November 27, 2019
Last month was a euthanasia roller coaster ride. During Canada’s federal election, a Québec court struck down the section of the euthanasia law requiring that a person’s “natural death be reasonably foreseeable” to qualify for euthanasia. Since the federal government didn’t appeal the decision, it stands. In response to this court decision, Prime Minister Trudeau has made the expansion of the euthanasia law one of his first priorities. Justice Minister David Lametti may introduce a bill expanding euthanasia beyond the scope of the decision.
The good news is that a British high court decided not to hear a case challenging the law preventing assisted suicide. The court stated that it is parliament, not the court, which is responsible for legislating.
The Québec euthanasia commission’s fourth report was released, stating that there were 1331 reported assisted deaths in Québec from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019. The report indicated that 13 of the deaths did not fit the criteria of the law and three were for hip fractures. The family of Alan Nichols is trying to figure out how their brother, who was not sick but living with depression, died by euthanasia in July. Meanwhile, Dr. D’Souza, a chronic pain specialist in Toronto, stated in a speech that a patient, whose condition was not known, died by euthanasia, even after Dr. D’Souza insisted that he did not qualify. Clearly the law is being abused and yet the Canadian government wants to expand it.
Alberta’s Conscience Rights’ Bill 207 was successfully introduced on November 7. Then we witnessed a massive disinformation campaign against the bill leading to its defeat in committee on November 21. EPC asks all of our supporters in Alberta to contact their MLAs to tell them that you want another conscience rights’ bill. Click here for MLA contact information.
Assisted suicide bills will be debated in at least 20 US states in 2020. New York and New Mexico are very concerning.
Last month, the New Zealand legislature approved a euthanasia referendum as a trade-off to get the New Zealand First party to support the euthanasia bill. This month, New Zealand’s parliament passed the bill with the referendum planned for the next election. New Zealand’s citizens must defeat the referendum.
The Netherlands is debating expanding euthanasia to people who are not sick but claim that their life is “complete,” while Belgium has charged a physician with killing nine patients. The Belgian physician claims that these were cases of “palliative sedation” while commentators have said that these deaths were caused by intentional overdose. A study examining deaths in Belgium indicates that more than 1000 people died by assisted death without request in 2013.
The Christmas season is upon us, a season of hope, family and renewal. We recognize how caring for others changes us and the world one person at a time. We also recognize that we need people and they need us. This is why the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition works with the Compassionate Community Care charity.
Have a Merry Christmas and plan for 2020 to be a year of hope and renewal!