A spokesman for a non-profit organization that opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide says Canada has opened the gates to more death.
Euthanasia has been available in Canada for people suffering a terminal illness, but a Quebec court has now abolished the "near death" requirement.
"By removing the terminal illness requirement, that means you can have euthanasia for physical or psychological suffering," explains Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. "I do believe this situation is going to be opening up the gates to far more deaths by euthanasia. At the same time, our euthanasia numbers have just been skyrocketing. So as much as we have seen this huge increase in euthanasia, they're only going to be opening the doors more."
Parliament is currently conducting a consultation, considering ideas to expand the practice even further to include psychological reasons such as depression. It could even affect anyone who is no longer mentally competent to agree to euthanasia, so Schadenberg is urging people to oppose expansion during the consultation.
"The reality of this whole thing is we need to reverse this whole trend of allowing killing, because what we've done in law is we've given physicians the right to kill their patients, and we've done so by also granting them pretty tight immunity from ever having to worry about prosecution," the Coalition spokesman submits.
The consultation ends January 27th, and the court has imposed a deadline of March 11th for the government to overhaul its euthanasia law.