In a letter to the Sunday times (UK) a cross party group of nine MSPs (Members of the Scottish Parliament) have cosigned a letter opposing moves to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland.
The last bill that aimed at legalising assisted suicide was defeated in 2015 by a decisive vote of 82 to 36.
The MSPs ask in their letter "Have we really become a society that says the best answer we can provide to those suffering in end-of-life situations is to help them kill themselves? Is that really all we can offer?"
In a video released by Defend New Zealand, 32 year old Kylee Black who has an incurable and degenerative medical condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, speaks out powerfully against the legalisation of euthanasia.
"With euthanasia, it is so final. No second chance, no coming back, and many people who are given six months or less to live are still here two, five or even ten years later. And for those who choose euthanasia in that situation… that’s it! You miss out on all that is to come. The families also have a process to grieve as well, and to question, ‘could the doctors maybe have got it wrong?"
According to data announced by pro-euthanasia doyen Dr Jocelyn Downie in an address to the Royal society of Canada on 15 March 2019 there has been a total of 7,949 people reported as killed by euthanasia in Canada since the law was changed to allow doctors to take the lives of their patients.
Tetraplegic model Claire Freeman planned to end her life at a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland - but instead she is now speaking out against euthanasia in a new documentary.
Dr. Janet Conway, an orthopaedic surgeon and division head of bone and joint infection at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopaedics at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, warns that support for the legalisation of assisted suicide is driven by fear and ignorance.
What is driving this unfortunate bill [End-Of-Life-Option Act, Maryland] is fear. Fear of pain, fear of being a burden, fear of lack of control, fear of feeling hopeless and depressed. Only poor decisions can be made based on fear and lack of knowledge.
The Oregon Health Authority has revealed in an answer to an email from researcher Richard Egan that in reporting that "unknown" responses were excluded "from the denominator" when calculating percentages on the "End of Life Concerns" which prescribing physicians believe motivated each person who died after ingesting a lethal dose of poison prescribed by them.
Based on this response a careful analysis of the 2018 Data Summary from Oregon revealed that:
- In more than one in four cases there is no discussion between the prescribing physician and the person requesting assisted suicide of concerns about the financial cost of treating or prolonging his or her terminal condition.
- In more than one in five cases there is no discussion of concerns about the loss of control of bodily functions, such as incontinence and vomiting.
- In nearly one in six cases there is no discussion of concerns about inadequate pain control at the end of life.
- In nearly one in seven cases there is no discussion of concerns about being a physical or emotional burden on family, friends or caregivers.
This suggest that in many cases discussions between attending physicians and persons requesting lethal medication are almost solely around autonomy and related matters and that there is no serious discussion about underlying issues such as family dynamics, feelings of being a burden, financial considerations, pain control or loss of bodily functions at the end of life.
In the absence of such discussions it seems that an attending physician could not have properly fulfilled the obligation under the Death With Dignity Act to have fully informed the person of feasible alternatives. Nor could the physician come to a genuine conclusion that the person was making a fully informed and truly voluntary decision to request lethal medication.