Campaign takes aim at euthanasia, suicide bill

  • June 26, 2008

OTTAWA - The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) has launched a postcard campaign to fight a proposed bill that would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

EPC has distributed 10,000 cards that can be filled out, signed and mailed free of charge to members of Parliament to stop Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde’s private member’s Bill C-562 that she introduced June 12, a week before the House of Commons adjourned for a summer break.

Coalition executive director Alex Schadenberg called for Canadians to reject Bill C-562. In a detailed analysis at his blog, at, Schadenberg warned the bill “directly and intentionally threatens the lives of the most vulnerable members of society.”

“It establishes euthanasia and assisted suicide as treatment options for problems that are properly solved by effective and compassionate medical care,” he said. “It changes the trust relationship between the medical practitioner and the patient.”

Lalonde had previously introduced a similar private member’s bill, but Bill C-407 died when Parliament dissolved before the 2006 federal election.

The Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) also warned Bill C-562 is “fraught with ethical problems.”

“This proposal, if enacted, could be a direct threat to the lives of the disabled or chronically ill, who could easily come to be seen as a burden,” said a June 24 statement from CCRL executive director Joanne McGarry. “It’s unlikely that any safeguard could fully protect the vulnerable from subtle pressure to ‘choose’ death, once euthanasia and assisted suicide are established as treatment options.”

Private members’ business operates through a lottery system. The lower the number the sooner the bill will be debated in the House. Lalonde holds a relatively high number, however, so it may be months before it will get its first hour of debate.

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