are already practising covert euthanasia?, two thirds, (67.62 per cent) answered yes definitely or yes probably. By contrast, fewer than one in five (16.8 per cent) answered probably not and just 8 per cent answered Definitely not.

A majority of APM members also believe that the combination of these factors are scaring the British public into supporting assisted suicide and euthanasia, which is unnecessary in a clinical context and would alter the nature of palliative care.

Dr Amy Proffitt
Dr Amy Proffitt, Chair of the APM commented: 

“As the representative body for doctors who provide palliative care in hospitals, hospices, primary care and other settings, our members are deeply concerned at the way a small section of the media has painted a grossly misleading picture of palliative care in this country. Stories about good deaths, available treatments and how to access end-of-life care are largely sacrificed in favour of those that focus on negative outcomes, which unfortunately are scaring vulnerable patients. This is then compounded by failing to ask why these issues occurred. For example, was the patient able to access all the services they needed? For any clinician, this is the obvious first question, because we know that around one in four people who would benefit from palliative care do not receive it.”

The APM is releasing the report ahead of an unprecedented vote in parliament later today, where a Conservative peer seeks to legalise assisted dying via an amendment to the Health and Care Bill.

Critics of the amendment including palliative doctors and disability rights groups have pointed to the dangers of changing the law and how it would represent a dramatic change to the way doctors and nurses treat and care for people. They point to examples in the US and Europe where safeguard have been eroded or ditched over time and where the so-called right to die become a duty to die. In the US State of Oregon, for example, six in ten (59 per cent) of those ending their lives in 2019 cited the fear of being a burden on their families, friends and caregivers as a reason for seeking death and a further 7.4 per cent cited financial worries. While in Canada, 1,400 people who were euthanised last year cited loneliness as a reason for their decision.  

Dr Proffitt continued: 

“The message from our member is clear and overwhelming. We must redouble our effort to engage with our patients about the benefits of palliative care and stop scaring vulnerable patients with isolated and misleading reports about slow, miserable painful deaths.”

The study concludes: 

“Based on the results of this survey, it is clear not only that palliative care clinicians do not want to participate in assisted suicide or euthanasia, but also that practitioners themselves remain uncertain as to what the reality of legalising assisted suicide would mean for them, their profession or for their patients…

“…There needs to be better awareness of how end-of-life care is delivered, which may begin with an improved media narrative. The legalisation of assisted suicide could be undermined significantly if patients were not being frightened by hard cases in the media, and instead understood that, in the majority of cases, good palliative care can facilitate a good death.”

For media inquiries, please contact Alistair Thompson on 07970 162225.


Editors Notes 

About the Association for Palliative Medicine

The APM is the world’s largest representative body for doctors practicing or interested in Palliative Medicine. We aim to ensure that no one need die in distress or discomfort for lack of access to adequate specialist palliative care.

About the survey

All APM members were emailed a link to an online survey. 274 practitioners responded. The majority (94 per cent) deliver care in an NHS setting, and 65 per cent have an NHS employment contract. Eight in 10 (77 per cent) deliver care in an independent setting, such as a hospice.

George Will pushes assisted suicide.

This article was published by National Review online on January 26, 2022.

Wesley Smith
By Wesley J Smith

In recent years, George Will has been writing columns on contentious cultural issues that have, to put it mildly, unpleasantly surprised many of his social-conservative admirers. Perhaps first and foremost among these was his coming out in 2015 as a believer in assisted suicide.

He’s now taken his relatively quiet support a step further, writing two recent columns for the Washington Post that not only boosted nationwide legalization but also sought to normalize suicide as a means of dying for the terminally ill.

Alas for the usually factually fastidious Will, much of what he has written in these columns is false or, at best, half-true. Perhaps even worse, the facts he omits prevent his readers from attaining a true understanding of breadth, depth, and scope of this radical and dangerous social agenda.

In one of his columns, Will peddles the false idea that legalized assisted suicide is limited to preventing an agonizing death. He writes:

Crucially, MAID [medical aid in dying] is for those who are already dying and want help for preventing a hideous death, not for truncating an unhappy life. MAID — the medical management of a natural process — should be considered a supplement to hospice (palliative) care.
Where to begin? First, people who commit assisted suicide are very rarely in intractable pain. Rather, the reasons usually involve fears of “being a burden,” worries about “losing dignity,” and the prospect of being unable “to engage in enjoyable activities.”

George Will
Don’t believe me? Just ask George Will. Here’s what he wrote when he endorsed assisted suicide in 2015:
The most common reason for requesting assistance in dying is not “intolerable physical suffering.” Rather, it is “existential suffering,” including “loss of meaning,” as from the ability to relate to others.
I guess he forgot.

In that column, Will claimed that such existential issues cannot be ameliorated. But that isn’t true. With proper care, love, and support, people can be helped to overcome despair and hopelessness, even as their lives are coming to an end. Just ask the many hospice and mental-health professionals who help dying people cope with these fears every day.

Second, no state law that allows physician-prescribed death requires patients to be in danger of a “hideous death.” For example, the Oregon Health Authority lists the criteria required to qualify for a lethal prescription under that state’s Death With Dignity Act:

To request a prescription for lethal medications, the DWDA requires that a patient must be:

  • An adult (18 years of age or older), 
  • A resident of Oregon,  
  • Capable (defined as able to make and communicate health care decisions), and 
  • Diagnosed with a terminal illness that will lead to death within six months.

That’s it. No untreatable pain, unrelievable anguish, or hideous end-of-life prospects required. And with the crass way assisted suicide is sometimes practiced these days, the entire process of obtaining the poison pills might happen impersonally via Zoom.

Not only that, but some people live well beyond expectations. Take the late humorist Art Buchwald. He entered hospice after being told he had weeks to live. But he didn’t die. He eventually left hospice care and wrote his last book — extolling hospice — before succumbing to his kidney disease almost a year later. Some patients don’t die from their “terminal” illness at all. A friend of mine was diagnosed as having three months to live with lung cancer more than 15 years ago. He’s not dead yet.

Nothing pushes assisted suicide like fear-mongering. That is why “hideous deaths” are raised like a bloody flag. Will does this in excruciating detail in his two columns. In one, he describes the god-awful experience a cancer patient named Chris Davis experienced with cancer pain. But that doesn’t seem to be — as Will describes the case — because Davis’s suffering couldn’t have been treated. Rather, it was because he was misdiagnosed and deprived of proper care.

Surely the way to ameliorate that kind of crisis is to improve end-of-life care, rather than allowing the same doctors who failed to properly treat a patient to “fix” the problem by assisting in a suicide. In this regard, a study was just released finding that the U.S. ranks 43rd out of 81 countries studied in providing good care at the end of life. Legalizing assisted suicide wouldn’t be a means of ending this travesty but of surrendering to it.

Will generally disdains sophistry. But not on this issue. Rather than call the process “physician-assisted suicide” — an accurate and descriptive term — he falls back on the pretense that it is not really “suicide” when terminally ill people kill themselves with the aid of a doctor, but “medical aid in dying.” He writes:

Suicide connotes despair and perhaps derangement. Dying is a facet of every life. An anticipated death, in the presence of loved ones, a death chosen after reflection about predictable, unavoidable pain, should not be proscribed by society’s laws or condemned by its mores.
The word “suicide” describes what was done — a self-killing — not why it was done. If one must hide a policy agenda behind deflecting euphemisms, there is probably something wrong with the agenda.

Will also supports what are sometimes called “suicide parties.” These are gatherings of friends and loved ones to pay a final goodbye to the soon-to-be departed before watching as the suicidal person consumes lethal drugs. Never mind that attending such a gathering makes one complicit in the suicide. It can also send the unintentional message that, “Yes, you are a burden,” “Yes, your life is not worth living,” “Yes, we will remember you better if you don’t cause us to suffer through your final days.” Sometimes, intended kindnesses can actually be cruel.

Finally, Will acknowledges the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide to the weak, vulnerable, and despairing, but sniffs, “Life is lived on a slippery slope.”

Sorry. That is just not good enough. Once suicide via euthanasia becomes an acceptable answer to human suffering — which is the fundamental principle underlying the right-to-die movement — there is virtually no limiting principle. Over time, as people get used to the death agenda, “protective guidelines” are redefined as “obstacles” to “death on your own terms.” And the laws loosen. Indeed, Will celebrates the ongoing relaxing of eligibility standards in states that have already legalized assisted suicide.

It’s even worse in cultures that more widely accept euthanasia than we do in America. In those places, the terminal-illness standard has been abandoned altogether. In Canada, euthanasia is now available for people with disabilities, the frail elderly, and those with chronic conditions. Patients with dementia and the mentally ill will also soon be able to access the lethal jab — as they already do in the Netherlands and Belgium. All three of these countries have made the utilitarian leap of conjoining lethal injections with organ harvesting. In Germany, there is now a fundamental right to commit suicide — and receive assistance — for any reason the suicidal person may want to die. No illness or pain required.

My recounting of these (what I consider to be) horrors — which is very partial — isn’t a slippery-slope argument. It’s an accurate depiction of facts already on the ground. Will needs to grapple with these truths if he is going to be an honest advocate.

Which brings us to the real question at hand. Should people have a fundamental right to be made dead — for whatever reason they think necessary to end suffering that they believe they cannot bear? Because — as Germany proves — planned or not, that is the logical destination of this movement.

This is the debate we should be having. Not one that hides behind the reassuring false premise that assisted suicide is only for the rare case of hideous deaths from terminal illness. Because it can’t be “just” that. It won’t be. It isn’t.