Manx people warned: ‘Open the door to assisted suicide and safeguards tumble’

A Canadian campaigner has warned the Manx people against giving assisted suicide a foothold on the island.

Speaking at an event in Douglas, Alex Schadenberg, the Executive Director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, shared how so-called safeguards to Canada’s assisted suicide law are unravelling.

Dr Alex Allinson MHK’s Assisted Dying Bill, launched in the House of Keys last year, would legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia for residents over the age of 18 who have mental capacity and are not expected to live beyond six months.

Dangerous legislation

The event was hosted by Manx Duty of Care, an informal group of health and social care workers opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Group member Graham McAll, a retired GP, hoped the meeting would help people understand “what actually happens” in places where such dangerous laws have already been passed, and “educate them about the difficulties”.

In an interview on Manx Radio, Mr Schadenberg explained that in Canada the original laws stated that a person had to be terminally ill to seek medical help to kill themselves, but that was soon “declared to be a form of discrimination”.


The academic and author explained: “Before you legalise it, you can talk about all your safeguards and everything else”. But he said that once legalised, the criteria can change drastically.

“Once it was legalised the argument was, ‘Well, what about the person who’s going through chronic pain, but are not terminally ill, why can they not have it?’”

Local doctors oppose the move, with a recent survey finding nearly three quarters of respondents would refuse to help terminally ill people kill themselves.

A public consultation on the Bill also found more responses opposed the removal of end-of-life protections than supported it.


Often held up as a model for assisted suicide, doctors in Canada directly killed over 13,200 people last year – up nearly a third on the year before.

Since it was first legalised in 2016, the country’s Medical Assistance in Dying regime has killed 44,958 Canadians.

Also see:

Canada reports meteoric rise in euthanasia deaths

Canadian mother with stage four cancer pushed to consider euthanasia

Canadian medic: ‘Drug addicts should be allowed to request euthanasia’

Canadian hospital raises euthanasia with patient in mental distress

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