By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
A recent article by Stuart Chambers that was published on January 5 in the Ottawa Citizen claims that:
It was a bitter pill to swallow for secular prohibitionists when large-scale abuses against vulnerable populations failed to materialize in those jurisdictions.
Chambers argues that there is only anecdotal abuse of euthanasia and assisted suicide and only religious arguments oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide ignoring the disability rights movement and the position of Not Dead Yet.
Chambers ignores the data from study that was published in the NEJM on March 19, 2015 on the experience with euthanasia in the Flanders region of Belgium.
The study examined 3751 deaths in the first six months of 2013 in the Flanders region of Belgium and concluded that 1.7% of all deaths were hastened without request representing more than 1000 deaths yearly. The study also determined that euthanasia represents 4.6% of all deaths but the official Belgian reports indicate that euthanasia represents 2.4% of all deaths, meaning that almost half of all assisted deaths went unreported, a clear abuse of the Belgian law.
Chambers also ignored the data concerning the Washington State assisted suicide law.
The 2014 Washington State assisted suicide report states that 176 lethal prescriptions were received, 126 people died by assisted suicide, 17 deaths were from other causes, 6 people remained alive and 27 deaths were from unknown causes. The report states that the ingestion status of the 27 deaths from unknown causes is unknown and the lethal prescription is unaccounted. What kind of oversight is that?
For the purpose of brevity, this article only examines a few key points. It should be a bitter pill to swallow for Chambers that my response did not require anecdotal evidence.