By Michel Racicot, a retired lawyer who works with Vivre dans la Dignité (Living with Dignity) in Québec.
Sign the online petition: Québec's euthanasia Bill is lethal.
At a meeting held on May 15, at the Good Shepherd Church in Brossard, with about 75 persons present, Dr. Gaetan Barrette made a few surprising declarations in a speech full of half-truths and errors about the content of the former Bill 52 which aimed, among other things, to decriminalize euthanasia under the euphemism of «medical aid in dying».
Upon being questioned, Dr. Barrette admitted that this requires a unanimous decision of all members of the National Assembly and that there would be unanimity on this step, even though half of the Liberal MNAs voted against Bill 52 at second reading. Through a nice sophism, he interpreted the promise of his leader to hold a free vote as applying only to the third reading after reintroduction of the Bill but not to the decision to reintroduce Bill 52 in the state it was in when the election was called.
This stunning about-face of the Liberal party, which now intends to withdraw from all its MNAs the full right to vote according to their conscience at all steps of the adoption process of a fundamental law dealing with the life and safety of thousands of Quebec citizens, and thereby abnegating the moral responsibility of those who participate in it, is a serious case of abuse of power at the highest level. We are probably witnessing a case of Minister Barrette bullying his colleagues, a situation which should sound the alarm about installing a culture of collusion/bullying in the new government. In the name of democracy and the credibility of our institutions, each elected member who believes that this bill contains dangerous elements for the most vulnerable members of our society, not only has the right, but also the duty, to oppose it at all steps of its adoption, even this causes a return to square one.
What will all the Liberal Ministers and MNAs who voted against Bill 52 when they were in opposition do now?
Will they accept being reduced to silence? Will they clear their conscience by not objecting to the re-introduction of Bill 52 while voting against it in third reading knowing full well that this risks leading to a rapid adoption of Bill 52?
What will the PQ MNAs do, now that they are in the opposition? Those of the CAQ?
Will there be one, a single one, to stand up with courage and state that there is no unanimity in favour of re-introducing this deadly Bill?
Me Michel Racicot
- Québec's euthanasia bill 52 is lethal.