By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The National Post published an editorial titled: National Post View - The slippery slope of assisted dying on September 8, 2015. The editorial focuses on the recent announcements in Québec concerning the proposed implementation of the euthanasia law that is scheduled to occur on December 10, 2015. The editorial first comments on Quebec euthanasia:
Up to now in Canada, euthanasia and assisted suicide have been ideas to be debated according to general principles. That phase is over, at least in Quebec, where Bill 52 legalizes euthanasia (euphemized as “medical aid in dying.”) With the program set to get under way in December, it is now about the nuts and bolts of the deed.
In preparation, the province’s college of physicians has issued kits to be made available to health professionals who will do the killing by lethal injection. In an interview with the National Post, college of physicians secretary, Dr. Yves Robert, was at pains to stress the fact that Bill 52 “is clearly not euthanasia on demand,” and that it will remain limited to mentally fit adult patients suffering from an incurable and irreversible late-stage illness.
The editorial then examines the assisted dying practice in other jurisdictions
... A great deal of research and reporting on those jurisdictions that permit euthanasia and/or assisted suicide suggest that the words “slippery slope” are more than mere alarmism, as proponents of euthanasia tend to insist. In every state or country in which the practice has been normalized, it has also, to some degree, become banalized, with eligibility criteria increasingly relaxed. Common patterns in all jurisdictions in Europe that allow euthanasia or assisted suicide show increasing numbers over time, and a shift from a focus on terminal cancer to other diseases, including psychiatric conditions (the Quebec law does not rule out intolerable psychological pain as a criterion). Supposed safeguards also decline in frequency.