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Elderly fear hospitals when assisted suicide is accepted, Canadian archbishop says

April 14, 2016

Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, Alberta has said that elderly people may begin to fear hospitals, because of the legal acceptance of assisted suicide.

"The strong feeling is: 'If I can't speak for myself, if I'm alone with no family members, are they going to kill me?" the archbishop said. Such questions, he continued, are understandable in the wake of a court decision to allow assisted suicide. But he said that the growing fears of the elderly are a tragedy, because people who need medical care should not be afraid of hospitals. The fallout from acceptance of assisted suicide, he said, "undermines the trust that must be there."

Archbishop Smith went on to say that once assisted suicide gains public acceptance, the elderly and the sick may feel pressure to end their own lives. "That's when the right-to-die slips into a duty-to-die," he said.


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