Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, recently spoke at St. Nicholas Church in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, highlighting the importance of caring and compassion in combatting the rising requests for Medical Assistance in Dying. In his presentation titled “The Power of Love: How to Create a Culture of Care,” Schadenberg emphasized the need to protect the vulnerable from euthanasia while promoting a culture of care and love.
Despite media narratives suggesting that euthanasia is solely offered to relieve physical suffering, Schadenberg stated that the reality is that most people who request euthanasia do so for emotional and psychological reasons. This highlights the need to reframe our thinking around assisted death and address the root cause of the problem, which, according to Schadenberg, is often loneliness, despair, and a lack of purpose or meaning in life.
Schadenberg believes that we need to create a culture of care and compassion to address this problem effectively. Instead of solely focusing on medical solutions, we should prioritize spending time with our loved ones and being present for them during difficult times. Schadenberg shared a heartwarming story of a woman who plays Scrabble with an elderly woman every Friday. When the senior mentioned considering euthanasia, her friend responded by telling her that she would miss her if she were gone. This simple act of showing love and value convinced the elderly woman to reconsider her decision.
Ultimately, Schadenberg believes that creating a culture of care is the only effective solution to combat the culture of death that has become prevalent in Canadian society. He emphasized that we all have the power to make a difference by being a caring and loving part of our community. By valuing and loving others, we can help them find purpose and meaning in their lives, which is the foundation of creating a culture of care.