Euthanasia for depression to be debated in Canada

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Tara Brousseau-Snider

Tara Brousseau-Snider

Canada's parliament will soon debate whether to euthanasia should be permitted for psychological suffering. 

The Supreme Court of Canada, on February 6, struck down Canada's assisted suicide lawand used language that permits euthanasia. The Supreme Court did not define the terminology but it stated that an assisted death could be permitted for someone who has irremediable pain caused by physical orpsychological suffering.

CBC Manitoba reported on an unnamed Winnipeg woman who pushing the issue by requesting a euthanasia based on psychological suffering. Tara Brousseau-Snider, executive director of the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba stated that woman who wants euthanasia said: "If it was in place, they'd apply for it."

Brousseau-Snide told CBC Manitoba that she is concerned about a law permitting euthanasia for depressed people.

Link to the full article

Important 2015 articles concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide

There were many important articles concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide in 2015. 

These are the 10 most popular articles with five more important articles from 2015.

1. June 24, EPC told the world about “Laura” a healthy 24-year-old Belgian woman who is living with suicidal ideation and was approved for euthanasia by the psychiatrist at the euthanasia clinic (Link to the article).

2. July 8 EPC launched – A Letter of Hope to Laura (Link to the article).

3. Nov 12, we learned that Laura is actually Emily, and Emily has decided to live (Link to the article).

4. Feb 6, the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s assisted suicide law. EPC explained the irresponsible and dangerous Supreme Court decision (Link to the article).

5. EPC urged its supporters to oppose the Supreme Court assisted suicide decision (Link to the article).

6. EPC then launched a letter-writing campaign to oppose the Supreme Court assisted suicide decision (Link to the article).

7. Sept 17, EPC launched a campaign urging California Governor Jerry Brown to veto the assisted suicide bill (Link to the article).

8. Aug 10, Dr Jacqueline Harvey wrote about the Subversive Strategies to Sell Assisted Suicide (Link to the article).

9. July 28, EPC urged its supporters to participate in the Federal government consultation on legislative options for assisted dying (Link to the article).

10. Feb 10, EPC had a victory at the BC Court of Appeal in the “Spoon Feeding” case (Link to the article).

More important articles.

Belgium: Experts call for the removal of euthanasia on the grounds of psychological suffering

This week 65 Belgian professors, psychologists and psychiatrists signed the open letter below. It has been translated from the Flemish version published in De Morgen and informed by the translation by Trodo Lemmens.

Open letter: Death as therapy?

Remove euthanasia on the ground of purely psychological suffering from the law

Ariane Bazan (clinical psychologist, Free University of Brussels), Gertrudis Van de Vijver (philosopher, University of Ghent) and Willlem Lemmens (ethicist, University of Antwerp) wrote this open letter on behalf of 65 professors, psychiatrists and psychologists.

8 December 2015

We, representatives of various relevant occupational groups, are alarmed about the increasing trivializing of euthanasia on the ground of psychological suffering only.

For the first time since the law was put into effect in 2002, a decision to allow euthanasia – the case of Dr Marc Van Hoey – has been challenged by the evaluation committee and forwarded to the judiciary. The Australian broadcaster SBS made a documentary about this euthanasia case and the conversations between the patient and the doctor. The Economist also published a poignant video report (24 and Ready to Die) on a 24-year-old young lady from Bruges who was granted euthanasia on grounds of psychological suffering, but ultimately declined its execution.


In our open letter in the Artsenkrant “Doctors’ Newspaper” (September 2015) we noted the legal uncertainty of a doctor approving euthanasia based solely on psychological suffering. In this opinion piece we want to draw attention to its specific problematic character, and in particular the fact that it’s impossible to objectify the hopelessness of psychological suffering.

Link to the full article

Emily "Laura" is a healthy 24 year-old who was approved to die by euthanasia in Belgium. Emily has chosen to live

By Alex Schadenberg, International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Economist released a video on November 10 concerning Emily, a 24 year-old physically healthy woman who was approved for euthanasia for the reason of psychological suffering. The video is titled 24 & ready to die.
The 21 minute video (bottom of article) interviews Emily, her psychiatrist, her mother, and her friends. The video ends with Emily deciding not to go through with the lethal injection. 

It seems that the Economist was producing a pro-euthanasia video to justify Emily's death by euthanasia except that Emily changed her mind. The video concludes by trying to sell the viewers on the concept that Emily chooses not to die because she has a choice. In reality legal euthanasia has enabled death to be seen as a treatment for psychological pain, enabling her to die by lethal injection.

The greater question is how come Emily was approved for euthanasia? According to the law, a psychological reasons only when the person is experiencing unremitting suffering.

We first learned about Emily on June 19 in an article by Simone Maas that was published in the Belgian DeMorgen news explaining that psychiatrist, Dr Lieve Thienpont, who works with the Belgian euthanasia clinic, had approved "Laura" for euthanasia. "Laura" was the name that Thienpont used to describe Emily. The article states that Laura is physically healthy but living with psychological pain.

Link to the full article

Belgium's sad assisted suicide path

Published by OneNewsNow on July 22.

By Charlie Butts

An expert on the subject contends that Belgium provides ample evidence of the room to abuse euthanasia and assisted suicide after it is legalized.

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg

Sign the letter of Hope to Laura.

One case in question is a 24-year-old woman in Belgium who has received permission to have her doctor kill her this summer. The reason is that she has experienced suicidal thoughts since childhood. Alex Schadenberg of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition International tells OneNewsNow that although her disorder is treatable, she decided to request suicide for another reason.

“In fact, you have the sad reality of a woman who has been suffering with suicidal thoughts, but at the same time she had a friend who also died by euthanasia,” he says. “You put the two together and [can see that] she's seeking to follow that same sad path. What she needs is someone who really wants to support her, who is going to journey with her, who is going to give her good counseling and support. She doesn't need death.”

He says that's how far down the path to a death mentality Belgium has gone, offering a lethal injection for someone who has treatable depression.

“Once you allow killing for one reason, there are many reasons people might want to die,” he says. “The only question is what are we going to say yes or no to, and in Belgium they've gone far down that road. It is better never to enter that road.”

Schadenberg says that's a warning not only to the United States but also to Canada, where doctor-assisted suicide was legalized this year by Supreme Court edict.

A Letter of Hope to Laura

SignA Letter of Hope to Laura.

A healthy 24-year-old Belgian woman, known only as "Laura" has been scheduled to die by euthanasia based on her psychological pain. 

Laura has been living with suicidal thoughts for many years.

Laura's story has received more response than any previous story of a person seeking a lethal death. (Link to her story).

A Letter of Hope to Laura

Dear Laura:

Since we first read your story on June 19 in a Belgian newspaper, our hearts have been broken over the prospect of your impending death by lethal injection.

We have received many messages from people who want to contact you to share their story of living through similar psychological pain. These messages told us of their experience with suicidal thoughts and how they also wanted to die. These people also shared their stories of hope and of how they lived through the suffering and have found happiness in living.

They expressed how your story was a reflection of their story.

They want you to live. We want you to live.

At this moment, your life may seem dark and without a future, but we want you to know that there is help and there are people who want to care for you.

Everyone who has signed this letter wants you to know that they care about you. They also want you to know that your death may shatter the hope that many others, who suffer like you, are seeking.

We, the undersigned, ask you "Laura" to choose to live and by living you offer hope to others.

Alex Schadenberg
International Chair, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

SignA Letter of Hope to Laura

Healthy 24-year-old woman to be euthanised in Belgium - Update

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg

Alex Schadenberg, International Chair - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The Belgian euthanasia insanity continues with the case of a 24-year-old healthy woman (Laura) who will die by euthanasia this summer for psychological reasons, now the Inquisitr has provided more information on this horrific story.

The June 19 DeMorgen article by Simone Maas explains (google translated):

She has good friends, loves good coffee and theater. And she has felt that she wanted to die ever since childhood. Laura (24): "Life, that's not for me." This summer, euthanasia will end her life full of inner conflict, depression and self-destruction. 
I met the West Flemish Laura at the presentation of the book 'Libera me' euthanasia for psychological reasons. Writer Lieve Thienpont is one of the psychiatrists who gave Laura a positive opinion for euthanasia.

Today the Inquisitr published an interview with Laura that explains the story in an even more shocking manner. According to the Inquisitr, Laura experiences suicidal thoughts, otherwise known as suicidal ideation.

Laura, a 24-year-old woman is planning on dying this summer via euthanasia. Unlike many cases before, Laura is not sick with cancer or dying. She simply has had suicidal thoughts since childhood and claims, “Life, that’s not for me.”

Laura claims that she has been living with suicidal ideation since kindergarten.
The medical news defines suicidal ideation as:

Suicidal thoughts, also known as suicidal ideation are thoughts about how to kill oneself, which can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration and does not include the final act of killing oneself. The majority of people who experience suicidal ideation do not carry it through.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts contact Your Life Counts.

According to the Medical news suicidal ideation can be triggered by other suicides.

Link to the full article