Many Canadians want a safe space in our health care system, free from any contact with assisted suicide or euthanasia. However, that hope is currently in peril.
The government of Canada has put forward an Act of Parliament, Bill C-14, to protect some doctors and nurse practitioners from a homicide charge, or a charge of assisting suicide, if certain eligibility criteria are met.
The safeguards in the bill are lacking in effect because there is no limit to the number of doctors who can be asked to authorize someone’s assisted suicide or direct “mercy killing”. Imagine a legal system where if you didn’t like the judge’s ruling you could go to another judge and keep on going until you got the answer you wanted. On top of that, imagine if the judges could also advertise their partiality to your case, and you have something of the flavour of Canada’s proposed suicide/euthanasia system. Certain activist euthanasia providers have already come forward, one with a rather macabre website and logo, to declare their enthusiasm for these dangerous practices. The caution and due diligence which the Supreme Court asked for when authorizing assisted suicide and euthanasia are already under attack.
Unless Parliament is wise enough to reject euthanasia altogether, Bill C-14 will soon be law, and serious defects will remain to threaten all Canadians with wrongful death under its authority.
In American jurisdictions where these practices are allowed, suicide rates have risen.