By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Senator Nancy Ruth and Senator Larry Campbell introduced Senate Private Bill S 225, a bill that legalizes euthanasia by lethal injection and assisted suicide by lethal prescription. This bill is based on the private members bills that were introduced by Stephen Fletcher MP earlier this year.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) welcomes an open debate that does not ignore the facts.
Canada has debated euthanasia and assisted suicide on many occasions with the most recent vote in parliament (April 2010) where bill C-384 was defeated by a vote of 228 to 59.
The language of Senate Bill S 225 is intentionally permissive. The bill is designed to protect physicians who act by lethally injecting or assisting the suicide of their patients. It is not designed to protect the patients.
- The bill specifically allows euthanasia and assisted suicide for people with disabilities.
- The bill allows euthanasia or assisted suicide for "psychological suffering." Psychological suffering is not defined.
- The bill is not limited to terminal illness.
- The bill requires the physician to self report the death after it has already occurred. This assumes that physicians will self-report abuse of the law. Since the patient is dead, when the act is reported, therefore no actual protection exists for the patient.