By Gudrun Schultz

OTTAWA, Ontario, January 19, 2006 ( – The Bloc Quebecois, Quebec’s Nationalist party, has openly declared itself in favor of assisted suicide.

In a letter to Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, party spokesperson Nadine Charbonneau stated clearly the Bloc’s position.

“In our view, everyone has the right to make decisions about the health care they want to receive, and to expect that their decisions about their own body will be carried out,” said Ms. Charbonneau. “People should be able to choose freely to die if it is clear to them that they no longer have any quality of life and that their suffering has become intolerable.”

Ms. Charbonneau said Canadians have a “moral obligation” to respect the decision of those who decide that loss of independence and control have led to an “unacceptable” loss of dignity.

Mr. Schadenberg told LifeSiteNews he is disappointed with the Bloc’s narrow understanding of independence and control.

“The nature of the human person does not allow one to have total independence. In fact we are interdependant beings,” said Mr. Schadenberg. ” We need a society, a structure and others to exist as persons. “

“The nature of disability and vulnerability of persons when they are sick or nearing death negates the concept of control. This is a time when people often become depressed and become easily influenced by subtle suggestion. To allow euthanasia and assisted suicide leads to the abuse of the most vulnerable of our citizens. People need protection from others and sometimes even from themselves.”

Although the Bloc suggests that loss of dignity is the primary motivation of people seeking to end their life, in fact, records show that many people who consider assisted suicide say it is a fear of being a burden to their families that motivates them, not loss of personal dignity.

The Bloc states that legalized assisted suicide would prevent the “horrible suffering” of failed attempts at secret assisted suicide. However, annual records of physician-assisted deaths in Oregon (the only US state to legalize euthanasia) show that a significant percentage of doctor-assisted suicides result in initial failure. The Oregon-based group Physicians for Compassionate Care, which opposes assisted suicide, says the number may be as high as 20 %.

Legalized euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium has led to appalling numbers of deaths imposed by medical practitioners without consent, under a system that makes regulation almost impossible.

There is clear evidence from the Netherlands that at least one thousand patients including children and newborn babies are being killed every year without their consent and/or against their will.

“People who are vulnerable are not likely to be protected by any type of safeguard and people with disabilities already experience negative attitudes to their very existence,” said Mr. Schadenberg. “It is not inconceivable to recognize that vulnerable Canadians need the law to protect them.”

Although the Bloc states that 75% of all Canadians support euthanasia, a poll conducted by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition in March 2005 says the number is much lower at 45%.

See the full text of the Bloc letter at

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide