By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
HOPE Ireland - Saying No to Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide held its inaugural conference before a "full-house" at the RDS Centre in Dublin. Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick told RTE news that: 'legalising assisted suicide would have catastrophic consequences.'
The RTE news reported that:
Director of the group, Kevin Fitzpatrick, warned that it was not possible to put enough safeguards into legislation to cover every aspect of human nature and human motivation.
Dr Fitzpatrick, who is partially paralysed and who uses a wheelchair, said that assisted suicide and euthanasia were discriminatory against disabled people, arguing that while doctors would not hesitate to treat able-bodied people with suicidal ideation, the same was not always true for the disabled or those with other conditions.
"Too many doctors look at someone like me, or someone with a progressive condition in a worse situation, and they say, "yeah, we can't blame you" [if you are feeling suicidal.]" Dr Fitzpatrick said.
He went on to say that such a response was based solely on the persons disability, and, he said, that was where the discrimination came in, and that such discrimination "leads to death".
Dr Fitzpatrick said that evidence showed that "once you open the door and legalise [euthanasia] things change dramatically," and that's what HOPE Ireland wants to prevent.
Conference speakers were from Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Australia including Alex Schadenberg and Amy Hasbrouck from Canada.