Thursday, February 18, 2021

Senate passes Bill C-7 with amendments to allow euthanasia for mental illness and incompetent people.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Canada's Senate passed Bill C-7, the bill to expand Canada's euthanasia law, with amendments to further expand the law.

Joan Bryden with the Canadian Press reporting on the Senate vote explains the Bill C-7 amendments:
One amendment would allow people who fear losing mental capacity to make advance requests for an assisted death.

Another would impose an 18-month time limit on the bill's proposed blanket ban on assisted dying for people suffering solely from mental illnesses.

Until that exclusion on mental illness is lifted, senators also approved another amendment to clarify that it would not apply to people suffering from neurocognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

They further amended the bill to require the government to collect race-based data on who requests and receives assisted dying and to establish a joint parliamentary committee within 30 days of the bill receiving royal assent to review the assisted dying regime in Canada.

The revised bill will now be sent back to the House of Commons for MPs to determine whether to accept or reject some or all of the amendments.
Canada's Senate amends Bill C-7 to include euthanasia for mental illness and incompetent people (Link).

As bad as Bill C-7 was, the Senate expanded the bill to include people with mental illness (with an 18 month time-frame to develop rules around the issue) and euthanasia for incompetent people who request death in their advanced directive.

The mental illness alone amendment seemed like a "set-up" after Canada's Justice Minister, David Lametti, announced on November 24 that, once Bill C-7 is passed, he wanted to expand euthanasia to people with mental illness alone.

As stated by Bryden, Bill C-7 will now go back to parliament for a debate and vote on the Senate amendments.

Join more than 52,000 people who have signed the petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

You need to contact your member of parliament to reject the Senate amendments and Bill C-7.

The link to the list of Members of Parliament: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search

Canada legalized (MAiD) euthanasia in June 2016 by passing Bill C-14. At that time I pointed out that since the legislation lacked effective definitions 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 September 2019, Québec Justice Baudouin, in Truchonstruck down the requirement that a person's natural death be reasonably foreseeable in Canada's euthanasia law. 

On February 24, the federal government introduced Bill C-7 in response to the Quebec Superior Court decision in response to the Truchon decision, but Bill C-7 goes far beyond Truchon. Due to the COVID-19 crisis and then the prorogation of parliament, Bill C-7 was re-introduced on October 5, 2020.

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.

What did  Bill C-7 do before it was amended?

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 went much further than the Quebec Superior Court Truchon  decision and now the Senate has made it worse. 

Join more than 52,000 people who have signed the petition: Reject euthanasia Bill C-7 (Link).

You need to contact your member of parliament to reject the Senate amendments and Bill C-7.

The link to the list of Members of Parliament:  https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search

4 comments:

Evangeline said...

Right to die quickly becomes obligation to die.
As has been said euthanasia is a slippery slope. Playing God is bad business. Human beings can't handle it. How long before slimy family members are encouraging Grandma to off herself so they can get their hands on that money. It's not a far jump at all.
I never see the people of Canada protest anything. Anything at all. Are people still alive up there in Canada?

peter ryan said...

What a huge disappointment from the Senate. They had a chance to make things better, so what do they do - make them worse! Disgraceful. There've been so many good articles that should have given them pause - all to no apparent avail. Wisdom is in short supply among politicians. Congrats to all the folks who've nevertheless fought the good fight for the most vulnerable Canadians. That fight must now be continued in the House of Commons.

Was there a recorded vote? Would be good to know who voted how.

Unknown said...

I HOPE THIS REACHES DECENT PEOPLE. BEFORE WW2, HITLER EMPTIED THE MENTAL HOSPITALS. HE
WANTED ROOM FOR THE WOUNDED SOLDIERS THAT WOULD BE COMING IN HIS WAR. THE FAMILIES OF THE PATIENTS GOT TELEGRAMS SAYING THEIR LOVED ONE HAD DIED OF ? ? ? NOW WE HAVE HITLERS HERE IN CANADA. PLEASE REMEMBER THESE CRIMIONALS AT VOTING TIME.

J. SHEEDY jack9elx#gmail.com

Jael's Warrior said...

Well said... "Are people still alive up there in Canada?"