Physician-assisted suicide, now euphemistically renamed medical assistance in dying (MAID), began when the Supreme Court of Canada broke our centuries-old prohibition against anyone legally killing another.
In its February 2015 decision, these naïve and badly informed judges declared that “properly designed and administered safeguards would protect such vulnerable people from abuse and error”. How little these judges knew and understood about the damage they would cause by this miscalculation.
Since their decision, the law on assisted suicide has tumbled down a rabbit hole, worsening the law by the meddling of judges and “woke” politicians, such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his associate in death, Minister of Justice David Lametti. This decision to support assisted suicide was dutifully rubberstamped by the Liberal caucus. The mainstream media also blindsided the public, hiding the truth about the terrible effects of this legislation.
When the bill was pushed through Parliament in June 2016, the public was led to believe that the suffering patient would, after the lethal injection, go gently into death. This was not realistic, since lethal injection leads to problems that sometimes cause more suffering for the patient. The lethal injection used in Canada for MAID is the same lethal injection used in the U.S. for the execution of prisoners. Autopsies carried out on executed prisoners indicate that their deaths were frightening, akin to drowning or suffocation.
To date, there are approximately 14,000 Canadian citizens who have been put to death by MAID since June 2016.
The 2016 legislation required that the patient’s death by lethal injection was only to occur if the patient’s death was “reasonably foreseeable”. A very determined female judge on the Quebec Superior Court concluded, in September 2019, that this law created “inequality” for patients, and that the restriction of reasonably foreseeable death must be removed. As a result of the impending removal of the criteria of “reasonably foreseeable death” from the law, anyone will be able to receive an assisted death if they are “suffering physically and psychologically”. In effect, this decision means that there will be death on demand in Canada.
Trudeau should have appealed this pernicious decision, but did not do so. Instead, Trudeau and Lametti jumped on the Quebec decision as an excuse to widen the law. This occurred even though the federal government was NOT legally required to follow the Quebec court decision. This is because the decision was made by a single judge in a lower provincial court and applied only to the province of Quebec. Therefore, it was not legally binding on the rest of the country. However, Trudeau’s amendments to Bill C-7 are doing just that.
What the Amended Assisted Suicide Law Has Wrought
The changes in Bill C-7 are as follows:
- Remove the safeguard that the patient must be terminally ill;
- Waive the 10-day waiting period when a person is deemed to be terminally ill. This means that a person could request an injection on a bad day when they may be temporarily depressed. They may then be killed on that same day.
- Create a two-track system. A person whose death seems reasonably foreseeable has no waiting period, while a person whose death is not reasonably foreseeable has a 90-day waiting period before he or she can receive the lethal injection.
- Reduce the number of witnesses from two to one. One witness could be the caregiver of a vulnerable person.
- Remove the requirement that death must be reasonably foreseeable, leaving a law whereby people may ask to end their life, to be killed, if they find their physical or psychological suffering to be intolerable. Crucially, there is no definition of what constitutes “suffering”. For example, if people have diabetes or a heart condition, both of which are manageable, they would now be qualified to receive a lethal injection by their physician.
This horrendous bill was passed on December 10, 2020, in the House of Commons by a vote of 212 versus 107 and has now gone to the Senate. There is much dissension and debate on the bill in the Senate and it is likely the Senate will make amendments. If so, this will require that the bill return to the House of Commons for approval. One can be confident that Trudeau and Lametti will not approve these amendments.
The Tragedy of This Bill
The law on assisted suicide has already caused tragedy. A man in B.C. was euthanized because he was depressed, even though depression is treatable. A 90-year-old woman was euthanized because she did not want to experience the loneliness caused by the coronavirus lockdown. Disabled associations have strongly objected to this bill, which makes dying easier than providing needed support for some people to continue living their lives. As a result, the amended bill, which is supposed to only be an option for the patient, has become the path of least resistance. This applies not only to the disabled, but also to those living in poverty, social isolation, and the aged. Often they feel they don’t have any real choice but to have themselves killed, as there is no support for their continued living.
Palliative Care is Absent in Canada
MAID legislation has been positioned as a “healthcare right” under the Canada Health Act, which must be publicly funded and accessible to all Canadians. Palliative care has not been so positioned as a healthcare right under the Canada Health Act, nor are there any requirements that it be publicly funded or accessible. Fewer than 30% of Canadians have access to palliative care, even though 98% of those dying in Canada die naturally, not by assisted suicide.
In reality, palliative care has no meaning when there is little access to it as an alternative. Assisted suicide is significantly cheaper than rigorous, traditional palliative care, and the financial advantage of euthanasia in the healthcare system has already been promoted in healthcare journals.
Since euthanasia has been designated a healthcare “right”, as a matter of equality, palliative care must also be designated a right.
The Lethal Killing of Patients Must Be Stopped
It is absolutely critical that each one of us who cares about humanity must do what we can do to stop the Liberal government from steamrolling Bill C-7, which widens the assisted suicide law. Please write immediately to your MP and to all the Senators demanding that this horrendous bill be rejected.