Thursday, June 16, 2022

Leslyn Lewis: Holding On To Life: Fixing MAiD.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

Last May, I published an article urging supporters of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) to buy a membership in the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) to enable them to vote in the upcoming leadership. I stated that supporters of (EPC) are not a monolithic group, nonetheless, joining the Conservative Party to vote for a leader that opposes euthanasia (MAiD) is important.

We are currently sending questionnaires to the six candidates for leadership in the Conservative Party. We are hoping to receive responses from every CPC leadership candidate.

Holding On To Life: Fixing MAiD

"Our MAiD laws are falling off the cliff.”

Those were the words of Dr. Sonu Gaind, Chair of the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) Team at Humber River Hospital in a recent interview with political commentator Anthony Furey.

So many of us warned about a slippery slope back in 2016 as the Trudeau Liberals pushed through the legalization of euthanasia across Canada.

Of course, we were dismissed and told that our fears of a government-funded death-on-demand system would never happen. Any of us who raised concerns were told that we  lacked compassion, and promised there would be no abuse, and that the vulnerable would be protected.

Sadly…we were right. In fact, the only thing we had wrong is that we underestimated how fast this Liberal government would sprint down the slippery slope, and run towards the cliff.

Just five years later the Liberals have pushed through the radical Bill C-7, which removed the main safeguard that the Liberals promised would limit access to MAiD – that the person’s death needs to be “reasonably foreseeable.” What’s more, in two more years, the bill allows those suffering solely from mental illness, like depression, to apply for MAiD.

Despite the outcry from across the political spectrum, from disability rights groups to mental health advocates to faith groups and from people from all walks of life, the Liberals rammed the bill through Parliament without full study, discussion or debate.

Even the far-left Toronto Star at the time put out an editorial saying the bill was “flawed” and “a far cry from what most people accepted as a valid, indeed compassionate reason for legalizing assisted suicide” and that the potential for abuse was “both obvious and frightening.”

The consequences are already unfolding and they are tragic.

Not only are euthanasia rates rapidly mounting with each year, Canadians have been horrified to learn that death by lethal injection has been offered to those who are poor and can’t afford proper housing, to those who don’t want to live alone in isolation, or those who are in desperate but treatable mental anguish. The most vulnerable Canadians are saying they want to die and our government seems happy to help them along.

Our country is disturbingly earning an international reputation for its "death-on-demand" regime.

I have been heartbroken as I’ve read these stories of suffering Canadians who might still be with us today if their government hadn’t promoted assisted death as an option. I’ve wondered why someone didn’t intervene and tell them that there is treatment and light on the other side of their suffering.

Canada’s MAiD law isn’t about compassion. It is a betrayal of the most vulnerable among us who we should be protecting. It’s time we have a Prime Minister and government who will offer help and hope, not a death-on-demand regime that threatens the poor, the mentally ill, youth, women, the elderly, and the disabled.

Death cannot be the only option. I promise as Prime Minister I will reverse course, and we will protect life once again in Canada:

  • I will repeal and replace Bill C-7 to restore important safeguards to protect the vulnerable and refocus efforts to deliver care to the suffering, not push them towards death.
  • I will expand mental health treatment services and suicide prevention resources, like crisis centres, by working with the provinces and better leveraging the charitable and non-profit sectors.
  • I will lead national efforts to expand access to palliative care, like hospice and home care, including ramping up training for health care providers and caregivers.
  • I will also double the number of weeks for EI caregiver benefits, including the family caregiver benefit and the compassionate care benefit, to make it easier for families to provide the care their loved ones need.

Finally, I will enshrine conscience protections for doctors. Doctors should never be coerced or pressured to violate their conscience by participating in MAiD. MP Kelly Block has put forward a private member’s bill to amend the Criminal Code to make it an offense to force a doctor to participate in MAiD or to be denied employment because of their refusal to participate. If the Liberals fail to support that bill by the time I am Prime Minister, I will amend the Criminal Code to protect the conscience rights of doctors.

With all the pressures and troubles facing so many right now, the message Canadians need to hear is that there is help and there is HOPE. That message is needed now more than ever before.

Help me share that message of hope and protect life in Canada once again


Hopefully every CPC leadership candidate will take a similar position.


Anonymous said...

Leslyn was my choice when she ran for leadership of the CPC party, but Erin O'Toole won the seat. It is my most fervent prayer that she is voted in this time, because I feel she is a person of her word, and her moral values reflect those of millions of other Canadians. After reading her comments about MAiD, I am more convinced than ever that she is the right person for the job and won't let us down. God bless Leslyn.

Marimae Matthews said...

Yeah for Leslyn Lewis. She is a breath of fresh air in the midst of dark times for Canadians of all capacities and ages. Thank you, Leslyn.