Inconvenient Facts About Assisted Suicide

by Matthew Jansen, MetroMag, 18 January 2016

Matthew Jansen (the Secretary of the Care Alliance) provided a response to Graham Adams’ earlier article on assisted suicide.

Mr Adams asserted that there “is simply no evidence” that euthanasia “would be an option frail old people would think they ought to take.”

Unfortunately there is such evidence, and rather a lot of it. Just one example from the famous 2013 judgment in Fleming v Ireland:

[Professor Hicks] went on to give some specific examples of instances of coercion and abuse recorded in the medical literature in respect of both Oregon and the Netherlands in the aftermath of the liberalisation of assisted suicide legislation. Case 3 in her Table 2 was in the following terms:

“Case 3: The Netherlands: A wife who no longer wishes to care for her sick, elderly husband gives him a choice between euthanasia and admission to a nursing home. Afraid of being left to the mercy of strangers in an unfamiliar place, he chooses euthanasia. His doctor ends his life despite being aware that the request was coerced.”

Mr Adams also wrote that “There are many effective safeguards built into assisted dying legislation in jurisdictions around the world”. Again from the Fleming judgment:

“it was not in dispute that in 2005 – the year for which the latest data is available for the Netherlands – 560 patients (some 0.4% of all deaths) were euthanized without having given their explicit consent.”

Click here to read the full article.