Schadenberg motivated by lack of media coverage on the dangers of euthanasia
By Josh Tng
The B.C. Catholic
Caption: Alex Schadenberg holds up his newly released documentary The Euthanasia Deception, about the situation in Belgium. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic. Josh Tng / The B.C. Catholic.
A new documentary warns of what the future may be like with euthanasia legal.
"The idea of the documentary came together during the euthanasia debate in Ottawa," said Alex Schadenberg. The executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition was "frustrated that nearly all the major media were giving a constant one-sided message ... about why euthanasia was what we supposedly needed."
He attempted to spread the message by holding seven press conferences on Parliament Hill, but the message continued to be muted. "We were constantly trying to get this (pro-life) message through that was simply not picked up."
Schadenberg was arguing against the legalization of Bill C-14, which would pave the way for legal euthanasia. "Bill C-14 does not provide effective oversight of the law; it is not a harm-reduction model," he said.
"It does not provide safe spaces for people who are opposed to being killed by lethal injection and it does not provide conscience protection for medical professionals who oppose killing patients."
In an attempt to try a different medium to spread the message, Schadenberg contacted Kevin Dunn, a Canadian documentary producer. The two produced the film The Euthanasia Deception.
They interviewed several Canadians who suffered from serious illnesses and handicaps, then Dunn flew to Belgium to finish the film; assisted dying has been legal there for 15 years.
Mark Davis Pickup, an Alberta Christian suffering from multiple sclerosis, noted if euthanasia had been legal when he was diagnosed with the disease, he "would have taken it."
"But I'm very glad I didn't, because I would have never got to see my grandchildren," Pickup said during the documentary. "If I didn't have the support of my wife, my children, my grandchildren, and my faith community, I could definitely see myself wanting assisted suicide."
Assisted suicide in Canada is not limited to "people who are terminally ill," Schadenberg said. "They are considered terminal when their natural death has become reasonably foreseeable. What does that mean? My death is reasonably foreseeable, just maybe a little later or sooner than others."
"If you said to me that within a few years I would be in a wheelchair, lose my career, and be unable to do many of the physical things I like to do, I would have told you there's no point in that (life)!" said Pickup. "And yet today, at 92, my life hasn't ended."
He explained how what once defined his happiness had changed overtime into something far richer. "Quality of life is a moving target. What defined my quality of life back then was the ability to do things. What defines my life's quality now is to love and be loved, and still make a contribution, as small as that may be."
Information on the documentary is available at www.vulnerablefilm.com or 1-877-439-3348.