Saturday, July 4, 2020

Quebec court grants extension to government to pass euthanasia Bill C-7. Bill C-7 must be rejected.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
More than 33,000 Canadians have signed the petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

Last week Justice Baudouin of the Quebec Superior Court granted the request by Canada's federal government to extend the time-frame to December 18 to implement a new euthanasia law.

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

The federal 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 expanding the euthanasia law.

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, 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 until July 11 to expand 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.

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