Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 5, 2002
Pro-life group wants 'Exit Bag' banned
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Euthanasia Prevention Society, a national organization with about 700 members, wants Canadians to pressure government to ban the Exit Bag, a bag made of heavy-duty plastic which is used to commit suicide.
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the London, Ont.-based group, said so far government authorities have ignored the group's efforts to ban the bag.
He said the bag is produced and distributed in Canada by the Right to Die Society. "The Right to Die Society offers it online and if you order it they will send it to you but you have to be a member," he said. "It comes with an instruction booklet entitled The Art & Science of Suicide."
"The Exit Bag is not only tailor-made for committing suicide, but it is also a device that can be put over the head on an unsuspecting elderly person with a disability," Schadenberg warned.
"The production and distribution of the Exit Bag directly threatens people with disabilities and other vulnerable Canadians who are pressured by their caregivers or killed without their consent because they are considered a burden."
Schadenberg said aiding and abetting a person to commit suicide is a criminal offence in Canada punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Australia, which has similar laws concerning the counselling of suicide, recently banned the import of the bag into that country, he noted.
But Schadenberg said efforts to have the bag banned in Canada have gone unheeded. Last year the Euthanasia Prevention Society requested the RCMP investigate the production and distribution of the bag but has gotten no response, he said.
The society also sent a 10-minute video on the bag to members of Parliament but has only received letters thanking it for the information.
In January Schadenberg took part in a call-in TV show concerning the bag where Ruth von Fuchs of the Toronto chapter of the Right to Die Society explained how the Exit Bag is used.
"We should be demanding that the homicide bag be banned," Schadenberg said, adding Canadians should write to their members of Parliament.
Schadenberg can be reached at 1-877-439-3348. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.