Alex Schadenberg


Euthanasia bill defeated in South Australia, euthanasia lobby suggests another bill next year

Alex Schadenberg

The Parnell/Key euthanasia bill was defeated in the South Australian legislature on Wednesday, November 24, by the voice vote. Parnell pulled the bill from receiving a final vote but admitted that the bill was probably going to be defeated by a vote of 12 to 9.

After the bill was defeated it was suggested that another bill will be brought before the legislature next year.

This is a significant victory.

Last year a similar bill was defeated by a vote of 11 to 9. Since then, South Australia had elections that resulted in 3 of the 11 members who opposed euthanasia being defeated. It was significant that two more Liberal members moved to oppose the bill.

An article by Michael Cook stated:

  • Liberal Jing Lee, a swinging voter, was not convinced either. “There are many problems with this Bill,” she said. “What I am afraid of is voluntary euthanasia will inevitably mean in some cases involuntary euthanasia.”

    Family First MLC Dennis Hood argued that the bill had too many loopholes. He claimed that it allowed euthanasia for patients without a terminal illness and allowed people to take out life insurance policies shortly before undergoing euthanasia. Referral to psychiatrists was only optional in the bill and the proposed Voluntary Euthanasia Board was “toothless”. “This was a dangerous proposal and I’m glad it is off the table now so that we can get on with serious business for South Australia,” said Mr Hood.

  • An article by Sarah Martin that was published in Adelaide Now stated:

  • The Bill, prepared by Greens MLC Mark Parnell and ALP backbencher Steph Key, was defeated “on the voices” and did not go to a vote after debate indicated it would be defeated.

    Mr Parnell said some key members had expressed in-principle support for voluntary euthanasia which had “left the door open” for future legislation.

    “Of course we are disappointed the Bill didn’t pass the Upper House last night, but this by no means is the end of the debate,” he said.

    “The Bill Steph Key and I have introduced is still very much alive in the Lower House (and) it’s time for the Lower House to start doing some heavy lifting on this issue.”

    The debate lasted several hours, with about 12 members indicating they would vote against the Bill.

    Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke said the defeat of the Bill was a “significant setback”.

    “Unless there are some lessons learnt from this experience and changes made, it is hard to hold out much hope for the voluntary euthanasia legislation to be presented to the SA Lower House next year.”

  • The group HOPE (saying no to euthanasia) needs to be congratulated for the defeat of the bill. HOPE organized an effective opposition and lobbying campaign to defeat the bill.

    Thank you to Paul Russell and the team at HOPE.

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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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