The growing threat to vulnerable people through legalising assisted suicide/euthanasia across Europe was identified as both 'present' and 'a real danger', at the inaugural pan-European congress on Euthanasia Prevention (Edinburgh, September 2012). This event was attended by over 100 participants from twelve countries.
On 20 February 2013 a group of leading anti-euthanasia activists representing eleven countries, including North America and Australia as well as nine European countries, gathered in Rome to establish a pan-European coalition, and decided to inaugurate the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - Europe. Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick OBE was asked to act as EPC-Europe Co-ordinator of the new organisation.
EPC Europe is an alliance of individuals and organisations from very different backgrounds but focused on our simple vision: preventing legalisation permitting assisted suicide or euthanasia, repealing existing laws, affirming life and promoting care.
EPC-Europe brings together disabled people, human rights groups, healthcare providers, legal professionals, and faith and non-faith groups. It aims to unite activists from a wide variety of ideological and political backgrounds.
EPC Europe will campaign positively for increased provision of better palliative care and support, including more funding for hospices, residential care for the infirm elderly and for the dying, and support for sick and disabled people recognising that the fear of dependency and dying alone and/or in pain and loss of hope are powerful drivers of the pro-euthanasia movement.
It will provide simple, compelling and clear campaigning with supporting evidence to marshal support against parliamentary bills and court cases aimed at legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide. It will also develop a website with links to well-founded research and extensive social networking facilities.
EPC Europe will monitor developments in European parliaments, media and the courts (including the European Parliament and European Courts) and will develop networks of expert lawyers, healthcare professionals, disabled people's advocates, media professionals, spokespeople, writers and researchers.