The federal committee released on February 25 its recommendations to govern the practice of doctors helping to kill their patients. The recommendations will provide the foundation for the Liberal government’s forthcoming law that will be voted on in June.
The criteria established for who is eligible to be euthanized are so open ended that practically anyone feeling pressure to die — including those with non-terminal illnesses, those with mental illnesses, and even minors — will not be protected. The so-called “safeguards” are so loosely worded as to practically protect no one. In fact, Recommendation 1 states that the terms “relating to medical assistance in dying” should NOT be specifically defined, adding that there was a “strong consensus in the testimony and briefs that there should be no list of included conditions” that would have to be fulfilled to make someone eligible for death.
Extremely concerning is Recommendation 11, which states that the government must ensure that “all publicly funded health care institutions,” including Catholic and Christian ones, “provide medical assistance in dying.” Christians believe that assisted suicide is contrary to the 5th Commandment against murder. For the government to force Catholic and Christian hospitals to act directly against one of the laws of God is simply outrageous.
Equally as concerning for Catholic and non-Catholic Christian doctors is recommendation 10, which states that an “objecting practitioner must provide an effective referral for the patient.” This means that if a Christian doctor will not actually help to kill a patient because of moral reasons, then he must refer that patient to someone who will. Christian doctors were unanimous before the committee that “effective referral” amounted to participating in the death of a patient, and wanted no part in it. It is simply tyrannical to demand doctors violate their consciences by forcing them to engage in an immoral procedure such as killing a patient.
It is always false compassion to kill someone who is suffering. Suffering does not make a human life less worth living or less valuable. On the contrary, suffering is a calling out for help that ought to be answered by love, compassion and the best medical help. It is a suffering person’s need answered by love and compassion that creates unity among people. Seen this way, the sick and disabled have a great gift to offer the world, namely the opportunity for love and compassion that connects people.
If the committee recommendations are followed by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in crafting law, then practically every sick or disabled person in Canada will be prone to euthanasia. While at first it may be their “choice to die” of their own free will, just imagine how horrifying the situation could become when the sick and disabled are told that it is their “duty to die” because of economic conditions, limited hospital beds, or tight budgets.