TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) intervened in the BC assisted suicide case in order to uphold the principles of Parliamentary sovereignty and basic human rights. EPC is pleased that the Court has followed the lead of Canadian Parliament, the Supreme Court of Canada, and of the majority of Parliaments and Supreme Courts around the world in finding that the prohibitions against assisted suicide represent an important protection against abuse of vulnerable people.
EPC legal counsel Hugh Scher states:
EPC is concerned about the safety, security and equality of people with disabilities and seniors, which is central to the protections set out under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our Criminal Code.
EPC-BC chair Dr. William Johnston states:
The debate is over whether what the suicidal person proposes - to kill themselves - is a goal which should be shared and facilitated by the state. I suggest there are alternate goals like the treatment of depression and other symptoms, to which the state should apply itself. When someone has lost hope for the future, finds no meaning in their life, and sees only one solution - death - we recognize a suicidal depression. That bleak tunnel vision should evoke suicide prevention, not euthanasia.
Disability rights advocate Amy Hasbrouck of Toujours Vivant - Not Dead Yet states:
People with disabilities, chronic illness and seniors are negatively affected by assisted suicide and euthanasia because it leads to the impression that our lives are lacking in meaning and value as compared to other Canadians.
EPC Executive Director, Alex Schadenberg states:
The evidence is clear that in jurisdictions where these practices have been legalized, there have been significant abuses of vulnerable people. For example, studies in Belgium demonstrate that 32% of people killed under the Belgian law were killed without consent and without their own request, in breach of a fundamental condition of that law. Not one of these doctors has been prosecuted.
EPC will seek to intervene should this matter be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada with a view to protecting the dignity and equality of all Canadians, particularly those who are most vulnerable to the risks of abuse from assisted suicide.
SOURCE: Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
For further information:
Dr. William Johnston, (Vancouver) EPC-BC Chair: (604) 220-2042 - [email protected]
Hugh Scher, (Toronto) EPC Legal Counsel: (416) 816-6115 - [email protected]
Amy Hasbrouck, (Montreal) Toujours Vivant - Not Dead Yet: (450) 921-3057 - [email protected]
Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director: (519) 851-1434 - [email protected]