By Charles Lewis
Unless a miracle occurs, Bill C7, which will expand euthanasia in Canada, will be enacted into law. The Liberals and their pro-death allies in the NDP and Bloc Quebecois will make sure this happens.
Despite the inevitability, this is a fight worth having. Not just because C7 will kill more people but it is easy to see how the Liberals lied about euthanasia from the beginning.
And once C7 passes, the Liberals have said they will look at allowing “mature minors,” also known as teenagers and children, to request euthanasia.
The new law will mean that "foreseeable death" will no longer be a requirement for euthanasia. Those with chronic pain would be able to end their lives even though death is not imminent. And something else: if that person also happens to be suffering from a mental ailment, that will not get in the way of their request.
The Liberal themselves said in June 2016, when the first euthanasia law was passed, that those eligible to die would have to be of sound mind. But we know that pledge was hot air.
Despite Liberal promises of no slippery slope, the slope became quite icy six months after the 2016 law was passed.
In December 2016, the government asked the Council of Canadian Academies to form an expert panel to look into allowing euthanasia for those in pain but not dying, as well as the mentally ill and teens.
Even though it was only a study — the report was inconclusive, laying out arguments for and against each scenario — the fact that officials thought this should even be explored shows there was some support for expanding euthanasia.
Another reason we should not be surprised is Justin Trudeau’s love for euthanasia.
During the 2015 election he said over and over again that his first order of business would be to legalize euthanasia — or medial aid in dying (MAID) as his Orwellian legislative writers dubbed it.
Think about that for a moment. Of all the things that needed to be dealt with in Canada — from the lack of palliative care, to clean water on Native reserves, to deciding Canada’s role in the world, to funding our health care system — he chose euthanasia.
Bill C-7 is a response, we are told, to a September 2019 Quebec court decision that said accessing euthanasia was too restrictive and should be expanded to those who were in pain but not necessarily dying.
Trudeau could have challenged that law, given his earlier promises. But instead he enthusiastically decided to change the federal law to be in sync with the Quebec court decision.
Politicians often tell fibs. They often change their minds to suit the polls and trends. None of this is new. It was always thus.
But this is different. It is about the lives of Canadians. I imagine there are even those initially supportive of the 2016 bill who might be horrified to see how far this has gone – and how far it will go.
Our job is to tell those we know — not just our friends and relatives, but our ministers and MPs.
Ask them if they really want their teenagers to some day choose to end their lives? Ask them if they really think that Canada’s palliative care system is adequate to offer a real choice when people are faced with death?
The most amazing thing is all this is going on while science finds more cures for all sorts of diseases. More people beat cancer or at least live far more years, good years, than they would have even 20 years ago. There is now a cure for Hep C, once a dangerous killer.
Yet our country’s focus is not on healing but killing. How sick is that?
Charles Lewis is a Toronto-based writer and journalist, and is a frequent contributor to the The Catholic Register.