By Jonathon Van Maren
Almost ten years ago, I attended a debate between Michael Payton of Dying with Dignity and Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition on the resolution: “Should assisted suicide be legal?” Schadenberg explained why calling suicide or euthanasia a “right” would inevitably lead to the sorts of horror stories that are now occurring in Canada weekly; Payton attempted to exploit the empathy of his listeners by highlighting the suffering of those in the final stages of illness.
The most significant takeaway from the debate, however, was not the back-and-forth over the resolution itself, which was both interesting and predictable. It was when Schadenberg forced Payton to admit that although he was using stories of rare, heartbreaking circumstances, he and his fellow lobbyists at Dying with Dignity actually supported assisted suicide in a whole range of scenarios, including for those suffering with mental illness. Suicide activists weren’t revealing their whole agenda at that stage – first, they wanted to get what is now called MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) legalized in limited circumstances. Once the basic “right” to die was established, they could come for the rest.
Indeed, Dying with Dignity is championing Canada’s chilling new regime – and constantly pushing to expand its borders. On their website they list their “current priorities,” which includes expanding assisted suicide to the depressed and suicidal – with astonishing chutzpah, they actually claim that denying suicide to the mentally ill is “stigmatizing and discriminatory,” apparently without considering how stigmatizing and discriminatory it is to tell mentally ill people that the government agrees that their lives are not worth living and is willing to facilitate their suicides should they happen to ask. They are also campaigning for “advance requests,” so that dementia patients can be killed after indicating a possible desire for MAiD years earlier.
In my view, Dying with Dignity is one of the most dangerous organizations in the country, working daily to exploit the compassion and empathy of parliamentarians and the public to persuade them that suicide is the answer to virtually any form of suffering. Each time they achieve what they want, they shift their success to the “past priorities” tab on their website and add new goals to their “current priorities.” We are currently witnessing what the society Dying with Dignity has been championing for decades looks like.
At Run with Life, pro-life blogger Pat Maloney has revealed some details about how this organization functions. “The death industry is really about money,” she observed.