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Humanize In Canada, No Need to be ‘End of Life’ in Order to End Life

Those pursuing suicide and euthanasia as a human right in America and internationally have for decades assured us that their project is simply a narrow, limited, and compassionate attempt to make “assisted dying” an option.

Since Oregon legalized assisted suicide in 1994, we’ve been told by activists that “assisted dying” (suicide/euthanasia) will be specifically reserved for those experiencing a terminal illness in its final stages. We’re told there will be patient protections and safeguards and guidelines to protect vulnerable patients, particularly the marginalized, disabled, and forgotten. We’ve been told that making certain limited forms of physician-prescribed death lawful won’t broadly normalize suicide. But we’ve been played for fools.

Like the Netherlands and Belgium before it, Canada’s government is showing us where the logic of euthanasia, euphemistically called “medical aid in dying” (MAID), “death with dignity,” assisted dying, etc. will take us once it is made lawful. In Canada, the government wants to radically expand the categories of those who will have a right to obtain euthanasia/suicide:

Canada’s government has proposed broadening a 2016 law on medically assisted death to include for the first time people who were not at immediate risk of dying. …

The proposed changes would “remove the requirement for a person’s natural death to be reasonably foreseeable in order to be eligible for medical assistance in dying”, the justice minister, David Lametti, said in a statement.

Canada is one of the few nations where doctors can legally help sick people die. There have been more than 13,000 reported medically assisted deaths in Canada.

… [the government seeks to make suicide lawful for] those newly diagnosed with a condition that could affect their decision-making capacity in the future, people suffering solely from mental illness as well those under 19 who doctors deemed capable of giving their consent.

When you accept the toxic logic that human life only has contingent value—that is, that human life isn’t objectively valuable and worthy of preservation in all circumstances and for all persons regardless of ability or disability—you’re accepting a logic that leads to the darkness of nihilism, of suicide, and death.

The Canadian government wants legal homicide to be available for generally healthy, non-terminal persons. Canada wants a future where a physician will be expected to hand over a fatal overdose or perhaps even authorize a lethal injection for, literally, children.

If you are generally healthy but experience a mental health issue, you will be eligible for a lethal injection. If you are any age and experience a persistent but manageable health issue like diabetes or Parkinson’s, you may be eligible for a lethal injection. If you are a “mature” teenager who struggles with whatever someone in a position of power determines is a “serious” health issue, you may become eligible for a lethal injection.

What Canada is pursuing is the inversion of proper law and medicine, which exist to ensure equal justice and to cure, heal, and care.

This is the inescapable logic of allowing killing as a supposed “cure” for human suffering. Eventually, the law expands to include the nihilistic ethic “No need to be terminal to end your life!”

Grimly, this ethic will inevitably encourage many who never would have seriously entertained suicide or euthanasia to consider it—and precisely because those ills will have been normalized by the civilizational vandals posing as lawmakers, judges, and physicians who had the audacity to dress up their fatal violence as if it was compassion.

Tom Shakely

Research Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Tom Shakely is a Research Fellow with Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism where he focuses on human dignity, human rights, and law and policy. Tom has spoken on human rights issues at the United Nations, testified to the District of Columbia City Council on conscience rights, and advised on testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and U.S. House of Representatives.
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