‘Declaration of Hope’ petition launched to oppose Quebec euthanasia legislation
QUEBEC, January 30, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In response to the push by the Quebec government to legalize euthanasia, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, in conjunction with HOPE Australia, has launched the "Declaration of Hope." The groups hope the declaration will be a means to build opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide, and to promote positive responses to the real human dilemmas that lead people to consider euthanasia.
"Euthanasia, which is the intentional killing of people, for the reason of ending suffering, is a form of homicide and it should always be rejected. Killing a human being is never an acceptable solution to human difficulties," said Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director Alex Schadenberg.
"We are concerned about the care that every Canadian receives," Schadenberg said, "but our response is one of Hope and not the despair that leads to thoughts of euthanasia and assisted suicide."
The Quebec government has said it will move to legalize “medical aid in dying” before the summer after a panel of legal experts issued a 400-page report arguing that the province can circumvent the federal Criminal Code, which bans the practice.
“The Quebec legislature has the constitutional power to organize the required legal framework for end-of-life care within the health-care system,” the report reads.
Schadenberg said that lessons can be drawn from the Belgian implementation of legal euthanasia, where, despite claims of strict safeguards, studies have found that 32% of euthanasia deaths are carried out without the patients’ explicit request, and that 47% of euthanasia deaths are not reported as euthanasia at all.
Schadenberg said that the Declaration of Hope initiative will focus on urging Canadian governments at both the federal and provincial levels to work to improve palliative and chronic care services, suicide prevention programs, elder abuse prevention programs, and to establish positive responses to issues related to disability, as well as to uphold the laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide.
"The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is urging everyone to Sign the Declaration of Hope to build a united voice against euthanasia and assisted suicide and to support caring alternatives to killing," Schadenberg concluded.
The Declaration of Hope petition is available here.
For more information on the Declaration of Hope project visit the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition website.