Alex Schadenberg


DWD newsletter accuses the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of lying

Alex Schadenberg

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

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Euthanasia in Canada: Letter writing campaign

Alex Schadenberg

The Québec euthanasia Bill 52 will be voted on very soon, possibly today (June 3). 

Steven Fletcher is busy promoting his private members bills to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear the Carter case on October 14. The Carter case seeks to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.

On June 2 the National Post published a page of letters, with the majority of the letters supporting euthanasia. This means that the euthanasia lobby asked their supporters to write letters.

To write a letter to the editor you need to keep your letter short and focused. Choose one topic to write about. We have provided a link to an example or to further information on that topic that you can access by clicking on the topic. Suggested topics: Euthanasia/Bill 52Euthanasia/Personal story, Euthanasia/Elder Abuse, Euthanasia/Medical Error, Euthanasia/Disability rights, Euthanasia/Palliative care, Euthanasia/Assisted suicide are not safe, Euthanasia/Belgium, Euthanasia/Netherlands, Assisted Suicide/Oregon, Assisted Suicide/Switzerland, etc.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) is asking you to write letters to the editor. This following list contains most major newspapers in Canada. It is of great benefit to also write letters to other local newspapers.

National Post:

The Globe and Mail: [email protected]

The Gazette: [email protected]

Le Journal de Montréal: [email protected]

La Presse: [email protected]

Le Soleil: [email protected]

Le Journal de Québec: [email protected]

Le Devoir: [email protected]

Journal Metro: [email protected]

Halifax Chronicle Herald: [email protected]

Ottawa Citizen: [email protected]

Toronto Star: [email protected]

Toronto Sun:

Hamilton Spectator: [email protected]

London Free Press: [email protected]

Winnipeg Free Press: [email protected]

Calgary Herald: [email protected]

Edmonton Journal: [email protected]

Vancouver Sun: [email protected]

Vancouver Province: [email protected]

Victoria Times Colonist: [email protected]

Resource articles for letter writing:

● Québec's euthanasia bill 52 is imprecise and open to abuse

● Euthanasia is not healthcare, it is lethal and it is not safe

● Legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide is not safe.

● Belgium euthanasia deaths increase by 26.8% in 2013.

● Netherlands 2012 euthanasia report.

● Oregon's 2013 assisted suicide report.

● Disability: Assisted suicide: Full of Dangers.

● Legalizing euthanasia threatens people with disabilities.

● Physician assisted suicide: A recipe for Elder Abuse.

● Medical error, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide.

● Swiss group to assist the suicides of healthy elderly people.

● Palliative care leaders oppose Québec euthanasia Bill 52

● Stephen Sutton lived everyday with dignity

● Euthanasia undermines protection in law for me.

Reprinted with permission from Alex Schadenberg

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Belgian euthanasia deaths increased by 26.8% in 2013

Alex Schadenberg

The 2013 Belgian euthanasia report indicates that the number of reported euthanasia deaths in Belgium increased by 26.8% in 2013 to 1816 reported deaths

Sign the EPC - Europe Petition demanding a moratorium on euthanasia in Belgium.

In 2012 the number of reported euthanasia deaths in Belgium increased by 25% to 1432 reported deaths

The Belgian euthanasia reports indicate that the number of reported euthanasia deaths continue to grow at a faster rate. In Belgium, there were 1133 reported euthanasia deaths in 2011 and 954 reported euthanasia deaths in 2010.

At the same time Belgium has recently extended euthanasia to children. The child euthanasia bill was passed after protests against the bill were held in Brussels and 160 Belgian Paediatricians denounced the child euthanasia bill.

Studies concerning the Belgian euthanasia law that were published in 2010, from the Flanders region of Belgium found that: 32% of all assisted deaths were done without request, 47% of all assisted deaths went unreported, and nurses were euthanizing patients even though the Belgian euthanasia law prohibits nurses from doing euthanasia. There has never been an attempted prosecution for abuses of the Belgian euthanasia law.

In Canada, the Quebec government should be very concerned about the practice of euthanasia in Belgium since they have based euthanasia Bill 52 on the Belgian euthanasia law.

In January, the Belgian media reported that a euthanasia doctor admitted to not reporting his euthanasia deaths. The article confirms that many euthanasia deaths in Belgium are not reported and the actual number of euthanasia deaths is much higher than 1816.

In February, Dr. Tom Mortier launched an official complaint against the doctor who euthanized his healthy mother who was living with depression. Mortier questioned:

"how it is possible for euthanasia to be performed on physically healthy people"

In April 2014, a 20-year-old Belgian woman, named Margot, launched a second official complaint against the same euthanasia doctor in response to the euthanasia death of her 47-year-old mother who was physically healthy but living with depression. Margot asked

"How could someone who has not even received treatment for depression, get euthanasia?"

There are also serious questions being asked concerning the purpose and effectiveness of the Belgian euthanasia control and evaluation committee. The President of this committee is the leading euthanasia doctor in Belgium who also operates a euthanasia clinic with half of the membership of the committee composed of members of the euthanasia lobby.

In November 2013, I debated Dr. Jan Bernheim, one of the pioneers of the Belgian euthanasia law. During the debate in Brussels I quoted from the earlier studies showing that euthanasia deaths were occurring without request, that euthanasia deaths were not being reported and that nurses were ignoring the law and euthanizing their patients. Bernheim responded to those statements by saying:

"There are problems with the Belgian euthanasia law."

I responded by saying:

"That is cold comfort for the dead."

The safeguards and controls in the Belgian euthanasia law do not work. The Belgian government needs to establish a moratorium on its euthanasia program and re-evaluate its euthanasia law, or the number of euthanasia deaths will continue to grow exponentially.

Reprinted with permission from Alex Schadenberg's blog.

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Medical error, euthanasia and assisted suicide

Alex Schadenberg

A power point presentation developed by Christine Koczmara RN BSc and Cathy Isman RN(CPN) (C) for the Institute for Safe Medication Practices states that it was estimated in 1999 that 98,000 Americans die every year from preventable medical mistakes which is almost equal to the number of combined yearly deaths from Car Accidents, Breast Cancer, and Aids (Link).

A Canadian study from 2004 found that 7.5% of patients in Canadian hospitals are harmed from their care, 37% of the adverse events were preventable and more than 9250 Canadians died every year from medical errors (Link).

The same power point presentation estimated that only 3% – 6% of all medical errors are reported (Link).

In April 2013, Pietro D’Amico (62) from Calabria Italy died at the Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland after receiving a wrong diagnosis. Many medical errors will lead to negative health conditions, some medical errors will lead to death, assisted suicide always leads to death (Link).

In July 2013, a Swiss regional court found Dr. Philippe Freiburghaus guilty of assisting a suicide without properly diagnosing his patient. On April 23, 2014, the Swiss court of appeal overturned the conviction of Freiburghaus (Link).

In September 2013, Nancy Verhelst asked to die by euthanasia in Belgium after experiencing a “botched” sex change operation (Link).

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

Statistics from Belgium indicate that up to 32% of all assisted deaths are done without explicit request (Link) and up to 47% of all assisted deaths go unreported (Link). In the Netherlands the rate of assisted death without explicit request is lower than in Belgium and the rate of unreported assisted deaths is 23% (Link).

Since acts of assisted death cause the direct and intentional death of the person, and since the “safeguards” that are designed to protect patients, in the law, are not followed, can legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide ever be safe?

Considering the problem of medical error, the reality that human beings fail, the reality that many physicians have been taught to believe that certain human lives are not worth living (Quality of Life) and considering the regularity of medical error and the reality, can legalizing euthanasia or assisted suicide ever be safe?

These facts and many more speak for themselves.

Reprinted with permission from Alex Schadenberg

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