Skip to comments.British Columbia Poll Asks Biased Euthanasia Question
Posted on 07/16/2007 7:40:38 PM PDT by monomaniac
VICTORIA, BC, July 13, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A recent poll by the BC Ministry of Health website, seeking to know public opinion about current medical issues within the province, includes a "completely biased" question about euthanasia according to Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
Found on the "Conversation on Health" (CH) website, the poll asks whether, "People should be able to consider quality of life, with the option of euthanasia in end-of-life care if desired." The wording as well as the default question is strongly biased in favor of euthanasia-a currently illegal practice in Canada.
"Conversation on Health" is a recent project that sponsors open dialogue between people and the government regarding current health issues. The effort is part of a follow-up from the annual "Throne Speech" in which Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo addressed various issues last year, including the future of the health care system in British Columbia. In this speech, Campagnolo underlined the government's commitment to making the health system sustainable, especially in light of BC's aging population.
A BC Ministry of Health spokesperson told LifeSiteNews.com that at present, people are concerned with health promotion, prevention versus acute care, and taking more responsibility for their own individual health. She noted that euthanasia is one of the key things that has arisen at all the meetings. "People want to talk about the ethics of end of life care and talk more about options and what does it mean," she said. "They recognize that there's a need to talk more about it, particularly when we have more and more ability to prolong life."
When asked about the poll, she explained that a CH team formulates the questions based on the opinions of British Columbia residents. The input comes from people who have registered then phoned, contacted their MLA, sent in emails, letters, or written through the website. Weekly reports are then written about the things that have been sent in and reoccurring themes that arise.
When asked how people define 'quality of life,' the spokeswoman said that it's "entirely individualistic." When it comes to people's general opinion on euthanasia, however, she continued, "I think people have a range of opinions. I don't have any statistical data that says one way or another. All we're doing reporting on what people are saying."
The president of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Alex Schadenberg, told LifeSiteNews.com, "The poll is completely biased. The default position is 'strongly agree'. In order to present the whole question of health care fairly, the poll should include significant, valid information to go with it. It has none of that (It's a case of the blind leading the blind). If health care is going to be treated in this type of way, the reality is yes, you would save some money by legalizing euthanasia, but is that really our orientation? Is that what it's all about?"
He continued, "What does quality of life have to do with it? It's about giving the right to another person to legally be able to take your life. The real question is 'should we be allowing someone to have that right?' Euthanasia allows someone to be involved directly in making that decision, and often aiding that decision."
"You have to ask the question, are we ever going to be able to protect, the most innocent?"
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