In the June 2012 edition of the Dying with Dignity newsletter (p.10), Wanda Morris, the executive director of Dying with Dignity states that EPC bases its arguments on Lies, Damn Lies and fear mongering.

Morris ought to look in the mirror when she accuses EPC of lying or fear mongering.

When I debated Morris in Saskatoon, she gave a false explanation of the Nancy B case in 1992. She didn’t know that the case was a respirator case and that Nancy B had Guillan Barre Syndrome. As for Fear Mongering, Morris based her arguments on stories of people who suffered terrible deaths and inferred that people have two choices, legalizing assisted suicide or dying with pain and suffering. This is a false equation. Further to that, she constantly referred to people who oppose euthanasia and assisted suicides as religious. (I guess it is easier to label the opponent than to debate the opponent).

She spoke about a farmer who blew his head off with a gun and other horrific stories.

Further to that, when I was explaining the results of a study that concluded that 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium were without request or consent, she stated that this was my study. I responded that the study was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal - May 2010.

I knew that I was doing well in the debate when Morris stated that I lacked compassion because I opposed euthanasia and assisted suicide in all circumstances. Low blow Wanda, too bad it proved to the audience that you were getting desperate.

Morris wasn’t attempting to debate me, but rather she was trying to scare the audience with her horrific stories knowing that most Canadians who support euthanasia and assisted suicide do so out of fear of suffering. She claims that EPC focuses on fear-mongering and not facts. During the debate she was nearly crying while reading one of her stories and she had few facts to share with the audience.

Morris states in the June 2012 DWD newsletter:

“Or take the case of the EPC’s Alex Schadenberg in a guest editorial to the National Post. For example, he described how certain individuals had been assisted to die without their consent in the Netherlands. He failed to disclose that the percentage of deaths without consent in The Netherlands had actually gone down since legalization and was significantly lower than countries such as New Zealand and Australia, which did not have legalized assistance to die. Don’t newspapers have to check the truth of what they publish, even if in a guest editorial?” (Sorry for the grammatical errors, I was copying her comment word for word).

Did I lie in my article that was published in the National Post?

My article in the National Post did not refer to the deaths without request or consent statistics in the Netherlands which indicate that there were 950 deaths without request or consent in 2001, 550 deaths without request or consent in 2005 and 310 deaths without request or consent in 2010.

My article referred to the Belgium statistics that conclude that 32% of all euthanasia deaths in the Flanders region of Belgium are without request or consent.

I did refer to a study from the Netherlands that was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that concluded that people with a depressed mood were 4.1 times more likely to request euthanasia. The depression study from the Netherlands did not reference the issue of deaths without request or consent.

I guess it is Morris that is lying in her newsletter or maybe she responded to my article without reading it, such as her comment about Nancy B in the Saskatoon debate.

I could go on, but what is most galling is her reference to Professor Margaret Pabst-Battin, a long-time euthanasia advocate who published a false study in 2007 concerning safeguards in the Netherlands and in Oregon.

Morris states in the June 2012 DWD newsletter:

Professor Margaret Pabst-Battin led a team of researchers that looked in detail at the deaths in both these jurisdictions (Netherlands and Oregon) and concluded that the safeguards are indeed working. There will always be polarized views on both sides of the discussion - what we can and must do is educate the neutrals about facts - not overblown fears. We will continue to do so.

DWD and Wanda Morris need to stick to the facts. Their tactics are to find the most extreme and emotionally upsetting stories, to deny the facts about what is occurring in the jurisdictions where it is legal, to deny the reality of how legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide can result in the death of others, such as people who are: depressed, social devalued, victims of elder abuse, etc.

They then accuse us of lying. Morris needs to look into the mirror and she needs to be very careful with making false and misleading statements about EPC and others.

P.S. - The only religious zealot that debated in Saskatoon was Morris. I did not bring up any issues related to faith or ethics, I only debated the facts