Are people being coerced into euthanasia?

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Last week I had the opportunity to screen the Fatal Flaws film and speak in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Campbell River British Columbia. Thank you to the local organizers who made this possible.

This article is about three stories from the three events at which I spoke.

The first story was from a woman who spoke to me after the Campbell River presentation. She told me that her father has medical issues and has been offered MAiD [Medical Assistance in Dying] on several occasions. She said that her father has never brought up the topic of euthanasia and being offered euthanasia feels like a form of coercion.

The second story was a man whose mother requires dialysis. He said that while his mother was feeling down from her dialysis that a nurse suggested that she consider MAiD. Another person then agreed with this suggestion.

He said that his mother didn’t bring up the issue of euthanasia and felt coerced by the suggestion. He said that she was feeling depressed and, if she did not call him, she may have asked for death.

The third story was a woman who told me that she was approved for euthanasia. She appeared to be physically healthy but when speaking to her she seemed to have psychological issues (I am not a professional, this is only my impression).

Now that euthanasia is legal, how are these decisions being made?

One of the most powerful stories, in the Fatal Flaws film, is the story of Candice Lewis who was pressured by a doctor to ask for assisted death.

Euthanasia is sold as a form of freedom. In these cases the people felt coerced to ask for euthanasia. In other words, choice can be an illusion.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.