Disturbing Euthanasia Legislation

April 30, 2013

The Quebec government is proposing legislation legalizing euthanasia. This legislation is disturbing and should not be supported anywhere in Canada.

The proposed legislation would infringe upon the Federal jurisdiction of the Constitution of Canada Article 91.27 of the Canadian Criminal Code by calling euthanasia a medical act, and thus putting it under provincial jurisdiction. This would allow a doctor, at their own discretion, to aid a person who is suffering from a terminal illness and has given their consent to die.

It sounds noble: ending suffering and supposedly giving the right of a person to decide themselves to die with dignity. The reality is, once society starts deciding who is to live and who is to die, compassionate reasons can readily be replaced with convenient expediency by criminal greed. The bill would serve to make the elderly even more of a target by the creative opportunists, some of whom are their very own caring children.

Many elderly people, on medications or not, have difficulty deciding on issues, have times of depression and are susceptible to being influenced by others.  This legislation does not take into account the subtle and not so subtle abusive coercion that could cause a confused senior to agree to euthanasia as an escape, for example, rather than face the shame of reporting close family members’ abuses, financial or otherwise.

This path could also lead down a slippery slope towards Belgium-style euthanasia problems. Despite them having similar safeguards in place, it is reported that upwards of 32 percent of euthanasia deaths in Belgium occur without a patient’s request.

I think proposing euthanasia legislation must be challenged across Canada. We need better, stronger laws to protect the elderly and susceptible, many times from their own families, and not laws that put the elderly at greater risk.

What do you think?