In 1993, Robert Latimer, killed Tracey, his disabled 12 year old daughter, because he wanted to end her pain. Today he is appealing the Supreme Court to overturn his sentence.
In Canada, helping a person commit suicide is a crime. It’s spelled out in Criminal Code Section 241 (b) — and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
The first doctor to be sentenced in Canada under the law was Maurice Généreux, who got a jail term of two years less a day and three years' probation in 1998 for prescribing sleeping pills to two men with AIDS who were depressed but not terminally ill. One of the men survived and later launched a civil suit against Généreux.
Canada does allow doctors to induce a coma and turn off life-sustaining equipment for suffering patients near death, a practice known as palliative sedation that right-to-die advocates argue is ethically, morally and legally no different than assisted suicide or euthanasia. (CBC, Posted Oct 11, 2014 9:54 PM ET)
Recently in 2015, The Supreme court of Canada said, “A law that makes it illegal for anyone to help people end their own lives should be amended to allow doctors to help in specific situations.”
I’d like to believe that this ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada would never include children. But in other countries such as Albania, Australia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, and some states in the USA that have legalized assisted suicide have already started with people who are seniors without terminal illnesses, people with mental illnesses, and people with disabilities. Now children have been added to their list of qualified/competent candidates for Assisted Suicide in Belgium. In an article called Belgium Extends Euthanasia Law to Kids they talked about how they put children down, “Usually, doctors do this by administering an overdose of sedatives.” Later in the article a parent from Canada responded, “A plea also came from Canada earlier this month, where a four-year-old girl born with a congenital heart condition recorded a video message urging Belgium’s King Philippe not to sign the law, which is the final formality. Her mother told the monarch that she was concerned that a child like her daughter—who grew up to be a happy, active child—could be euthanized after birth.” (Belgium Extends Euthanasia Law to Kids, Time.com, Posted February 13, 2014). By the way, all the countries mentioned above legalized euthanasia by convincing the public that this was only for adults who were competent and had a terminal illness.
The implications that we are about to embark on in Canada with legalizing assisted suicide will send a terrible message to our young people. They could interpret the law that if life becomes or is too hard— the solution will be suicide to end their pain. This new law may also empower people to believe like Mr. Latimer who murdered his daughter Tracey, that they can play God in peoples lives and that this ruling of the Supreme Cout of Canada shouldn't only apply to physicians to asist people to suicide.
As a husband, father and advocate for suicide prevention, and advocate for people with disabilities, I’m afraid for our country’s future. To think that when I’m old, a doctor who may or may not have history on me could ultimately rob me of my right to live and face life head on no matter how physically or emotionally weak I feel is un-Canadian and simply put—evil. This decision by the Supreme Court of Canada could also force a doctor who still believes in the classic Hippocratic Oath, "...I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.." to go against their oath that they dearly hold onto and value.
The HuffPost writes, "The College’s interim policy states: Where a physician declines to provide physician-assisted death for reasons of conscience or religion, the physician must do so in a manner that respects patient dignity. Physicians must not impede access to care, even if that care conflicts with their conscience or religious beliefs." The article goes on to write "We do not agree with assisted suicide and euthanasia. We think implementing them in the country is not a good path to go on, it will cause great harm,” Collins told The Huffington Post Canada’s Althia Raj on Sirius satellite radio’s “Everything Is Political.””
Folks, If you think you have the right to protect your spouse, parents and children when they're in a life threatening situation in a hospital, think again, because a doctor will soon not need your permission to resuscistate a person at risk of dying.
Now our new government, the Liberals, under Justin Trudeau in their Biennial Convention in 2014 voted to decriminalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. Not to single out the Liberal Party, the NDP feel the same way. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, had a year to overturn and challenge the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in 2015. But he didn't overturn it. It was an election year after all. Sadly, Mr. Harper, lost the election— and so did lots of Canadians who value human life at all stages.
In conclusion, let’s face it; euthanasia or MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) IS NOT about human rights; this looks and sounds like the Eugenics movement of the past that I thought we learned from to never repeat again.
THANKFULLY SINCE I WROTE THIS ARTICLE IN 2015, THE CONSERVITIVE PARTY HELPED GET BILL 34 PASS, PROTECTING HEALTH PROFESSIONALS FROM PERFORMING MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IN DYING.