It is impossible for any government to draft assisted suicide laws which include legal protection from future extension and expansion of those laws. Canada has clearly demonstrated that safeguards can be eroded in a matter of just five years. The prohibition of killing is the safeguard. The current law is the protection for the vulnerable. Any change would threaten society’s ability to safeguard vulnerable patients from abuse, it would undermine the trust the public places in physicians, and it would send a clear message to our frail, elderly and disabled patients about the value that society places on them as people.
“Far from one person’s decision affecting no one else, it affects us all. Some patients may never consider assisted suicide unless it is suggested to them. The cruel irony of this path is that legislation introduced with the good intention of enhancing patient choice will diminish the choices of the most vulnerable.
“More than 1 in 60 deaths in Belgium occurred with no consent from the patient – those in coma, confused, or the elderly are euthanised because their lives are considered not ‘worth living’.