March 19, 2021
Bill C-7, which permits euthanasia for people with mental illness, is now the law but the debate has not ended. Unless an election is called, the government is establishing a committee to review Canada’s (MAiD) euthanasia legislation. As terrible as Bill C-7 was, there is a two-year moratorium on the euthanasia for mental illness clause, giving the government time to establish protocols. When euthanasia and assisted suicide under the guise of (MAiD) were legalized in June 2016, the bill required that a five-year review of the legislation be done, to begin in June 2020. It appears that the government will try to limit the review to issues related to further expansion of the law. We hope that the “review” will provide an opportunity for us and our coalition partners to change the direction of the debate and enable a full examination of the law.
The good news is that Bill C-7 activated thousands of Canadians from different perspectives. More than 53,000 people signed our petition opposing Bill C-7; more than 18,000 people signed our petition opposing euthanasia for mental illness. People with disabilities, Indigenous people, medical and mental health professionals and many others are committed to reversing the euthanasia trend. These are diverse, effective and committed allies.
In the Netherlands a group has formed to stop the extension of euthanasia to children. Bescherm het Kinderleven (Protect Children’s Lives, www.beschermkinderleven.nl) is a group of loosely affiliated leaders who oppose the termination of life for children. The EPC petition opposing child euthanasia has gained more than 102,000 signatures (click here to sign the petition).
As bad as it was that the Portuguese Parliament legalized euthanasia, Portugal’s President referred the bill to their Constitutional Court who decided (7-5) that the law is unconstitutional. The issue has not ended in Portugal, but for now, people will be protected.
CONSCIENCE RIGHTS ARE ESSENTIAL. In Canada, Kelly Block MP has sponsored Private Members Bill C-268: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (intimidation of health care professionals) cited as the Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act. Medical professionals who oppose MAiD are being coerced and intimidated into participating in it. Ontario requires physicians to do an effective referral, which is a direct cooperation with the act. We launched an online petition supporting Bill C-268 (click here to sign the petition) and will provide talking points for you to contact your Member of Parliament.
Canada is the prime example of the slippery slope. EPC is warning the world not to follow Canada’s lead. In less than five years Canada has legalized killing by euthanasia and expanded it to include people with mental illness.
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