Tuesday, 5 February 2013

What people are saying about this book:

If a law is to be valid, it must protect vulnerable people. Regrettably, euthanasia laws fail this basic test.

The idea that there are lives unworthy to be lived is dangerous. The ‘slippery slope’ is not imaginary. It exists – and despite the efforts of euthanasia sympathizers – it cannot be wished away.

The Hon Kevin Andrews MP Commonwealth Parliament of Australia (from the Foreword)

My friend was diagnosed with pancreas cancer in 2011. He had to turn down three independent euthanasia suggestions by his attending physicians. The suggestions were against our liberal euthanasia laws. It proves our societies are indeed on “a slippery slope” as argumented in this study; it’s high time to wake up, we may already have passed the point of no return. Schadenberg's conclusive remarks therefore should be taken seriously.”

Michael van der Mast, Cry for life – the Netherlands

“Using already existing studies, Schadenberg has uncovered the shocking truth about euthanasia in Belgium, the lives lost and the deep threat to others. His work demonstrates unequivocally that we must never follow this Belgian pathway to the easy killing of people whose lives are not valued by those who do the killing.”

Kevin Fitzpatrick, Not Dead Yet, UK

Alex Schadenberg has done the debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide a great service in this comprehensive work. His thorough-going analysis of the available studies concerning The Netherlands and Belgium demand a response from those who support euthanasia & assisted suicide. This work supports empirically the observation that no legislation can ever protect all citizens from the possibility of abuse. For legislators and commentators alike, this is a must read.

Paul Russell, Founder of HOPE Australia

Alex Schadenberg’s comprehensive analysis of studies from countries where euthanasia is legal reveals disturbing evidence of inaccurate and misleading conclusions. He uncovers proof that vulnerable people, including the elderly, the depressed and those with disabilities are very adversely affected when assisted suicide is legalised. His findings also raise significant concerns about the manipulation and abuse of the reporting process and the ‘slippery slope’ reality of state sanctioned intentional killing. 

This book spells out the chilling consequences and I would recommend it as required reading for legislators and commentators who may be contemplating changing our laws.

Maggie Barry MP - Parliament of New Zealand

So-called progressive and liberal minded members of parliament in Australia and elsewhere continue to press for euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide legislation, claiming that legislatures can create such laws that are safe, that cannot be abused, and will not become the thin end of the wedge. In this small volume Alex Schadenberg brings together both information and data that should cause euthanasia/physician-assisted suicide advocates not just to pause, but step back from their positions. I do hope that this book receives wide readership in the general community.

The Hon. Greg Donnelly MLC Parliament of New South Wales

The case for legalising euthanasia collapses once it is exposed to careful scrutiny. Alex Schadenberg’s detailed and clear examination of recent studies from Belgium is an invaluable addition to the toolbox of any compassionate legislator or citizen committed to protecting the vulnerable members of our communities by ensuring laws prohibiting murder or assisting a suicide are not eroded in the name of a false compassion. The publication of an Australian edition of this work is timely given the indefatigable efforts of euthanasia enthusiasts in introducing legalisation bills in parliaments across the nation. The insights given in this publication explaining how legalised euthanasia plays out in practice will help persuade legislators to defeat such bills and better understand why they ought never sanction the killing of the very citizens they represent.

The Hon. Nick Goiran MLC Parliament of Western Australia

Alex Schadenberg has shown a great passion for educating legislators on issues surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide. His informative publications and speeches have encouraged many Members of Parliament and Government to consider these issues more closely, and with a balanced and educated view.

Leesa Vlahos MP Parliament of South Australia

Alex Schadenberg highlights what the research really says about euthanasia in jurisdictions where it is legal. The findings will be of particular interest to decision makers who are looking for comfort that the promised "safeguards" in legislation can be relied upon in the real world. 

Highlighting the reality of vulnerable citizens (elderly, disabled and depressed) dying, having lost the protection previously offered by the state, he shows that the safeguard promises of euthanasia proponents haven't protected the community and cannot. They are merely promises made without concern for their keeping, by those who want to fundamentally experiment with the most basic laws against homicide. 

Michael Ferguson MP Parliament of Tasmania

For those who view euthanasia as a simple decision to end pain, Alex Schadenberg's book on the subject is a must read.

He outlines very clearly  any law covering this life and death decision is open to abuse more than most pieces of legislation. The dangers are out there for anyone who wishes to take a look.

I commend Alex's book as a  timely warning against travelling down a most perilous road.
Bernie Finn MLC Parliament of Victoria

The book Exposing Vulnerable People to Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide based on studies in Belgium and the Netherlands, clearly highlighted and reinforced to me my position against this right to die debate. These confronting issues surround some of the most vulnerable members of our society we need to protect. Largely people over the age of 80, who are often incompetent and suffering dementia, are being euthanized without their explicit request. It clearly illustrates that euthanasia and assisted suicide cannot be effectively legalised with safeguards. 

The countries in these studies have outlined clearly that the safeguards are often ignored or overlooked by physicians and self-reporting systems do not work, as who is going to report themselves for not following the law. 

What is most concerning that in many circumstances physicians view the reporting process as burdensome, leading to intentional opioid overdose to avoid labelling the death as euthanasia and avoiding the reporting process altogether. 

Since the introduction of the legislation in these countries, the numbers of people being euthanized continues to increase, moving to a position of more acceptance, as opposed to this process being a last resort. Finally and most concerning, even when legislation dictates that this process is carried out by a physician it is not uncommon that this not followed. I recommend this book and encourage readers to engage in the serious debate.

Senator Helen Polley Senator for Tasmania