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Physician assisted suicide

Recent developments outside U.S. & UK

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Recent developments in Oregon, elsewhere in the U.S. and in the UK are listed elsewhere on this web site.

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Recent developments elsewhere:

bullet2002-NOV-28: Canada: Poll shows majority in favor of physician assisted suicide: A Canadian polling firm, COMPAS, conducted a poll from 2002-NOV-16 to 19, asking Canadians a variety of questions, ranging from abortion access to the legalization of prostitution. Physician assisted suicide is supported by 55% of Canadian adults; it is opposed by 36%. Will Johnston, a Vancouver family physician and co-chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition said that he is "appalled by this new evidence" that the public favors assisted suicide. He said: "To ask 'should you allow something', no matter what it is, sounds like an appeal to freedom. In this case, the freedom is to be in danger from the medical system instead of to be guaranteed the medical system's best attempt at helping a terminal illness." Robert Buckman, a University of Toronto medical doctor said that the public is turning to favor mercy killing and will likely reach 80% approval within a decade. He said: "I think the change in law will happen when it is consistently 80% to 90% of the public who say we want to see this happen and we want it safe and humane." 2
bullet2002-DEC-24: Netherlands: Physician found guilty in Netherlands: A Dutch doctor helped his patient, former senator Edward Brongersma, commit suicide in 1998. Brongersma had suffered from incontinence, dizziness and immobility and said he was tired of life. Under Dutch law, a patient must face a future of intolerable suffering before he can request mercy killing. The highest court in the Netherlands ruled: "The question in this case was whether euthanasia is justified also in circumstances where a patient is tired of life." They concluded that the euthanasia law had not been intended for such situations, unless the patient is also in intolerable pain. The Dutch Medical Federation (KNMG) said there had been a great deal of debate in the Netherlands about cases in which patients were tired of life, and simply wanted to die. Their statement read, in part: "In practice, this is a gray area and in many cases it its not clear into which category a euthanasia request should be classified." They concluded that the court's decision had not clarified that point. 3
bullet2005-JUN-15: Canada: Physician assisted suicide bill introduced: Francine Lalonde, a Member of Parliament from the Bloc Quebecois -- a separatist political party -- introduced Bill C-407 into the House of Commons. More details.

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References:

  1. Jim Rudd, "National Right to Life's Deception," at: http://covenantnews.com/rudd020701.htm
  2. "78% favour abortion rights: Poll shows support touching its all-time high," National Post, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2002-NOV-27, Page A1 and A8.
  3. "Guilty verdict upheld in Dutch euthanasia case," Reuters, 2002-DEC-24, at: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/

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Copyright 2000 to 2007 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated 2007-JUL-02

Author: Bruce A Robinson

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