Thursday, February 11, 2021

Canada's Senate amends Bill C-7 to include euthanasia for mental illness and incompetent people.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Canada legalized (MAiD) euthanasia in June 2016 by passing Bill C-14. At that time I pointed out that because the legislation lacked effective definition that the practice of euthanasia would quickly expand. A caveat within Bill C-14 was the legislated requirement that a five-year review of the law would begin in June 2020.

I didn't expect the government would first expand Canada's euthanasia law by Bill C-7 before completing the required five-year review of the law.

In December, parliament passed Bill C-7, without amendments, and sent it to the Senate. The shock that our government would expand the euthanasia law before completing its required parliamentary review of the law was exasperated by the appointed Senate.

Sign the Petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

As bad as Bill C-7 is, yesterday Canada's Senate passed two dangerous amendments to Bill C-7. They passed an amendment permitting euthanasia for incompetent people who had requested death in an advanced directive and they passed an amendment to approve euthanasia for mental illness (with a 18 month sunset clause).

The Canadian Press reported that Senator Pamela Wallin sponsored the amendment because she has a history of dementia in her family. The Senators supported Wallin's amendment even though the issue has not been debated in the Senate or Parliamentary Committee hearings.

Joan Bryden reporting for the Canadian Press stated that euthanasia for mental illness amendment was sponsored by Senator Stan Kutcher, a psychiatrist. According to Bryden:
The amendment puts an 18-month time limit on the mental illness exclusion, intended to give the federal government, along with provinces, territories and medical associations, time to come up with appropriate guidelines and safeguards.
Senator Kutcher was wrong when he argued in the Senate Committee hearings that in jurisdictions that have legalized euthanasia or assisted suicide, that other suicides have gone down.

The Senate will be voting on further amendments today. Bill C-7 is scheduled for a final vote in the Senate on February 17.

It appears that the Senate will pass Bill C-7 with amendments. Bill C-7 will then go back to the House of Commons where they will vote to either accept or reject the amendments. It is possible that the amendments will be rejected by the House of Commons and Bill C-7 will be sent back to the Senate.

Join 50,000 people who have signed the petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

Bill C-7 already:
  1. Removed the requirement in the law that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable. 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 goes further.
  2. Permitted 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. Waived 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. Created 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. Falsely claimed 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.
Canada's Justice Minister, David Lametti, announced on November 24 that, once Bill C-7 is passed, he wants to expand euthanasia to people with mental illness alone, obviously the Senate has taken him up on this.

Contact your Member of Parliament today and urge them to vote against Bill C-7 when it returns from the Senate. (Link to Members of Parliament).


J said...

Please stop this. I have friends who have mental issues and they can better after two hours or one day. Just because a person is having a bad day. :(. That is no reason to promote death as an option. Last-time I checked Health Professionals and Doctors and Nurses should always promote life that is what they sign when they become Doctor's and Nurses. God Bless...... Praying for a Major Changing hearts and minds and souls to Jesus, Amen 🙏👍✌️

Redstonian said...

Including mental illness implies that Trudeau and most of his caucus will be eligible to be euthanized.