Canada is racing to become the leading nation for assisted suicide and euthanasia, but a campaign is under way to reverse the trend.
In the first year after Canada's Supreme Court legalized it and Parliament passed a law governing it, nearly 2,000 people have died by euthanasia.
However, the number may be even higher because the government recognizes that all cases may not have been reported.
Per capita, that far outpaces Belgium which legalized euthanasia in 2002.
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition warns that Canadians have been conditioned to accept it.
"We were inundated with stories over and over again by the mainstream media of reasons why we need to have legal euthanasia,” Schadenberg tells OnewNewsNow. “And I think over time you had this acceptance being built into the system that euthanasia was going to be legal and was going to be done.”
In an Oct. 9 story, Canadian newspaper National Post reported on a 68-year-old Novia Scotia man, dying from pancreatic cancer, who was urged by hospital staff to agree to a do-not-resuscitate order, when it was still unclear how long he had to live.
The man's widow later said her husband overheard hospital staff discussing not to resuscitate him if he quit breathing.
Schadenberg is concerned that deaths in the second year of legalized euthanasia in Canada might set a new record.
"Right now the Canadian government is talking about expanding euthanasia to include people who are not terminally ill but have psychological suffering,” he says. "They're also talking about expanding it to children; and also that you could put it into your Power of Attorney or Consent to Treatment document.”
In the latter case, Schadenberg says it would take precedence even if a person has had a change of mind about euthanasia.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is countering the move through several efforts: by promoting Compassionate Community Care hotline service for people to obtain counseling; through the documentary “Euthanasia Deception,” which has been highly successful; and by promoting a second documentary titled “Fatal Flaws” that is currently in the works.