Euthanasia Prevention Coalition executive director Alex Schadenberg speaking in Smithers Friday.

International anti-euthanasia speaker visits Smithers

Executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition brought his concerns on the Supreme Court's assisted suicide decision to Smithers.

Alex Schadenberg’s has been speaking out against euthanasia at meetings since 1999.

He was in Smithers Friday night to explain his concerns to about 100 people at the Canadian Reformed Church. The executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition based out of London, Ont. has travelled all over the world to speak on the subject.

Schadenberg started the coalition during the Robert Latimer trial, a case where the Saskatchewan father killed his daughter who was suffering from cerebral palsy.

I have an autistic son, and I’ve been involved in this a very long time. I got involved through the disability question.

I was involved in other things, but why this issue is attitudes towards people with disabilities,” explained Schadenberg.

He pointed out that the Council of Canadians with Disabilities has also voiced its concerns on the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in February that said current laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia must be replaced within a year.

Betty Bandstra said she invited Schadenberg as the case was still before the B.C. Supreme Court last fall.

We didn’t realize just how timely it would be,” said Bandstra, who found the presentation informative.

Oregon legalized assisted suicide in 1997. Assisted suicide allows for lethal amounts of drugs to be prescribed, versus euthanasia, which involves a medical professional injecting the lethal dose.

Schadenberg said concerns raised by reports from Belgium and the Netherlands, where euthanasia was legalized in 2002, that were ignored by the Supreme Court need to be taken into consideration.

They say I’m just being alarmist. I don’t know how many deaths you have to have before alarmism is just being real,” said Schadenberg.

Facts presented at the Smithers meeting that got the audience’s attention included a high-profile case in Belgium of 45-year-old deaf twins who were going blind. Otherwise healthy, they opted for euthanasia. Belgium was also the first country to legalize euthanasia for children last February.

Schadenberg does not believe any legalized system should be allowed, and also advocates for better palliative care. He said he would like to see a Royal Commission to at least investigate the ramifications of legalization.

He believes there is no time to pass a law because of the looming federal election. That would lead to decriminalization and pass control to the provinces as a health regulation.

I don’t think you can call it medical treatment; I don’t think that would be right.”


Just Posted

Smithers golfer competes in university golf nationals

Mitchell Turko shot a final round 73 to finish tied for 24th

Climate, reconciliation and industry top all candidates agenda in Terrace

Debate was the candidate’s last opportunity to address voters in a public forum

Smithers fighter wins bronze at karate worlds

Lando Ball narrowly missed a chance to fight in the gold medal match in Austria

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read