Friday, June 17, 2016

Canadian Senate passes euthanasia bill in time for summer break.

Alex Schadenberg
Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Canada's Senate passed Bill C-14, the euthanasia and assisted suicide bill. Link to Bill C-14.

The Senate first passed Bill C-14 a few days ago with seven amendments from the original bill that was passed in the House of Commons on May 31. 

Yesterday, the House of Commons removed a controversial amendment and a protective amendment in the Senate version of the bill and then sent it back to the Senate for approval.

This morning the Senate considered an amendment that would have referred the terminal illness provision in the bill (natural death is reasonably foreseeable) to the Supreme Court of Canada, but that amendment was defeated.

The controversial issue was the requirement that a medical or nurse practitioner could approve a lethal injection if the person's "natural death is reasonably foreseeable." Parliament insisted that this requirement remains in the bill while the Senate argued that the Supreme Court did not state that a person must be "terminally ill." 

The final bill maintains that "natural death must be reasonably foreseeable" but there is no definition for this phrase.

I was disappointed that House of Commons withdrew the amendment that prohibited a beneficiary from participating in a person's assisted death or signing the person's request for assisted death. This was an amendment that protected people from a greedy beneficiary or an unscrupulous family member.

The final bill allows a beneficiary to participate in the act, even to lethally inject.

The Senate then passed Bill C-14 by a vote of 44 to 28. The response from parliament was to declare a summer recess.

The bill that determines how Canadians will kill Canadians was passed on the last day of the parliamentary schedule in time for the summer recess.

Bill C-14 now goes to the Governor General to be signed.

No attempts were made to amend the most grievous parts of Bill C-14.

1. Bill C-14 provides medical practitioners or nurse practitioners legal immunity for decisions or acts that contravene the law.

• Section 241.3 states: Before a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner provides a person with medical assistance in dying, the medical or nurse practitioner must: (a) be of the opinion that the person meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (1);

• Section 227(3) states: For greater certainty, the exemption set out in subsection (1) or (2) applies even if the person invoking it has a reasonable but mistaken belief about any fact that is an element of the exemption.

These sections of the law ensure that a medical or nurse practitioner will never be prosecuted for decisions or acts that contravene Bill C-14.

2. Bill C-14 allows anyone to cause death by euthanasia or assisted suicide.
  • Bill C-14 - Section 227(2) states: No person is a party to culpable homicide if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2.  
  • Bill C-14 - Section 241(3) states: No person is a party to an offense under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2.  
  • Bill C-14 - Section 241(5) states: No person commits an offense under paragraph (1)‍(b) if they do anything, at another person’s explicit request, for the purpose of aiding that other person to self-administer a substance that has been prescribed for that other person as part of the provision of medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2.
No jurisdiction in the world offers legal immunity to anyone who does anything for the purposes of assisting death.
Bill C-14 is the most wide-open bill in the world. It is even worse than the Belgian law.
I cannot understand why people are not concerned about the implications of the language of Bill C-14.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is resisting the cultural acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide.


Jule Koch said...

There is nothing to do but weep and pray, and get up and keep fighting against this. May God forgive Canada.

Unknown said...

Thank you Alex Schadenberg for leading a valiant fight. We should all remain vigilant and keep fighting and not let up any pressure on the ignorance and the somnolence of otherwise intelligent people. It's a sad day for humanity and most people are sleepwalking. Let us all make rational noise and keep proclaiming the Truth. Perhaps, they'll wake up some day. God bless you.

Father Larry Lynn, St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Coquitlam, BC

Maureen said...

This doesn't surprise me.....We are going to pay the price!! God help all of us, because this will only open the door to abuses of all kinds....

Peter Elliott said...

People are far more concerned with their 'right' to do whatever they want than with their obligations. We are social beings who do not operate in isolation; decisions we make are forced on others who may wish elsewise.

Deborah of Deep River, Ont. said...

How do we change the culture from "Me before We" to "We"? Someone said that politicians don't lead the culture, they FOLLOW the culture. "Me" groups are leading change in Canada thru' the Courts. Maybe a family who may loose a member to MAID but really wants them to live? Don't they have rights? Maybe a disabled or ill person feels the new law burdens them with a decision of whether to be a burden on society and family or not?

Pat Grappolini said...

We will soon be updating our wills / end of life wishes. Previously, we had a clause stating that we wanted "no extraordinary or heroic means" to prolonging our lives if death was imminent. Now we plan to add an additional clause that "no extraordinary measures" be used to hasten our death either. If "the law of the land" progresses (devolves) the way it has in other jurisdictions, it seems likely that it won't be long before "the state" has the final say in who lives and who dies. Perhaps personal wishes for a natural death will be respected, perhaps not. One can still hope at least!

Unknown said...

The devil is making huge gains. The supreme court and our federal government are probably tools he uses.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Dear Pat Grappolini: Contact the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition to order our Life Protecting Power of Attorney for Personal Care.

Unknown said...