Belgium: A tale of slippery slopes and dying folks

Thursday, June 4, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

A jump in support for doctor-assisted suicide in the United States fails to reflect the dangers of the practice. 

A Gallup poll tallies 68 percent support for assisted suicide for patients who request it, have an incurable illness and are living in severe pain.

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is not surprised by the numbers after the extensive publicity on Brittany Maynard, who had terminal brain cancer and moved from California to Oregon for help to commit suicide.

He says there was a "media love-in" for Maynard's death, which affected the American public.

"So what's really missing here is the reality of what is the actual effect of legalizing assisted suicide," Schadenberg observes. "We don't see that readily being promoted by the media and we also don't see counter stories dealing with the same issues."

Schadenberg, Alex (new)Gallup acknowledged that the poll results are questionable. The headline itself reads, "U.S. support for euthanasia hinges on how it's described," because support dropped from 70 percent to 51 percent when "help end a patient's life" was changed to helping "commit suicide." 

Schadenberg points to a March report from Belgium that shows 1.7 percent of all deaths were performed in the country without a person's request.

The head of a euthanasia committee in Belgium, he says, has admitted that an average 50 Belgians are dying every year due to psychiatric problems – a far cry from brain cancer.

Millions have been spent in America to change minds about assisted suicide and Schadenberg says it's time for a counter campaign to educate people on the truth of it. 

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