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Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Slippery Slopes, Evidence, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Jose Pereira, Critique, Public Policy Debates


In a paper published in Current Oncology, University of Ottawa palliative care physician Jose Pereira states that the, “laws and safeguards [in countries in which euthanasia or assisted suicide have been legalized] are regularly ignored and transgressed in all the jurisdictions, and that transgressions are not prosecuted.” He purports to demonstrate that the safeguards and controls put in place in the permissive jurisdictions are an “illusion.”

In the present paper, we expose problems with the evidence base provided and relied upon by Pereira. It should be noted that we provide only examples of each of the categories of mistakes made by Pereira. The original work contains more, but the examples given should suffice to demonstrate that Pereira’s conclusions are not supported by the evidence provided by him. We conclude that his paper should not be given any credence in the public policy debate about the legal status of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada and around the world.