Monday, April 20, 2020

Canadians oppose euthanasia for mental illness and child euthanasia. Canada must reject Bill C-7.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Petition: Stop euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link)

On February 24, 2020 Canada's federal government introduced Bill C-7, an act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying). 

Bill C-7 is the federal government's response to the Quebec Court decision that struck down the section of Canada's euthanasia law requiring that "natural death be reasonably foreseeable" to qualify for death by euthanasia (lethal injection).

Bill C-7 amends the euthanasia law by eliminating the "terminal illness" requirement, allowing advanced requests for euthanasia, and removing the 10 day waiting period. It also falsely claims to prohibit euthanasia for mental illness.

Bill C-7, a bill to amend Canada's euthanasia (MAiD) law, if passed without amendments, will make Canada's euthanasia law the most permissive in the world.

Bill C-7, appears to be designed by the results of the online survey that was conducted in January 2020. On January 14, I urged EPC supporters to participate in the Canadian Department of Justice Medical Assistance in Dying consultation questionnaire. In my article I stated:
The language of the consultation questionnaire is not great, nonetheless, the questionnaire allows you to leave further comments.
On January 15 I published a Guide to answering the Questionnaire. The guide had more than 19,000 page views.

The assessment of the public consultation on Medical Assistance in Dying provides greater clarity concerning Bill C-7.

According to the consultation indicates that, Canadians don't want euthanasia for mental illness or child euthanasia. The assessment of the public consultation states:

Theme 4 - Concerns with expanding eligibility for MAID

Comments under this theme included concerns with expanding eligibility for MAID to those who suffer from mental illness and mature minors.

A majority of those who provided comments were not in favour of extending MAID to people who suffer from mental illness. They expressed concerns that people with mental health issues, such as depression, may feel that MAID is their only option, when effective therapies could lead to full recovery. Rather than extending the option to terminate lives, many respondents felt that the focus should be on increasing preventative measures, supports, resources, and intensive treatment for people with mental health issues, as well as increasing resources for people with physical disabilities. Some noted that people with mental illness, and those with physical and intellectual disabilities, are especially vulnerable to manipulation and abuse, or may feel like a burden on family, friends or the healthcare system, and suggested different and specific qualifying criteria for these groups.

In contrast, others felt that people suffering from mental illness should be eligible for MAID in certain circumstances (e.g., chronic, severe, disabling, treatment-resistant disorders). Some noted that mental health conditions can result in suffering that is as painful as physical disorders and not respond to treatment, resulting in people making dangerous suicide attempts rather than ending their life in a safe way.

Most respondents did not support MAID being extended to minors due to their state of development and the risk that they would make an irreversible decision and die before their time. Others were in support of extending MAID to minors in cases of terminal and incurable diseases, with proper safeguards in place.
Theme 4 explains why Bill C-7 did not extend euthanasia to children and why the government claims that the bill prevents euthanasia for mental illness. Sadly, Bill C-7 does not prevent euthanasia for mental illness.

I reported, in September 2019, that the Quebec court expanded Canada's euthanasia law by eliminating the requirement that only terminally ill people could be killed by lethal injection.

By eliminating the "terminal illness" requirement, the court decision also expanded euthanasia to people with psychological conditions alone. Canada's euthanasia law states that a person qualifies for euthanasia if:

the illness, disease or disability or that state of decline causes them enduring physical or psychological suffering that is intolerable to them and that cannot be relieved under conditions that they consider acceptable.
Before the Quebec court decision, a person didn't qualify for euthanasia based on psychological reasons alone since the law required that a person's "natural death be reasonably foreseeable." Since the Quebec court struck down this requirement, the law now permits euthanasia for psychological reasons.

Bill C-7 pretends to prevent euthanasia for "mental illness". Section (2.‍1) of Bill C-7 states:

For the purposes of paragraph (2)‍(a), a mental illness is not considered to be an illness, disease or disability.
This statement does not prevent euthanasia for mental illness or psychological reasons since the law specifically permits it. To prevent euthanasia for "mental illness" the bill would need to properly define "mental illness."

The government has previously stated that it plans to have an official five-year review of the euthanasia law starting in June 2020.

The federal government needs to reject Bill C-7 and conduct a proper review of the law, as promised, starting in June 2020.

Petition: Stop euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).


TDPelletier said...

The Canadian governement has released a document reporting on a questionnaire answered by Canadians in January.

In that document, we can read this : '' ... resulting in people making dangerous suicide attempts rather than ending their life in a safe way''.

That's just silly. If words have meaning, then ending one's life is, by definition, quite unsafe.

Canada, the country where
- abortion is safe for the baby;
- abortion and pre-natal care can co-exist;
- abortion can be called health care and designed essential during the COVID-19 crisis but not church services;
- suicide is safe for the one who kills himself;
- euthanasia (not palliatice care) is called medical aid in dying;
- to die is confused with to kill;
- people who care for moms and children are called haters;
- a UC pastor can be an atheist;
- a man can become a woman;
- a woman can become a man;
- a man can give birth to a baby;
- the word 'mankind' is offensive and should be replaced with 'peoplekind';
- Armed Forces documents cannot refer to a woman by the pronouns 'she/her' *even if* she would like to;
- unjust discrimination against pro-life organizations is actually equity;
- a Liberal government can co-host a media freedom summit while some people in the Liberal party itself can ban a peaceful journalist from covering Liberal campaign events;
- a Prime Minister can proclaim that abortion is a right recognized by the Charter and then denounce fake news.

I could unfortunately go on for a while.

Let's bring back truth and the meaning of words.

And actually care for the good of others. For instance, people who have a hard time accepting their biological constitution have a lot to lose if we go along with distortions to truth. No one benefits from distortions to truth.

Kyrie eleison.

JtM said...


Jocelyn, RN BScN said...

I'm not sure why you are mentioning euthanasia of children? That has never been on the table as far as I understand MAiD and bill C-7. Was this an attempt to get more people to read this article? If you are referencing abortion, I won't entertain a discussion on the matter--it is not at all related to C7 and should not be compared. There is no room for religion in law. Antidisestablishmentarianism is a very important piece for Canada and many other Western, developed countries.

Alex Schadenberg said...

Sorry Jocelyn but child euthanasia is not only being talked about, the government commissioned a study on it. So instead of making assertions about religion, which I never talk about, or abortion, which I clearly do not write about, first study the facts.