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Canada has opened Pandora’s box on ‘euthanasia on demand’
The law is supposed to protect us, safeguarding our rights. But when we consider the current state of Canadian law, the words of Charles Dickens’ Mr. Bumble jump to mind: “The law is an ass.” That is what happens when murder is legalized.
In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled (in Carter v. Canada) that “people who are grievously and irremediably ill” must be allowed to request euthanasia. A new “right to die” was invented out of a twisted reinterpretation of our constitutional “right to life.” Not only did this judicial fancy overturn all legal precedent, but it also discarded centuries of common law and common sense, eviscerating the biblical precepts that undergird our legal system. “Thou shalt not kill” now became “Thou shalt kill.”
The government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bowed to the ruling of the Court and enacted Bill C-14 in June 2016. This bill created an exception in our criminal code for what was hitherto declared “first-degree murder” (i.e. “planned and deliberate” killing). Now, if an adult citizen consents, and his death is “reasonably foreseeable,” he can be legally murdered. The bill also carved out exceptions for the doctors, nurses and pharmacists who are classified as murderers, accessories to murder and abettors of suicide under the old law.
A new euphemism was also coined: “Medical Assistance in Dying” or MAiD. This sterilized form of medical murder was dressed in the garb of a kindly servant, ready to lend a helping hand. It just so happens that hand carries a lethal injection.
However, even this radical liberalization of killing was not enough for some. David Lametti, who became Minister of Justice in 2019, insisted that Bill C-14 was too restrictive. Thus, after the passage of the bill, the Trudeau government asked the Council of Canadian Academies to research three gruesome concepts: euthanasia for children, euthanasia for those who are incompetent and euthanasia for the mentally ill.
In late 2018, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children released its own recommendation. They determined that the murder of suffering children who consent is perfectly ethical, even if parents object.
This past September, a Quebec court ruled that euthanasia must not be limited to patients whose deaths are “reasonably foreseeable.” Not only those who are terminal but those who are disabled must also qualify, even if they are not actually dying. In response, Trudeau has promised to make this the law of the land posthaste.
It seems we are well on our way to the unthinkable — what no one is willing to admit — “euthanasia on demand.” Following our nation’s track-record on abortion, we may soon permit euthanasia at any age, for any reason or for no reason at all.
Dangers of legal euthanasia
But what are the dangers of legal euthanasia? Why is the “right to die” such a concern?
For one, consider the economics of this so-called “treatment option.” As a cost-cutting measure, it is an instant boon to our socialized health care system. That’s why doctors are being pushed to offer it, and patients are being pushed to accept it even now.
Also, euthanasia not only destroys human life, but it also destroys the value of human life. Why bother fighting for your life if an “easy death” is available? If it’s legal — if it’s your right — then you might just think it’s for the best, especially if it comes “doctor recommended.” Human life becomes disposable.
And what happens when the “right to die” becomes a “duty to die”? Feelings of being a burden are common among the sick, elderly and disabled. Many will think they have no choice. Furthermore, there will always be those loved ones who are more eager for Granny’s inheritance than for Granny’s company who will push and push until Granny gives in.
And what about mistakes? Mistakes have been known to happen. What if a patient’s wishes are misunderstood? What if a person changes his mind?
And what about the spiritual cost? Surely there is a cost to throwing God’s gift of life back in his face.
We would do well to heed the lessons of history when it comes to legalized murder. In 1920, an academic paper was published by two German scholars, Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche. They explored a new concept called “life unworthy of life.” Their research led to the Nazi T4 program in 1939, which provided legal euthanasia for disabled children and adults. This, in turn, formed the basis for the Holocaust, which dispatched those who were deemed socially, politically and racially “unfit.”
Who is to say that our present euthanasia experiment will not yield similar results? As history proves, once men think they can play God, it is easy to go from one form of killing to another. In Canada, we began with killing the preborn. Now we kill the terminally ill and disabled. Who will be next? Sick children? Depressed teens? Homeless people? The unemployed? What about those deemed politically “unfit”?
We have opened up Pandora’s box, and we are loath to see what comes out next. Our only hope is to turn back to the one who is the real lawgiver, the author of life, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
David Cooke is campaigns manager for Campaign Life Coalition in Canada.