By Gudrun Schultz

  STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, March 1, 2007 ( – Safeguards around assisted suicide laws “inevitably” fail once the practice becomes established, said leading euthanasia opponent Rita Marker in an interview with Peter’s Voice columnist John Mallon, published in the February 2007 issue of Messenger of St. Anthony.

  The executive director of The International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, Rita Marker is the author of bestselling book Deadly Compassion: The Death of Ann Humphry and the Truth About Euthanasia. Mallon interviewed Marker on the topic of her recent report, Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide & Health Care Decision: Protecting Yourself & Your Family.

“People should recognize that if assisted suicide becomes a medical treatment, which it has in the state of Oregon, there is no way to maintain any of the so-called boundaries or so-called safeguards,” said Marker. “It is inevitable that if it becomes available it will be available for any reason or any purpose.”

“Right now they’re saying, “This is just for competent adults.” In fact, the first time there is a court challenge that will change. As for regulation, there is no way of verifying the numbers reported by the proponents. We do not know if those numbers are accurate or not. Certainly they are not going to say that they violated the law.”

  Despite requirements that doctors file reports and record any complications, Marker says there is no way to ensure the safeguards are carried out.

“They say, “Oh, there haven’t been any complications!” But it’s always important to remember that those carrying out the assisted suicides write those reports.”

“It would be like someone driving down a highway and the state decided that they would no longer have any law enforcement officers near the highway to see if people are driving within the speed limit. But if instead they said, “When you reach your destination, call us and tell us whether you broke the law.” It wouldn’t make any sense, and yet that’s exactly how the reports are coming out of Oregon. This is very important for people to realize, not only in the United States, but also across the world because Oregon is being used as the model for assisted suicide working well.”

  Marker said the first battle in introducing social engineering laws is always won or lost in the arena of language, a statement upheld by the tactics of the pro-death movement so far.

“No matter what is being proposed, the proponents always frame it in a way that would be the most appealing… It’s been said, and I think it’s very true, that verbal engineering precedes all social engineering and this certainly bears it out.”

  Euthanasia has overtaken assisted suicide in the countries where both practices are legalized, Marker said, since complications are much more likely to occur with assisted suicide.

“Oregon permits assisted suicide if the physician is the one who prescribes the deadly overdose. In the Netherlands and Belgium, both euthanasia by lethal injection and assisted suicide are legal but rarely is assisted suicide carried out in the Netherlands or in Belgium, because the death practitioners recognize there are complications —as they refer to them—convulsions, all kinds of problems—really unpleasant things happening after taking the overdose. Doctors are always there to give a lethal injection if necessary. So, from a legal standpoint those are the only places where, in fact, euthanasia and/or assisted suicide have been transformed into a medical treatment.”

  See coverage by Petersvoice:

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
  Oregon Switch to “Softer” Assisted Suicide Language Fueled by Efforts to Increase Public Support

  Dutch Oversight Authorities find Euthanasia on the Rise

  Euthanasia Rates Double in Belgium