I refer to the article in Life Site News by Brad Mattes: https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/assisted-suicide-no-longer-just-for-the-terminally-ill
Here is my comment that they posted briefly, then took down.
I respectfully take issue with some of the points he [Brad Mattes] makes and ask for clarification, and make a comment on other points.
– Mr Mattes states: Assisted suicide or euthanasia is currently legal in Albania, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Japan, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Would Mr Mattes please provide me with a link to the Act of Parliament in Albania and Japan that legalises assisted suicide or [voluntary] euthanasia?
The closest I can find is that they both permit turning off life support systems, which is also permitted in Australia.
– Next he states: Re Netherlands In 2013 — just 11 years later — it’s estimated they euthanized 650 babies. The use of the word ‘euthanized’ here is simply not correct! Research articles by Neil Francis, Dying For Choice, here and Prof, Colleen Cartwright confirm this.
On 12th June 2013 the KNMG [Royal Dutch Medical Association] issued a media release announcing that it had published a position paper on ‘Medical end-of-life decisions in neonates with very serious defects’. The media release stated that of around 175,000 babies born each year in the Netherlands, “around 650 infants will die, usually as a result of very severe congenital defects and in spite of the best possible intensive care treatment.”
The KNMG was absolutely clear: 650 babies a year were likely to die. Some newborns die from catastrophic malformities shortly after birth, some die despite attempted medical interventions and some die after withdrawal of futile interventions and administration of comfort care, possibly aggressive. Death as a result of an intervention whose direct intention is to hasten death, is rare. Perhaps 2 babies a year.
– Mr Mattes states re Belgium: “definitions for conditions that qualify for euthanasia have continually loosened”. The criteria for access in Belgium remains — “the patient is in a medically futile condition of constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering that can not be alleviated, resulting from a serious and incurable disorder caused by illness or accident.”
– He then implies a correlation between euthanasia and a high suicide rate in Belgium. To quote Neil Francis again (post): “If the reason Belgium is the second highest is due to its assisted dying law, how come Finland, which Mr Mattes doesn’t mention by name and which has no such law, is higher?
It also begs the question:
If assisted dying law were the fundamental cause of a high general suicide rate, how come Switzerland (statute since 1942), Luxembourg (statute since 2009) and the Netherlands (practice since the early 1980s and statute since 2002) have rates that are much lower, all key facts that Mr Mattes also fails to mention?”
-Would Mr Mattes please comment on why the suicide rate in Belgium has dropped since the introduction of assisted dying there in 2002? Obviously he cannot attribute a high suicide rate among Australian dairy farmers to assisted dying (it would surely be the low milk price) and the suicide rate in Oregon USA appears to be very closely related to the unemployment rate rather than assisted dying law.
– Mr Mattes strongly criticizes the Canadian Bill C-14, in marked contrast to a statement made by Dr Cindy Forbes, President of the Canadian Medical Association, which included:
“Ottawa, June 17, 2016 –
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is pleased that historic federal legislation on medical aid in dying is now in place.
For the CMA, this important new law represents the culmination of years of work and consultation with physicians and the public. This extensive outreach informed our call for robust federal legislation to ensure access is not impeded, protects vulnerable patients and respects the personal convictions of health care providers.