elderly personA letter writer to the Ottawa Citizen approved of Steven Fletcher’s bills which would legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. Many persons with disabilities fear and reject these practices. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities has spoken out against Mr. Fletcher’s bills.
Whether euthanasia or assisted suicide, safeguards will not protect the vulnerable. In Belgium and Holland where euthanasia is legal, studies show that patients have been euthanized without consent or explicit request. Oregon law allows assisted suicide where the physician provides a prescription for a lethal dose for the patient. Patients Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup received letters from the Oregon Health Plan refusing to pay for cancer drugs  and offering palliative care or assisted suicide instead. Both were distressed by the refusal to cover the medications and the offer of assisted suicide.
So when the letter writer mentions the financial costs of delivering health care to the very elderly who would prefer “assisted dying” instead, Canadians should take notice.  Killing the patient by lethal injection or providing a prescription for a lethal dose of drugs is less costly but it is not health care nor is it death with dignity. The fear of being a burden and economic pressures are a dangerous mix.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide provide neither compassion nor mercy.
Photo shared from American Life League