An opponent of euthanasia believes Canada's statistics on the subject should send a strong message to the United States.
Canada's Supreme Court forced euthanasia on the country, and Parliament enacted a law to implement it. Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition says the law used imprecise language, so vague it could have varied interpretations. And the country is seeing that now.
"We've already seen the extension of what was deemed to be the spirit of the law, so we have already had a case here in Ontario where somebody who was not terminally ill has been permitted to have euthanasia," Schadenberg reports. "We've then seen also the pressure on Quebec, where Quebec came out with a report showing that 21 of their euthanasia deaths in their first year were outside of the law."
There was also underreporting in the last couple of years. The Coalition executive director has previously pointed to how when euthanasia was legalized in Europe, abuses began to occur, including the killings of people – because of mental problems, not terminal illnesses -- who did not request euthanasia. Some were killed just because they were lonely or depressed.
"We're seeing all this data out of Canada where, in fact, we're heading down the exact same direction," Schadenerg warns. "Expansion of euthanasia to children is the next pressure, psychological suffering alone -- these are all the pressure points going on in Canada for extending euthanasia, and yet we're only one year in."
The door is opening wider and wider as each week passes.
"For everybody in America, Canada has become the example of why you cannot legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide," the euthanasia prevention advocate concludes.