Monday, February 24, 2014

Liberal Party of Canada convention supports euthanasia.

By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

On Sunday, February 23 the delegates attending the Liberal Party of Canada convention, passed a resolution to decriminalize euthanasia.

The Globe and Mail indicated that the resolution was passed by a tight vote on Sunday at the convention and the National Post reported that Justin Trudeau, the Liberal party leader, did not take a position on the issue.


November 2, 2013, the Conservative Party of Canada convention supported a resolution to protect Canadians from euthanasia and assisted suicide by passing a resolution rejecting any legislation that would legalize euthanasia or assisted suicide.

The Liberal Party resolution is confusing by its use of imprecise language. The euthanasia resolution assumes that euthanasia can be effectively controlled. Abuses of a euthanasia law results in the intentional death of a person. There is a false impression that the safeguards in the Belgium and Netherlands euthanasia laws have worked. There is ample evidence that significant abuse has occurred in both of these jurisdictions.

An article in the Hamilton Spectator reported that:
A delegate who described himself as an anesthesiologist called it "horrifying" that he could be paid through provincial health plans to end the life of a patient. 
"We have enough trouble trying not to harm people who are having treatments right now. We don't need to get into the business of doing it deliberately."
The Hamilton Spectator article also stated:
The resolution did not sit well with all Trudeau's 35 MPs, either, which may explain why he has avoided taking a stance. 
"I have great difficulty with it, I'm very uncomfortable with it," Toronto MP Judy Sgro said in an interview. 
Nevertheless, she said Canadians want a debate on the issue, and the resolution will help get it started. 
John McKay, another Toronto MP, said convention debate on the issue was superficial and didn't get into alternatives to assisted suicide or the "downsides" of legalizing it.
The Liberal euthanasia resolution reads as follows: 
"Be it resolved that voluntary medically-assisted death be decriminalized after a public consultation process designed to make recommendations to Parliament with respect to the criteria for access and the appropriate oversight system for medically-assisted end-of-life."
The resolution from the Liberal Party convention is non-binding.

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