This article was published in the Chatham Daily News on September 24, 2015.
When it comes to assisted suicide, the theory that the person whose life will be ended has the final say, is something Alex Schadenberg questions.
The executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Canada, based in London, will be in Chatham Oct. 14 to discuss the issue of assisted suicide during a presentation at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church from 7-9 p.m.
Schadenberg, who spoke with The Chatham Daily News while in Winnipeg, said he has been in demand as a speaker having recently been to New Hampshire, and has speaking engagements across the region.
He discusses the theory and reality of euthanasia.
“The theory is this is all about my personal choice, if I'm suffering, I should be able to die. It's all about what I want,” Schadenberg said.
“The reality is, it's not like that at all,” he added.
Schadenberg plans to discuss the findings of a study of all deaths, over six-month period in the area of Flanders in Belgium in 2013 – where euthanasia is legal – that was released in March.
Of the 3751 deaths that were examined in the study, Schadenberg said 4.6 per cent were by euthanasia, but added 1.7 per cent were “hastened deaths without request.”
He noted 4.6 per cent of the deaths in the study equals about 2,800 by euthanasia, but there were only 1,450 reported euthanasia deaths, meaning about 50 per cent went unreported.