Friday, June 12, 2020

Canadian government asks court to extend the time to expand euthanasia law, due to COVID-19.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Five reasons to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide (Link).

On June 11, Canada's federal Attorney General David Lametti filed a motion in the Quebec Superior Court asking to extend until Dec. 18, 2020, the Quebec Superior Court’s suspension of its constitutional declaration last September. 

Lametti told the Quebec court that the government did not pass euthanasia bill C-7 because of the unprecedented challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join more than 32,000 Canadians who signed the petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

Whether or not the court extends the suspension of the Truchon court decision the Canadian government needs to reject Bill C-7 and begin the promised 5-year review of the euthanasia law with an open view to what is actually happening rather than continuing to expand euthanasia.

In September 2019, Justice Baudouin, struck down the requirement in Canada's euthanasia law that a person's natural death be reasonably foreseeable. The Quebec court gave the federal government six months to amend the euthanasia law in line with their decision. The federal government did not appeal the decision.

At that time, I reported that striking down the "terminal illness" requirement in the law opened the door to euthanasia for psychiatric conditions  (Link).

On February 17, Canada's Justice Minister, the Hon David Lametti asked the Quebec Superior Court for a four month extension to amend Canada's euthanasia law. Justice Baudouin agreed to give the government four more months (July 11) to extend Canada's euthanasia law.

On February 24, the federal government introduced Bill C-7 in response to the Quebec Truchon court decision.

What does Bill C-7 do?

1. Bill C-7 removes the requirement in the law that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order to qualify for assisted death. Therefore, people who are not terminally ill can die by euthanasia. The Quebec court decision only required this amendment to the law, but Bill C-7 went further.

2. Bill C-7 permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to lethally inject a person who is incapable of consenting, if that person was previously approved for assisted death. This contravenes the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision which stated that only competent people could die by euthanasia.

3. Bill C-7 waives the ten-day waiting period if a person's natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable. Thus a person could request death by euthanasia on a "bad day" and die the same day. Studies prove that the “will to live” fluctuates.

4. Bill C-7 creates a two track law. A person whose natural death is deemed to be reasonably foreseeable has no waiting period while a person whose natural death is not deemed to be reasonably foreseeable would have a 90 day waiting period before being killed by lethal injection.

5. As stated earlier, Bill C-7 falsely claims to prevent euthanasia for people with mental illness. The euthanasia law permits MAiD for people who are physically or psychologically suffering that is intolerable to the person and that cannot be relieved in a way that the person considers acceptable. However, mental illness, which is not defined in the law, is considered a form of psychological suffering.

Bill C-7 goes much further than the Quebec Superior Court Truchon decision. The government needs to reject Bill C-7 and begin the promised 5-year review of the euthanasia law.


John said...

Why should the government reject this law? This will pass. Mark my words. It's called evolution. And you're not king of Canada to be saying this should not pass.

Nithya said...

I am entirely against the idea of euthanasia. I can't even bear to think about it for anyone. My uncle, who works at a Top IAS academy in Chennai wanted to euthanize his terminally ill pet dog. I talked him out of it, and we waited until nature took over. We have no right to kill. Period.