By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
The local radio station that I listen to is playing a commercial for “Mary Kills People,” a six-part drama airing on Global Television in Canada.
People have contacted me wondering what to do about “Mary Kills People.” We are disgusted by media outlets which insist on promoting euthanasia and assisted suicide without having the honesty and professionalism to equally promote programs that offers an alternative point of view.
I have personally not wasted my time watching “Mary Kills People.” If you have watched the show email your assessment of Mary Kills People to: email@example.com.
I urge all of our supporters to contact the CRTC [Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission] and demand equal programming.
This is not the first time Global has aired a program promoting euthanasia. In 2012 Global aired: “Taking Mercy,” a program that promoted eugenic euthanasia. It featured Robert Latimer, who was convicted of killing his daughter who had cerebral palsy; Annette Corriveau, who had two disabled adult children whom she wanted euthanized; and pro-euthanasia “ethicist” Arthur Schaefer.
At that time, the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities responded with strong opposition to portraying the lives of people with significant disabilities as – life unworthy of life.
Global needs to do a series on people with disabilities who live fulfilling lives, or people with a terminal illness who through effective symptom management and social supports live a fulfilling life until their death, or people who had a terminal illness who survived. We need real stories that provide hope; we need stories that promote caring not killing.
Programs that portray euthanasia as heroic, caring, and maybe even daring act, are promoting euthanasia. These programs don’t show us the real life circumstances of a person who is lonely and afraid of suffering, and feel that they have no real alternative, these programs portray euthanasia as an act done by strong independent people. People we should emulate.
I am also concerned about the contagion effect connected to programs that promote killing.
Recently Liz Carr, a famous British actress who is also a leader of the disability rights group Not Dead Yet UK, produced a successful musical opposing assisted suicide called: Assisted Suicide: The Musical. Carr, who is an incredible comedian, proves that opposing assisted suicide can also be entertaining.
Editor’s note. This appeared in a slightly different form on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog.