Carol | September 28, 2009
I remember my eighth grade teacher telling me I was completely WRONG when I told the class about abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Abortion? Teacher was pro-choice. Infanticide? He said it did NOT exist. Euthanasia? Nope…. But HE was wrong.
2009 marks the 40th anniversary of legalized abortion in Canada. At this point, only partial infanticide is legal – as long as the baby’s head is still inside. And ask any Canadian palliative care doctor about euthanasia. It happens, but is not “legal” yet. But they are working on it…
• Bill C-384 would legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. (For the purpose of the analysis, euthanasia and assisted suicide will be referred to as “intended death”.)
• Bill C-384 does not restrict intended death to Canadian citizens. (The bill could make Canada a destination for Suicide Tourists and Suicide Clinics).
• The individual would need to be at least 18 years old.
• Bill C-384 does not limit intended death to the terminally ill and it does not define terminal illness.
• The individual may refuse appropriate treatments and still die by an intended death.
• Bill C-384 allows intended death for people who experience depression or other chronic mental conditions.
• Bill C-384 measures competency based on “appearing to be lucid”. The term “appearing to be lucid” does not assure that the individual is actually lucid.
• Bill C-384 would allow intended death for incompetent people who stated their intentions while still competent.
• The language of the bill is not clear whether medical practitioners are the only individuals who can intend the death of an incompetent individual.
• Bill C-384 would require at least two medical practitioners to confirm the diagnosis in writing.
• Bill C-384 would require that all requests for intended death be made free of duress. (However, no assurances are built into the bill)
• Bill C-384 would require the medical practitioner to inform the individual of all alternatives. (There is no requirement to try effective treatments).
• Bill C-384 would require the medical practitioner to provide confirmation of the diagnosis to the coroner. This is a form of after-the-fact reporting. The medical practitioner is only required to file a report after the individual has died. This is to protect the medical practitioner and not the individual who is dead.
• The definition of medical practitioner is not limited to a physician.
Condemned German: “But we didn’t think it would go that far.”
American judge: “It went that far the very first time you condemned an innocent human being.”
Conversation in the American motion picture “Judgment at Nuremburg.”
“I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel.”
The Hippocratic Oath
“I have yet to hear of a set of guidelines for euthanasia which would not lead to terrible abuses even in the opinion of those physicians who are sometimes willing to practice it. Inevitably, this form of ‘therapy’ would spread to situations in which at present it would be unthinkable.”
Jonathan H. Pincus, M.D., Yale University
“You matter because you are you.
You matter to the last moment of your life,
and we will do all we can,
not only to help you die peacefully,
but also to live until you die.”
Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of Hospice
“A man, even if seriously sick or prevented in the exercise of its higher functions, is and will be always a man … [he] will never become a ‘vegetable’ or an ‘animal… The intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being does not change depending on their circumstances… Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person.”
Pope John Paul II