Thursday, September 12, 2019

Quebec Court Decision Supports Trend Towards Unrestricted Euthanasia.

For Immediate Release 
September 12, 2019

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition calls on the Federal Government to take immediate action to appeal the decision of the Quebec Superior Court and to pass even stronger protections and safeguards that would limit the application of euthanasia and assisted suicide on demand. Unrestricted euthanasia threatens the health and safety of all Canadians including children, parents, people with disabilities and seniors across Canada.

The Quebec Superior Court in Truchon v. Canada yesterday rendered a decision that continues the trend toward unrestricted euthanasia.

The Court found that the requirement that natural death be reasonably foreseeable or that a person be terminally ill in order to access euthanasia represents a violation of the Charter of Rights and is unconstitutional.

This decision represents a fundamental attack on Canadian values, on democracy and on the sovereignty of Parliament to pass laws that regulate the ability of doctors to intentionally kill people. It is a threat to the lives of all Canadians.

In 95% of countries around the world and in most US states, euthanasia and assisted suicide remain criminally prohibited in order to support life, promote suicide prevention and generally to balance the dignity, autonomy and security and safety of all people including those who may be vulnerable to abuse.

The requirement that a person be terminally ill or that death be reasonably foreseeable in order to access assisted suicide is common place in those states in the United States like Oregon that regulate assisted suicide.

The Court ruling moves Canada toward a system of unrestricted euthanasia on demand where any person who wishes to receive euthanasia will have access to euthanasia regardless of circumstance. The decision compels doctors to preform euthanasia at taxpayer expense in virtually every case and overrides the legislative processes undertaken by Quebec and Canada to regulate euthanasia.

The Decision of the Quebec Superior Court today was as predictable as it is dangerous as Canadian culture shifts away from a culture that protects life, safety and security and is prepared to sacrifice those vital interests in favour of unbridled individual autonomy cloaked by medicine and unilaterally carried out by doctors unchecked, states Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

EPC President and disability rights expert Amy Hasbrouck notes that the lives of all Canadians with disabilities, seniors and others who are made vulnerable because of society’s view of them have been put significantly at risk by this Court decision that fundamentally undermines the dignity, equality, safety and security of all people.

Hasbrouck notes that in places like the Netherlands and Belgium there is a trend to permit and condone the intentional killing of children, people with disabilities and others who are not near death because of the view that their lives are not equally valued and should not be accorded the same respect under human rights and constitutional law. That trend is mirrored here by the shift in Canadian culture toward a culture of death and away from a culture of respect for the value of the lives and experiences of all Canadian citizens.

It is extremely concerning that Canada that champions itself as a model and protector of human rights around the world, has created the most dangerous regime of euthanasia. This regime has now been opened up so broadly that there are virtually no limits or safeguards to stop doctors from unilaterally ending the lives of people unchecked and regardless of their circumstances notes human rights lawyer Hugh Scher.

Those who experience disabilities, are frail from age and those who experience a lack of social, community and medical supports which are routinely denied to vulnerable people at risk are now left with virtually no protection from the abuses of euthanasia, states EPC president Amy Hasbrouck.

This stunning lack of support for people with disabilities and seniors within the community itself creates a situation of heightened risk and danger to those who become vulnerable because of these circumstances and who feel that there is no other way out but death by euthanasia, notes Alex Schadenberg, EPC executive director.

For more information contact:

  • Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, London: 519-851-1434;
  • Amy Hasbrouck, President, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Montreal: 450-921-3057 
  • Hugh Scher, Counsel to Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Toronto: 416-816-6115

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