Ontario Court Rules in Favour of Guelph & Area Right to Life over Bus Advertisements on City of Guelph Buses
GUELPH, ONTARIO, January 27, 2022:
On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of Guelph & Area Right to Life in their judicial review challenging the City of Guelph.
Following complaints received by the City of Guelph regarding advertisements on City buses posted on behalf of Guelph & Area Right to Life, the City removed 3 advertisements based entirely on a decision made by Advertising Standards Canada, a national non-profit self-regulatory body.
Subsequently, Guelph & Area Right to Life submitted applications for judicial review arguing that the City’s decision to remove its advertisements since it violates one’s rights to freedom of expression as indicated in section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Guelph & Area Right to Life also argued that the City “improperly fettered its discretion by delegating the decision-making process to Ad Standards” (Guelph and Area Right to Life v. City of Guelph, 2022 ONSC 43).
Following the consideration of the Court, the conclusion below was made:
“For the reasons below, we agree with the applicant that the City’s decisions are unreasonable because the City did not engage in the balancing exercise required by the Doré/Loyola test. This does not mean that the City is required to post the applicant’s advertisements. Rather, the matter is remitted back to the City to be decided in accordance with the requisite analysis” (Guelph and Area Right to Life v. City of Guelph, 2022 ONSC 43).
The members of Guelph & Area Right to Life are pleased to receive this ruling since it not only affirms the Charter rights of this group but of all pro-life groups in Canada.”We are ecstatic! This is a big win for us locally and the Canadian Pro-Life movement. We thank Carol Crosson for all the amazing work she did in this case, as well as the various intervenors who took an interest in our legal action and spoke in our defence. We look forward to sharing life-affirming messages in our city once again”, said Kristin Swaving, President of Guelph & Area Right to Life.
Over the past year and a half, the pandemic has brought worry, suffering, and even death. In Canada, there have been over 28,000 deaths attributed to the virus. These numbers reflect the lives of unique, individual, and inherently valuable human beings. Because of this, our society rightfully shows concern for those who have died from COVID-19. However, we continue to fail to respect the value of life at all stages during this global pandemic, through the promotion of abortion and euthanasia.
Annually, an estimated 100,000 Canadian lives are lost to abortion. They too reflect the lives of unique, individual, and inherently valuable human beings. Shouldn’t we be concerned?
Last year, 1,412 people chose to die by euthanasia because of feelings of loneliness and isolation, likely heightened by the pandemic. Should we not be looking for ways to enhance their quality of life and them to see their value to society, rather than affirming their feelings of hopelessness and hastening their deaths?
In this post, we will explain how the pandemic has impacted abortion and euthanasia, as well as provide you with simple tasks you can do to help foster a culture of life during this difficult time.
Based on the most recent available statistics, in 2019 alone, there were 79,927 reported surgical abortions in Canada. There were also 14,626 abortion pill prescription claims in Ontario, totaling the abortion count to 94,553. Since the abortion pill prescription claims only account for those in Ontario, the total count is likely over 100,000.
These numbers show that abortion accounts for nearly three times the amount of deaths in Canada, if not more, in comparison to deaths from COVID-19 in 19 months (28,054 as of October 5, 2021).
Abortion via Telemedicine
The pandemic has changed the way women have abortions, with a greater number of them obtained through telemedicine-prescribed abortion pills. This poses a significant risk to the health of women a chemical abortion, as an ultrasound to determine the gestational age and location of the child is not needed.
Without an ultrasound, abortion providers are relying on women to provide information about their last menstrual period (LMP) in order to determine the age of the child. This poses a problem as it is reported that women frequently underestimate gestational age by a month or more. In cases where the gestational age is underestimated, the woman will be more likely to experience a failed abortion resulting in severe complications.
By using abortion pills at home, many women may never walk into an abortion facility to obtain an abortion. Not only does this fail to consider reproductive coercion and isolate women seeking abortion from friends and family who might be able to support them in choosing life, but it also impacts the ability for her to be offered pro-life pregnancy support through public in-person outreach.
Former abortion workers have reported that the “no-show” rate for abortion appointments can be as high as 75% when someone prays and offers pro-life support in front of an abortion facility. However, with a significant number of abortions happening in women’s homes, initiatives like 40 Days for Life and other pregnancy support outreach may struggle to reach out to women, since this outreach cannot be seen when women perform their abortions at home.
Euthanasia & Social Isolation
When it comes to euthanasia and the social isolation associated with minimizing the spread of disease, it is the elderly that are the most at risk. Based on the data from Health Canada, it was reported that 18.6% of people listed loneliness and isolation as a reason for obtaining an assisted death. Professionals in the field of geriatrics have expressed concern towards elderly residents living in isolation, as some have requested an assisted death, rather than live in isolation or lockdown.
Here is what Alex Schadenberg, the Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition had to say about loneliness and the desire to die, “In my 21 years of experience speaking to people who wish to die or nearing death, I have learned that fear of future suffering (not usually current suffering), loneliness, loss of hope and a sense of abandonment are strongly driving the wish to die. The answer is a caring response, a genuine concern for the person, and an assurance that their life has value”.
How you can help
Rather than only trying to convince people that abortion and euthanasia are wrong, in order to effectively change the way our society thinks, we must lay the foundation that all human life has inherent value. Here are some tips to help you build this foundation:
1. Do something:
This might seem like a simple tip, but it is important. The only way we will be able to end abortion and euthanasia is if we all work together. It can be something as simple as donating $10 a month to a pro-life organization, participating in pro-life events like 40 Days for Life, or praying for greater respect for human life at all stages.
2. Start local:
In order to promote the value of life on a global scale, we must start with our own community. This might look like teaching your children about the sanctity of life, supporting friends who are expecting a child, or even calling a local retirement home to see if someone would appreciate a phone call. Reaching out to your local church leadership about ways you can support your church community is a great way to support the sanctity of life. This might look like organizing a meal train for a new mom or someone recovering from illness, visiting or calling elderly members of your church who live alone, or starting a pro-life prayer group.
If you are unable to offer your time, consider financially supporting the work of local pro-life organizations such as pregnancy resource centres, right to life groups, and euthanasia prevention groups, who work towards building a culture of life in your community.
3. Stay Informed:
Do you know what the law says about abortion and euthanasia? Do you know why some people opt for euthanasia while those suffering in similar ways choose to live? Do you know how to have grace-filled conversations about abortion and euthanasia with those in your community?
Having a comprehensive understanding of life issues is important when building a foundation on the value of human life. We recommend reading and watching pro-life resources about abortion and euthanasia, talking to those who are part of the pro-life movement, and doing your own research about life issues. For a comprehensive list of resources, we suggest contacting us to visit our lending library.
Erin O’Toole is now the Leader of the Conservative Party,
after a competitive leadership race that featured two strongly pro-life
candidates. Pro-life candidate Leslyn Lewis also had a high profile, winning
almost 21% of the available points on the first ballot. It was a reminder that many
voters care deeply about social & family issues, including abortion and
Where does Erin O’Toole stand on these issues? He has made
statements on some pro-life topics, but we can also look to his voting record,
since he has been in politics since 2012.
Inconsistent Record on Abortion
He’ll be the first to tell you: he’s pro-choice. “I won the
leadership of the Conservative Party as a pro-choice Conservative MP, one with
a strong mandate. That’s how I’m going to lead as the leader of the Opposition,”
he told media in the days after the leadership results.
He has emphasized his willingness to accept other points of
view, especially amongst other MPs when it comes to votes on moral issues. In
an email to his supporters, he said he would allow MPs to vote according to their
consciences on “moral issues” if he were to lead the government. Earlier this
year, he told the Toronto Star that he would permit MPs to bring forward bills
about issues such as conscience rights. However, he said that bills explicitly
restricting abortion were a “line he wouldn’t cross.”
However, he did vote ‘yes’ in 2016 to Cassie & Molly’s
Law, a proposed bill that would have made it a separate offence to kill or
injure a preborn child while committing a violent crime against a pregnant
woman. (The bill did not pass.)
Pro-life Canadians may be encouraged by his stance on
overseas funding of abortion. In an interview during the leadership race, he
said, “I do not think abortion services should be part of our foreign aid
funding in any way.” Noting the limited resources that we have to offer, he
asked, “Why would we ever earmark some of those funds for something that is not
only divisive, but it’s almost a condescending foreign policy? We’re allowing
an agenda to be advanced rather than advance direct help for the well being of
people.” He noted how much good can be done by funding child and maternal
health programs overseas, saying that adding abortion funding is “more politics
However, when it comes to abortion, he has said that he will
not bring forward government legislation on the issue. In interview with the
media, he has re-iterated that he believes abortion is a right, yet promises to
work together with members of the party who have pro-life beliefs.
Strong Message on Euthanasia
When it comes to the issue of euthanasia & assisted suicide,
his message is much clearer. He has been against euthanasia since it was first
introduced to Canada, and voted against Bill C-14 (the 2016 euthanasia bill).
In 2017, he told CTV News, “I do not think it is appropriate for society to
make determinations on the quality of a life and to engage our public
healthcare system to end that life.” He has advocated for better palliative
care, and wrote a blog post warning about the slippery slope of euthanasia.
In his blog post, he emphasized the vulnerability of people
who may be considering euthanasia, saying, “We must also remember that the
citizen that may want to seek this final option is someone that is likely in a
mental state of despair and fear from the pain and uncertainty that comes with
a serious illness or debilitating condition.”
In his platform, he proposes conscience rights legislation
for doctors and other healthcare professionals, ensuring they will not be
forced to participate directly in euthanasia or make a referral. When a
conscience rights amendment to Bill C-14 was proposed in 2016, he voted in
favour of it, though it did not pass.
Support for Families
In his platform, O’Toole has proposed that the Canada Child
Benefit should begin at the 7th month of pregnancy, rather than at
childbirth, for a first child. This would allow new moms to prepare for their
baby’s arrival by helping to cover first-time costs such as a car seat and
In addition, his platform suggests that women who have
experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth should receive two weeks of paid
parental leave. He also suggests a bereavement leave for parents who have lost
a child shortly after birth.
Canada Summer Jobs Grant
In the past few years, pro-life groups have continued to be
prohibited from receiving the Canada Summer Jobs grant, which would be used to
hire summer interns to do work in the pro-life field. O’Toole promises to pass
a law that would stop discrimination when it comes to government grants and
government-funded programs. He specifically notes that ‘religion or religious
belief’ should not prevent people from receiving a grant, and it may be that
this could be extended to pro-life beliefs as well.
What Can We Do?
With an election possibly coming in the near future, there is a
great deal pro-life people can do! Erin O’Toole has promised to listen to the
grassroots, so it’s a great time to let him know how important pro-life issues
are to you. The Conservative policy convention will be held in 2021, and O’Toole
has pledged to allow members to determine the party policies at the grassroots
level. At the last policy convention, pro-life voices helped to put forward a
number of policies, including that the party condemns discrimination against
girls through gender-selective abortion.
It’s important for pro-life people to continue sharing the issues that matter to them with the party leadership and encouraging their MPs to vote pro-life. You can also keep involved if you’re a member of the Conservative party. One way is to attend the policy convention as a delegate for your riding. You can make a great difference with your voice!
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.”
This means that a person might sign an advance request for euthanasia and then develop dementia at a later time. Then, when they no longer have the capacity to consent, a doctor could still euthanize them, not knowing if they truly consent at that moment.
A person may look ahead and, fearing the future, say that they want to be euthanized in certain circumstances. But how can any of us know how we will truly feel when facing unknown future circumstances?
It would be gravely irresponsible for the government to move ahead with this bill, since vulnerable people with no capacity to consent would be killed, with no way for doctors to know if they were doing so against the patient’s will.
Take Action:Email or write to your local MP to urge them to speak up against this bill in Parliament.
In Guelph, your MP is Lloyd Longfield.
Mail can be sent to his Guelph office:
111 Farquhar Street
Unit 103 Guelph, ON N1H 3N4
Or, send mail to his Ottawa office, postage-free:
Lloyd Longfield House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
In Wellington-Halton Hills, your MP is Michael Chong.
On December 10th, people around the world will observe Human Rights Day. We hope you will too! This date is very meaningful, as the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. It’s a day to celebrate; however, in Canada, it’s also a day to recognize our shortcomings. In our country, there are no rights or protections given to children before birth, even though they are fully human, and simply at a different stage of development.
With this in mind, this Human Rights Day, we’re asking our local representatives to remember that human rights are for all human beings.
In the lead-up to December 10th, we’ll also be taking the opportunity to run a public education campaign illustrating the need for protection of all children before birth in Canada. Above is a sample of a social media ad we’ll be running on Facebook and Instagram for people in our area. In addition, we’ll be distributing ‘Human Rights for All’ buttons to our supporters, and airing educational ads on the Fergus Grand radio station.
What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document proclaimed by the UN in 1948. It outlines the fundamental human rights of all members of the human family, and calls for these rights to be recognized around the world. An additional document, the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, further highlights what protections all children should receive: “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”
Shockingly, in Canada, there are no protections for children before birth. Abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy, and abortions are available at up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in multiple locations in Ontario. At this stage of development, 66-80% of preemies born will survive.
There are over 100,000 abortions in Canada every year. Each of these children before birth is a human being with value, and deserves to be protected.
How Can You Participate?
Write a letter: Write to your local member of parliament to encourage them to stand up for human rights, and to remember that children before birth are part of the human family too. You can download a sample letter to get started, or write your own.
When you send a letter, contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know, so we can keep track of how many letters have been sent!
Participate on social media: On December 10th, use the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights, which is the official hashtag of Human Rights Day. We’ll be contributing to the human rights conversation on social media by sharing messages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
If you believe in human rights for all human beings, we encourage you to join us in participating this Human Rights Day to speak up for children before birth.
We are excited to announce three local screenings of the new ‘Fatal Flaws’ documentary, which will take place in Erin, Fergus, and Guelph in September and October.
The documentary ‘Fatal Flaws‘ is a thought-provoking journey through Europe and North America that asks one of the most fundamental philosophical questions of our time: should we be giving doctors the right in law to end the life of others by euthanasia or assisted suicide?
Filmmaker Kevin Dunn uses powerful testimonies and expert opinion from both sides of the issue to uncover how these highly disputed laws affect society over time.
So far, this film has had a significant impact. “I had always hoped this film would be a game-changer,” says Kevin Dunn, director of the film. One impressive example of this happened in May of this year.
A screening of Fatal Flaws was held in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, days before a vote on the issue of assisted suicide. If it had passed, Guernsey would have become the first location in the British Isles to legalize assisted suicide. One of the government representatives who would be voting came to a screening, and it completely changed his mind on the issue. As a result, assisted suicide was not legalized.
We are now facing the impact of legalized assisted suicide & euthanasia in Canada, and have seen almost 4,000 Canadians die as a result. The most recent government report on assisted suicide & euthanasia, detailing July to December of 2017, shows that over 1500 Canadians ended their lives with the help of a doctor during this span of time – a 30% increase from the last six-month period.
As we’ve seen in Belgium and the Netherlands, legalization of assisted suicide can often begin with stringent requirements that become broader as the years go on. In Canada, we may soon be faced with legalized euthanasia & assisted suicide for minors and those with mental illness.
A recent article from England highlighted the story of a man with Borderline Personality Disorder who is requesting assisted suicide from the Dignitas centre in Switzerland. He would not be the first person with a mental health struggle to have his life ended prematurely by Dignitas (see here and here).
That same article highlights the fact that, rather than just being a personal choice, this kind of decision can have a ripple effect on family, friends, and society:
“Suicide and assisted suicide or euthanasia are generally talked about as if they were completely separate, but as… testimony shows, someone taking their own life by any means has a devastating effect on family and wider society. In addition, contrary to what some people claim, legalising assisted suicide actually increases the overall suicide rate.”
It’s more important than ever to become well-educated on this topic, share information with friends and family, and become involved with protecting life in Canada.
The documentary screenings in Erin, Fergus, and Guelph this September and October are an excellent way to learn more about this important issue. We encourage you to attend, and bring family and friends. Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition will be at the Guelph & Fergus screenings on October 18 & 20 to answer questions. For more information, contact our office.
Fergus: October 18 – Fergus North Canadian Reformed Church, 7:30pm, 6534 1 Line, Fergus. Featuring guest speaker Alex Schadenberg. For information, contact the Right to Life office.
Guelph: October 20 – Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate (Parish Hall), 11:30am. Brunch & screening featuring guest speaker Alex Schadenberg. Tickets are $10 each. For information, e-mail the Basilica Catholic Women’s League at email@example.com or call 519-824-7797.
Please note: these screenings have now taken place, but there may be more scheduled in the Guelph area for November 2018. Contact our office for information.
On Sunday, October 1st, people of faith all across North America will be participating in Life Chain, a public prayer witness to end abortion. Locally, this will be happening in Guelph, Fergus, and Rockwood. (Note that the Rockwood Life Chain will be taking place on September 24th.)
The Life Chain encourages Christians to participate in a time of prayer and witness, but all people are welcome to join, regardless of their faith background.
If you’ve never been to a Life Chain before, here are seven great reasons why you should join us for this powerful event!
1) To both receive ministry and to minister to the public, aided by the Holy Spirit. If we the church accept the ministry God has for His sons and daughters, He will empower us to minister truth to motorists and pedestrians and do so with humility, compassion, and conviction.
2) To provide God a witness to anoint and use to save lives and change hearts in each local area. Life Chain is only a first step into pro-life activism, but it’s an important step that tests our hearts and helps prepare us to defend the defenseless among us. Such is the story of the Good Samaritan and the story of Christ’s Bride, the humble sheep who meet urgent needs in Matthew 25. Let us the church love the Preborn and embrace mercy and justice.
3) To join a national prayer chain that seeks God’s forgiveness and intervention. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray… [2 Chron. 7:14].” Consider the moral decay today in church, government, academia, and commerce. Consider the attack on traditional marriage. Consider the epidemics of pornography, sexual disease, and divorce. All are linked to abortion and innocent blood. With abortion legal throughout the entire pregnancy in our country, Canada has become one of the world’s most violent nations. Legal abortion and its grievous impact will cease when the church unites against it.
4) To better understand the impact abortion is having on our country and why the church must end the killing. The church can defeat legal abortion and its allies if we move beyond the “abortion issue” and value preborn humanity as we should. Our lukewarmness grieves God, who assures us He does not forget “the cry of the afflicted [Psalm 9:12].” Of Judah, God said before their captivity, “They do not plead the cause of the fatherless to win it [Jere. 5:28].”
5) To move the church from the sanctuary to the “city gates” and “marketplace.” For 48 years (since Canada’s abortion law was first expanded in 1969), we the church have yielded substantially rather than press for a breakthrough against legal abortion. Now, resolute pastoral exhortation and mobilization of laity are essential. Wrote Afro-American pastor Clenard Childress, Jr. in No Shepherds Cry: “The pew cannot do what the pulpit is supposed to do.” Of urgent need are shepherds who will lead, who will equip themselves for battle and inspire their sheep to do likewise. Then endangered lambs will have protection.
6) To honor our youngest citizens who perish needlessly, usually within blocks of multiple church altars. Let us acknowledge the nearly 4 million preborn children in Canada who have died from surgical abortions.
7) To help build a resolute army of Christians who are pro-life in both word and deed. Let us engage the enemy, boldly and strategically, until the curse of legal abortion is lifted and Canada again provides security and freedom for every citizen, born and preborn. That we can do. We have the means. Let us attain the will.
As pro-life people, we know that life is valuable from the very beginning. However, some might not be aware that hormonal birth control may sometimes cause a very early abortion. Birth control pills and other hormone-based contraceptives are called ‘abortifacients’ because of this.
These types of contraceptives are thought to work in several ways. They can prevent the release of an egg (ovulation), but they may also thin the lining of the uterus, making it impossible for a newly conceived child to implant in the womb. When hormonal birth control acts in this second way, it isn’t ‘preventing pregnancy’ at all; a human embryo is lost because the pill has made it impossible for that embryo to implant in the womb.
Thankfully, there are positive alternatives for couples who need to avoid a pregnancy. ‘Natural Family Planning’, also known as fertility awareness, has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is an entirely natural method with no side effects that encourages women to be aware of the naturally fertile and infertile times throughout their cycle. There are several NFP methods, all of which are based on tracking physical signs of fertility, sometimes including a woman’s body temperature.
NFP is sometimes confused with the so-called ‘rhythm method’, which involves calendar tracking. But in fact, NFP is a science-based method that is tailored to each woman’s unique situation. Its effectiveness is just as high as other common contraceptive methods, and sometimes higher.
“More and more, women are looking for natural ways to really understand their fertility, rather than suppressing it.”
What is the cause of NFP’s rise in popularity in recent years? More and more, women are looking for natural ways to really understand their fertility, rather than suppressing it. NFP is also a non-invasive method, with no impact on the environment. Unlike certain types of artificial birth control, it in no way harms a developing child.
For those who belong to the Catholic faith, since NFP is a way of spacing pregnancies using the natural changes in a women’s fertility, it is an accord with Catholic doctrines of being open to life and the unitive aspect of married life. However, Christians of many denominations, as well as secular people, are embracing the method as well.
Did you know NFP can also be used by those who are trying to achieve a pregnancy?
Did you know NFP can also be used by those who are trying to achieve a pregnancy? Awareness of one’s cycle can give women insights on the best times to conceive, or even make them aware of potential hormonal imbalances or medical issues.
On Saturday, September 16th, Guelph & Area Right to Life will be hosting an information session on Natural Family Planning. It will be a great opportunity for single people or couples at various stages of life to learn more about the methods. Join us at the Parish Hall of the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph, from 10am to noon! Admission will be by donation.
A teacher couple from Serena, a Canadian organization that teaches the sympto-thermal method of NFP, will be presenting the session. Information on other methods of NFP (including the Creighton and Billings methods) will be available as well. Through Serena, NFP is taught by experienced teacher-couples who mentor and support couples that are learning NFP. This training and follow-up is provided free of charge.
Doctor assisted suicide is not health care; it is the premeditated and deliberate taking of a human life, no matter what euphemisms have been fabricated to assuage those who are tempted to believe, perversely, and generally without guile or malicious intent, that it somehow demonstrates respect for human life.
So far, much of the public awareness has centred on the rights (or even perceived obligations) of individual physicians to provide medically induced death, but more recently, hospitals and other health care institutions have exercised their right, on grounds of conscientious objection, to opt out of being forced to participate in such irrevocable acts. These rights of conscience are fully guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and there is rightly nothing ambiguous in the wording of the Charter.
“These rights of conscience are fully guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”
If much of the mainstream media were to be believed, most or all criticism of such institutions has implied that only Christian hospitals have been the obstructers. Yet, just prior to the federal passage of Bill C-14 (the “right to die” legislation passed by the current government), the Canadian Medical Association revealed that only 20 percent of all doctors, at most, would be willing to administer death to their patients, and that over twice as many – 42 percent – would actively refuse to do so.1,2 With 80 percent of doctors being unwilling, it is clear that the doctors’ collective reluctance to participate in the deliberate deprivation of human life extends beyond any one religious group.
“The Canadian Medical Association revealed that only 20 percent of all doctors, at most, would be willing to administer death to their patients, and that over twice as many – 42 percent – would actively refuse to do so.”
The authorities’ vague promises of safeguards are not reflected in the improvised, chaotic manner by which these new steps have been implemented. In Ontario, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, speaking on behalf the provincial government, has in fact expressed uncertainty over how to deal with hospitals that exert their right to eschew participation in medically assisted suicide.3 Even supporters of medically assisted suicide have expressed surprise that far more Canadians who have had their lives taken in this manner, did so within hospitals, rather than at home, as they had wrongly predicted.4 It is within this misread context of ad hoc erroneous assumptions that the said death legislation has been rushed through, so that people in a precarious and delicate state of mind can endure “death with dignity” – an abstract construct whose validity has yet to be affirmed by anyone subjected to this one-way journey.4
A growing number of seniors’ care homes, many without religious affiliation, have also objected to being pressured to participate in medical euthanasia, and surely the elderly are most at risk for coercive manipulations of this kind.5
Strangely enough, while the same federal Canadian legislation that opens the way to unclear parameters for the legal application of medical homicide protects participating health care workers from prosecution, it leaves a gap in the protection of health professionals who abstain on grounds of conscientious objection.6
In Canada, it is justly possible to express one’s moral and legal right, as a conscientious objector, not to participate in the slaughter of war. We have a moral duty to protect those who have sworn, in accordance with the Hippocratic Oath, that they will protect life and firstly do no harm. Ultimately, the human conscience cannot be suppressed, and our health care facilities’ moral stand is a collective manifestation of this refutation.
Last week, we officially began our “Protect Them” postcard campaign. Have you sent your postcard yet?
Alliance for Life Ontario has invited all pro-life groups to distribute these postcards. Each one can be signed and sent to the Prime Minister’s office, to draw attention to the lack of protection of unborn children in Canada.
Each postcard presents the question: we protect children by using carseats and safety cribs — why don’t we protect them in the womb?
The back of the postcard reads:
So far, we have distributed nearly 800 of these postcards to local groups and churches. Each person who signs them will be helping to send an important message from all over the province.
You can pick up a postcard from our office — or pick up a whole stack to hand out to your friends and family!