As its title suggests the movie documents real flaws in these laws that pose fatal risks to the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill and, indeed, all of us.
In a series of interviews with doctors and advocates on both sides of the issue Dunn’s conversational technique draws out the underlying viewpoint that characterises the pro and anti assisted suicide/euthanasia positions.
On the pro assisted suicide side it becomes clear that there are in fact two drivers which only partially overlap. Firstly there is the so-called principle of autonomy which affirms, effectively without limit, a person's right to demand and to be given assisted suicide or euthanasia for any reason at all.
This is the basis on which advocates and politicians in the Netherlands are now proposing euthanasia for completed life. This is a far cry from the original justification of intolerable suffering.
It also underlies the heartbreaking story of Aurelia Browers, a young Dutch woman who had struggled for many years with depression and suicidal thoughts. Dunn warms to her enthusiastic, seemingly bubbly personality and seeks to offer her hope. However, in the death affirming culture of the Netherlands, her “choice” to despair of life is affirmed and she was euthanased on 26 January 2018 by doctors from the End of Life Clinic.
The second principle is the view that many people would simply be better off dead. This principle is shown by Dunn's interviews to operate often independently from any requirement for an autonomous request for euthanasia.
In Canada, disabled young woman Candace Lewis's mother was encouraged – or rather bullied – by a doctor to agree to euthanasia for her daughter. Candace had to endure hearing a doctor talking to her mum about killing her.
In the Netherlands two middle aged women talk about attempts by doctors to kill their mothers without any request from the mothers. In one case the daughter was able to intervene in time and her mother lived long enough – another year – to see her second great grandchild. Sadly in the other case the mother was dead by the time the daughter got to the hospital. The mother had been told she was being given an injection to help her sleep but was in reality a lethal injection without request or consent.
With Victoria's assisted suicide and euthanasia law set to go into effect on 19 June 2019 and an inquiry into end of life choices set to report in Western Australia in August 2018 it would be timely to order a copy of Fatal Flaws and arrange a screening for your friends, church group or community group.
So much discussion on assisted suicide and euthanasia is shallow and ill-informed. Viewing Fatal Flaws will equip you to make an informed contribution to the debate.
Fatal Flaws can be ordered at: www.epcc.ca/fatal-flaws-legalizing-assisted-deathwww.epcc.ca/fatal-flaws-legal
Alex Schadenburg and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition have done us all a great service in producing this much needed truth telling documentary.
There is no extra fee for a public screening. EPC is keen to get the doco seen by as many people across the world as possible.
A preview can be seen at: www.fatalflawsfilm.comwww.fatalflawsfilm.com