Monday, October 24, 2022

Toronto Star: Canada is going too far with (MAiD) euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article titled - Canada is going too far with medical assistance in dying. The danger of abuse is becoming ever more apparent - would not be a surprise if it were published by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, but on October 14 the Toronto Star published an article by columnist Andrew Phillips with that title.

Let me explain. The Toronto Star has been one of the more prolific promoters of euthanasia.

Phillips is writing his article in response to the presentation by Dr Louis Roy for the Québec College of Physicians to The Special Joint Committee on MAiD on Friday September 7 urging Canada's Federal government to expand euthanasia to infants. But Phillips doesn't limit his criticism to infant euthanasia. Philips writes:

How does the unthinkable become not only thinkable, but seemingly inevitable? How do we normalize things we recently considered not just abnormal, but horrifying?

The question arises because a major Canadian medical organization is pushing the idea of allowing doctors to do something that’s long been considered unthinkable and abnormal: killing infants who are born with conditions that make survival impossible.

Phillips continues by expressing his support for euthanasia while stating how the law has expanded:

Now, Canada’s laws on MAID have long been stretched far beyond the original (and praiseworthy) concept of sparing terminally ill people from unnecessary agony at the end of their lives, allowing a so-called “death with dignity.” When the law was passed in 2016 it didn’t specify that a person must be terminally ill to qualify for a medically assisted death, and last year it was amended to remove the requirement that death be “reasonably foreseeable.”

The system is about to be expanded even more. In March, the rules are to be changed to allow a person to qualify for MAID if they’re suffering from a mental illness alone. And the debate on extending it to those “mature minors” is an active one. The prospect of a badly depressed 16-year-old being euthanized in this country can no longer be dismissed as just the nightmare of those “slippery slope” thinkers who always feared that MAID would turn into death on demand.

Phillips expresses caution with the direction of the law:

The government seems to be swept along by this logic, unable or unwilling to find a reason to draw a line anywhere. But as the law is widened, the danger of abuse is becoming ever more apparent.

Extending MAID to those with mental illnesses carries obvious risks, given that suicidal thoughts can be part and parcel of some psychological conditions. Advocates for the disabled warn that widening the MAID criteria makes their lives seem more disposable than others, and worry people with disabilities will feel pressure to go that route.

Les Landry
Phillips wrote about the 51 year-old woman with MCS who died by euthanasia based on poverty and Les Landry who has asked to be killed by euthanasia because of poverty. He explains that euthanasia is not rare with the 2021 statistics indicating that 10,064 Canadians reportedly died by euthanasiarepresenting 5% of all deaths in the provinces of Québec and British Columbia.

Phillips concludes by stating:

To state the obvious, or what ought to be obvious: we should not have a system that kills people because they’re desperate or disposable or too costly to keep alive. But right now we’re heading toward something like that, and it seems we don’t know how to stop.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition appreciates Andrew Phillips for recognizing the trend and the Toronto Star for publishing the article, but Canada got into this mess because politicians and the media ignored us, as alarmist, when in fact we were the canaries in the coal mine.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Please continue your tireless efforts to be 'the canary in the colemine.' As the saying goes, "All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."