The head of an international anti-euthanasia organization warns that allowing people to legally commit suicide because of depression can quickly get out of control.
In European countries where it is legal, euthanasia was initially to be allowed for people with terminal illnesses. Now, as OneNewsNow has noted, that has graduated to the handicapped, as well as people with psychological difficulties. In fact, a study published in the British Medical Journal indicates that 74 percent of Belgium's euthanized patients were women suffering from depression.
"It's physical and psychological suffering that says nothing about terminal illness," says Alex Schadenberg of the Canada-based Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC). "Basically this is a form of coercion of people in a depressed state, and it's an abuse of people who are going through a difficult time."
Schadenberg submits that people cannot be protected from euthanasia and assisted-suicide when psychological or mental suffering are added to the list of qualifiers.
"It's simply impossible," he states. "We see this in our own country of Canada, where they've added euthanasia for psychological suffering to the list, and we're in great fear to see who is now somehow going to qualify for death. Now, remember this is not suicide per se; this is somebody else deciding to end your life."
The EPC executive director says the best option for treating psychological issues is to provide counseling, and where appropriate, medication until a person works through his or her problems.