Thursday, October 19, 2023

Bill C-314 defeated. Parliament divided on euthanasia for mental illness

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Bill C-314, the Mental Health Protection Act, sponsored by the Hon. Ed Fast (CPC), was narrowly defeated by a vote of 167 to 150 at second reading in Canada's Parliament on Wednesday October 18, 2023.

The vote on Bill C-314 indicates that Canada's Parliament is divided on the issue of euthanasia for mental illness. 

  • Every Conservative (CPC) MP voted YES to C-314. 
  • Every NDP MP voted YES to C-314.
  • Both Green MPs voted YES to C-314
  • 8 Liberal MPs voted YES to C-314 
  • 1 Independent MP voted YES to C-314

Hon. Ed Fast
Sadly, every Bloc MP and most Liberal MPs voted NO to C-314.

The good news is that even though the Liberals pressured their MPs to oppose Bill C-314, eight Liberal MPs still voted YES. 

Thank you to Hon. Ed Fast for sponsoring Bill C-314 and for his professional campaign in support of the bill. Thank you to all of the Conservative MPs, to all of the NDP MPs, to the courageous Liberal MPs, and to all others who supported Bill C-314.

On March 17, 2021 Parliament passed Bill C-7 which expanded Canada's euthanasia law by: 

  • removing the "terminal illness" requirement, 
  • removing the 10-day reflection period when someone is deemed to be "terminally ill", 
  • adding a 90-day waiting period for someone who is approved for euthanasia but not "terminally ill"
  • permitting euthanasia for someone who is incompetent but previously approved for euthanasia,
  • permitted euthanasia for someone with mental illness alone. Euthanasia for mental illness alone will become officially legal on March 17, 2024.

Bill C-314 would have protected people who are living with mental illness from medical assistance in dying (euthanasia). The latest Angus Reid Institute survey indicates that only 28% of Canadians support euthanasia for mental illness while 82% of Canadians stated that mental health care should be improved before euthanasia for mental illness is considered. 

Many groups supported Bill C-314 including the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention and the Society of Canadian Psychiatry.

Anike Morrison
Anike Morrison, who lives with a severe mental health condition, stated at the EPC Press Conference that in 2018 she fell into such a deep depression that she was hospitalized 5 times. She said that if MAiD had been presented as an option to her at that time as a solution to her emotional pain and distress:

I may not be here today. It was a very rough time. It was only through the care of the psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacists and  social workers that I was able to get better and move through that time in my life.

Anike has completed her undergraduate degree, has travelled, and most importantly, loves her life. She is on the "other" side of that dark period.

This is not a "settled" issue. We will not be silent in the face of killing.


tigrlily said...

For me, this vote represents very encouraging news. Parliament is no longer in lock-step support for medical killing. I am hopeful that politicians and the general public are beginning to understand tha tthere can be no free choice to die while old, ill, disabled, racialized, indigenous and other marginalized people don't have a free choice in where and how we live.

Civil engineer said...

"And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand." (Mark 3:25)

Vi said...

:( Amen & True Civil engineer...

Alex Schadenberg said...

I agree with Tigrlily. Parliament is no longer in lock-step support for medical killing. Sadly this may have been the last chance to stop this insanity before March 2024.

TracyO said...

Thanks to the Honourable Ed Fast for trying.

gordon friesen said...

I find it intriguing, and very difficult to understand, that the NDP and the Liberals should be on different sides on this.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tigrlily. But what can be done before March 2024? Of course we can continue to pray

Lene said...

I find it deceptive when I hear news clips of our leaders say how much they value the lives of people in the midst of the wars going on. Does anyone else find that oxymoronic?
Perhaps they're only doing this because these people don't live in Canada. Because here, it's very obvious how they're obsessed with ensuring the death of people from womb to old age and any time in between. The repackaging of eugenics in a not so subtle manner. Sad, very sad about all this deception!

Anonymous said...

So we need to double down on our politicians. Find out if your MP voted for or against C314 if they voted against tell them they voted against the wishes of their constituents and it is not what Canadians want. This country is still a democracy. The polls show that the majority of Canadians are for C314. If your MP voted in support of C314 tell them to keep fighting, not to abandon the mentally ill to euthanasia.

Vi said...

I totally agree with you, Lene!

Catti said...

What I found disgusting about this vote was that within minutes of the result being announced, "Dying with Dignity" was all over social media rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of having a new group of people to murder. Anyone who replied to their posts with disgust was accused of "forcing people to live", by shills because DWD itself was too cowardly to reply directly.

The members of "Dying with Dignity" along with CAMAP should all undergo psychiatric assessments to screen for sociopathy and serial killer tendencies.