On Monday, February 24th, the federal government introduced new legislation, Bill C-7, that would expand Canada’s euthanasia law and make it the most permissive in the world.
As reported by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, this bill would eliminate the requirement that a person must have a terminal illness to qualify for euthanasia and assisted suicide.
This means that people with chronic illness and disability would now be eligible for euthanasia in Canada. Over this past year, we have been running local ads that ask, “Why assisted suicide for some, and suicide prevention for others?” We should be asking the same question about this bill.
If someone expresses a desire to end their life, we should respond with care and support, and ask what they are struggling with that makes them feel this way. We should provide them with suicide prevention resources, because their life is valuable. Why would our response be different just because a person has a disability or chronic illness?
The bill would also endanger vulnerable people by permitting advance requests. Currently, doctors will ask a person if they still consent to the euthanasia just before the lethal injection is administered. This new bill would allow people to consent ahead of time, and eliminate the requirement to ask them just before being euthanized. As the EPC explains,
“Bill C-7 allows doctors and nurse practitioners to lethally inject an incompetent person, (advanced request) so long as that person consented to death by lethal injection before becoming incompetent.
This amendment to the law contravenes the Carter decision which required that a person be capable of consenting to die.The goal of the euthanasia lobby was to amend the law to allow “advanced consent” for euthanasia. Canada’s Liberal government appears to be working closely with the euthanasia lobby.”
House of Commons
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House of Commons
You can watch video of part of this week’s debate on this bill:
Part two of debate in the house begins approximately 9 minutes into this video: