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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Assisted Suicide Too Easily Abused

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Assisted+suicide+easily+abused/5525325/story.html

By John Coppard, Times ColonistOctober 9, 2011

Re: "Assisted dying should be an option," Oct. 4.

The danger in legalizing assisted suicide is that people's choices can so easily be undermined and abused. Whether it's greedy relatives hoping to speed up their inheritance, or cash-strapped bureaucrats looking to save on health-care costs, the weak and vulnerable can be all-tooeasily steered toward a death they do not truly want.

In Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal and the government health plan is empowered to steer patients to suicide, two cases have gained public prominence - Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup. Both wanted treatment, but their plan offered them suicide instead. Canadian laws prohibiting assisted suicide exist for a reason. Let's keep it that way.

John Coppard Victoria