Response by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) to the Quebec government plan to legalize euthanasia through the back-door

TORONTO, June 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The Quebec government seems intent on decriminalizing euthanasia through the back door. If Quebec goes through with this, it will affect all of Canada.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) is a national coalition of groups and individuals who oppose killing through euthanasia while supporting measures that improve the care and protection of everyone.

Euthanasia is not a progressive idea, but rather the abandonment of people at the most vulnerable time of their life.

Constitutional Lawyer and EPC Legal Counsel, Hugh Scher stated: "Euthanasia is regulated in the Criminal Code as a form of homicide. Euthanasia is a direct and intentional act to cause the death of another person. Euthanasia is not healthcare."

Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of EPC recognizes that:

"When euthanasia is legal abuse will happen. In Belgium, where euthanasia was legalized in 2002, a recent study found that 32% of all assisted deaths were done without consent. Quebec's proposed list of "safeguards" mirror those within the Belgian legislation."

Amy Hasbrouck, the leader of the disability rights group Toujours Vivant-Not Dead Yet stated that: "People with disabilities, elderly people who are dependent on others, people living with chronic depression, among others, are medically vulnerable. Prohibiting euthanasia is an effective way to prevent the abuse of people with disabilities and elder abuse."

The Quebec government needs to withdraw its plan to legalize euthanasia through the back-door and to renew its commitment to improving end-of-life care and the care of other vulnerable citizens and to commit to prevention of elder abuse and the abuse of people with disabilities.

SOURCE: Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Ontario

For further information:

Hugh Scher, Constitutional Lawyer & EPC legal counsel, Toronto, (French & English): 416-816-6115

Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, London, (English): 519-851-1434 or

Amy Hasbrouck, Montreal, (French & English): 450-921-3057

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Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of Ontario

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