For Immediate Release
BC Supreme Court Decision to Legalize Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia, a Recipe for Elder Abuse that Threathens the Safety, Security and Equality of Canadians
Friday, June 15, 2012
The BC Supreme Court released its decision in Carter v. AG Canada today. The decision carves exceptions into the laws allowing Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in Canada.
The Federal Parliament of Canada recently considered legalization of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in a bill that came before the House in 2010. Bill C-384 was overwhelmingly defeated based upon concerns related to the prospect of the abuse of seniors, people with disabilities, the lack of an effective national suicide prevention strategy, and the lack of access to good palliative care in Canada.
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director Alex Schadenberg states:
Parliament’s overwhelming defeat of Bill C-384 months ago reflects that there has not been a change in social consensus since the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the case of Rodriguez v. AG BC in 1993.
Today’s court decision is fundamentally at odds with the will of Parliament as expressed just months ago and is fundamentally anti-democratic.
EPC is concerned about the safety, security and equality of people with disabilities and seniors which is central to the protections set out under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and our Criminal Code.
Most elder abuse is hidden from view – and if we can’t detect the abuse now, how are we going to do it when the stakes are raised? I have seen how easily influenced older people can be, and how inadequate are our national strategies against suicide. The present decision, which should be immediately appealed and corrected, is a huge step backwards, a blow to public safety, and would force changes in public policy which would do more harm than good.
Today’s decision would point Canada towards the Oregon assisted suicide regime, which has become notorious for its erosion of medical standards and abuse of psychiatry to rubber-stamp suicide requests. The wish to avoid Oregon’s mistakes has been reflected in over 100 rejections of assisted suicide by legislatures in North America and by medical associations around the world.
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition – Box 25033 – London, Ontario N6C 6A8 – 1-877-439-3348
For Immediate Release
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition speaks out Against Global News Attack on People With Disabilities
April 3, 2012
CNW/ – The 16 x 9 GLOBAL News edition “Taking Mercy” (March 16, 2012) is an affront to Canadians with disabilities and may be construed as hate speech under certain human rights laws, say Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of EPC and father of a child with a disability. The piece advocates the killing of people with disabilities with impunity.
The media piece was completely biased and unbalanced. No person with a disability and no person holding a different viewpoint was part of the broadcast, notes Schadenberg.
Those of us who live with disabilities could easily have shared hospital rooms, support services, classrooms or neighbourhoods with Tracy Latimer and other children like her who have been murdered by their parents, says Rhonda Wiebe of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities.
EPC Toronto lawyer Hugh Scher, a person with a disability stated:
The suggestion that people with disabilities including children are better off dead than disabled is chilling, but reflects a deep-rooted feeling of many people who view disability with fear and stigma and who are able to relate much better to a non-disabled parent than to a murdered child with a disability.
Scher adds that programs such as Taking Mercy undermine the dignity and equality of people with disabilities by suggesting that they are better off dead. Such a sentiment is deeply offensive to people with disabilities.
EPC calls upon Global TV and all media outlets to change practices in order to ensure fair and balanced broadcasting that includes the voices of people with disabilities and others who believe that they have lives that are worth living. EPC also asks Global for equal time for people with disabilities and their families to respond to the broadcast.
For further information:Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director: 519-439-3348 Hugh Scher, EPC Counsel: 416-816-6115 Rhonda Wiebe, Council for Canadians with Disabilities: 204-952-1514
For Immediate Release
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Granted Intervenor Standing In Bc Euthanasia And Assisted Suicide Trial
Thursday October 20 2011
BC Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith ordered that the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) and EPC – BC are granted standing to intervene in the euthanasia and assisted suicide case of Carter et al. v. Attorney General Canada which is presently scheduled for a four week trial to begin on November 14, 2011 in the BC Supreme Court. The case seeks to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide inCanada.
EPC Executive Director Alex Schadenberg states as follows:
“The decision granting our organization standing will enable us to represent our constituency of people with disabilities, seniors, healthcare practitioners and members of different cultural and religious backgrounds in order meet our mandate to preserve and enforce social, legal and medical safeguards prohibiting euthanasia and assisted suicide and promoting compassionate healthcare respectful of the lives, dignity and autonomy of vulnerable people.”
Schadenberg notes that:
“This issue was debated last year in the Canadian Parliament and consistent with earlier Senate Committee reports, Parliament rejected Bill C-384 overwhelmingly a bill which would have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.”
Opposition Justice Critic Joe Comartin states:
“The overwhelming defeat of Bill C384 reflects that there has not been a change in social consensus since the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the case of Rodriguez v. R in 1993.”
“One of the most significant concerns about legalization of assisted suicide and/or euthanasia relates to the inability to implement safeguards that could prevent the abuse of vulnerable people.”
“To the extent that safeguards have been implemented in other jurisdictions around the world where assisted suicide or euthanasia is legal, these safeguards have proven illusory and have failed to protect against the abuse of vulnerable people.”
EPC – BC Chair Dr. Will Johnston states:
“This case is entirely consistent with the earlier Supreme Court of Canada decision in Rodriguez v. AG BC where the Supreme Court of Canada decided that the criminal code prohibition against assisted suicide was constitutional and served as a valuable safeguard to protect vulnerable citizens from the risk of serious abuse.”
“EPC – BC has an important role to play in educating the public and the court about the significant safety, security and equality of seniors and people with disabilities in the context of the present legal challenge and will be at the court on the day that the trial begins.”
EPC Counsel Hugh Scher notes:
“Concerns about safety, security and equality of people with disabilities and seniors will be central to the arguments advanced by EPC before the court, as will concerns about medical ethics and the proposed change in the doctor-patient relationship.”
For further information, please contact:
Alex Schadenberg, EPC Executive Director: 519-851-1434
Dr. Will Johnston, EPC-BC Chair: 604-220-2042
Hugh Scher, EPC Counsel: 416-816-6115