Euthanasia: Canada’s ‘dreadful’ court ruling
Christians in Canada have reacted with horror to the Supreme Court’s decision on February 6 to overturn Canada’s prohibition on physician-assisted suicide.
The plaintiff’s in the case were Lee Carter, above left, and Hollis Johnson, right, who traveled with Kay Carter, Lee’s mother, for her suicide in Switzerland in 2010.
A petition against the ruling has been launched by LifeSiteNews, and has so far gained over 17,000 signatures. It is addressed to Canada’s Members of Parliament and Senators:
I urge you to stand up for vulnerable Canadians and oppose the Supreme Court’s dreadful ruling overturning Canada’s prohibition on physician-assisted suicide.
Canadians pride themselves on being a caring, welcoming nation, a country that defends the vulnerable, yet this ruling sends the message to the weak and infirm that their lives are not worth protecting.
This Supreme Court ruling is merely the first step down a slippery slope that leads to the heinous practices we’ve seen increasingly in places like Belgium and the Netherlands. In Belgium, euthanasia is now permissible even for children. Please don’t let that happen to our country.
I urge you to use your parliamentary authority to invoke section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “notwithstanding clause”) and overrule the Supreme Court decision. Canada needs a law that will protect all Canadians.
In Carter v Canada, the Court overturned a previous law prohibiting assisted suicide, in effect reversing the previous 1993 Rodriguez decision in which it said the state’s obligation to “protect the vulnerable” outweighed the rights of the individual to self-determination. The ruling allows Canada to join the ranks of Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as Oregon and Washington, in allowing assisted suicide.
Jim Hughes, above, National President of Campaign Life Coalition said:
In striking down Rodriguez, our highest court told Canadians today that the lives of the weak, infirm, and vulnerable are not worth protecting. The court in essence decided that some people are better off dead than alive and gave power to those who are strong to end the lives of those who are weak. This is a terrible day of shame for Canada.
We as a country have entered into utter moral blindness if we honestly believe that killing someone in the name of ‘compassion’ or ‘mercy’ is a solution to the problem of pain or debilitation. All life is a gift, and no one has the moral right to take that gift away from someone else. This law used to be called: ‘You shall not kill.’ It is always a false compassion to kill someone who is suffering. There is no dignity in killing the patient instead of the pain.
People say that ‘safeguards’ and strict eligibility for death will offer protections. You can see just how unsuccessful this idea proved in Belgium where the categories of the killable have now expanded to include children.
There’s even a booming suicide tourism now happening there. Mark my words, the same slippery slope will occur here in Canada. It’s been said before and it’s as true now as it was then: ‘Once you start looking at killing as a means to solve problems, suddenly you’ll find more and more problems where killing is the only solution’.
Some people say there’s no such thing as a ‘slippery slope.’ Once a line has been crossed that allows one person to kill another in some instances, the qualifying criteria will just keep on expanding in the name of ‘equal rights.’ Pretty soon anybody who wants to die for any reason will be able to do so.
In Belgium, people are being euthanized without requesting it and the list of those eligible for death has expanded to now include children. Switzerland, known worldwide as the setting for the best-loved children’s book Heidi, has seen its ‘suicide tourism’ double in the past five years. Over 600 non-Swiss residents traveled to the country between 2008-2012 to be killed.
Our court today said that strong people can kill weak ones as long as the weak ones want it. What Saint John Paul II called the ‘Culture of Death’ has like a hideous monster reared its ugly head on this day and is roaring voraciously for victims to consume.
Campaign Life Coalition declares:
We defend the sanctity of human life against threats posed by abortion, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, reproductive and genetic technologies, cloning, infanticide, eugenics, population control, and threats to the family.
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, called it a “terrible decision.”
Legalizing assisted suicide will create new paths of abuse of elders, people with disabilities and other socially devalued people. The scourge of elder abuse in our culture continues to grow.
Rosalind English, writing for the UK Human Rights Blog, gives an in-depth background to the case, and argues Britain should now follow a similar path.
Hat tip: John Dowdle