Toronto, ON November 20, 2020 – On February 24, Canada’s Attorney General, David Lametti, introduced Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), effectively seeking the expansion of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). The new legislation brought forward a new proposal – physician assisted killing on demand.
Prior to the launch of the bill, the Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) participated in the online federal consultation process warning that the removal of alleged safeguards in the original law, less than five years old would further put vulnerable Canadians at risk since Bill C-7 seeks to eliminate mandatory waiting periods, increasing access to assisted suicide and euthanasia.
The prorogation of parliament due to the Covid-19 pandemic halted progression of Bill C-7 until last month when it was reintroduced and the consultative process reconvened. All proposed amendments were rejected. It is anticipated that Bill C-7 will be presented for final reading in the House of Commons next week.
The new law eliminates the mandatory waiting period so that a patient can be killed in the same day that the request is made. Furthermore, it will no longer be necessary to confirm one’s consent at the time of the lethal injection, effectively eliminating an opportunity for vulnerable patients to change their minds. Such safeguards were intended to protect the vulnerable from ending their lives too prematurely or without proper consideration, such that any individual would have the opportunity to reflect upon the finality of this irreversible procedure.
In our release on March 16, 2020 the League asked how it could be possible that that federal legislation protects cellular phone customers with escape options from their contracts more than vulnerable patients requesting to kill themselves or be killed.
The Quebec court decision on which this proposed amending legislation was demanded arose over a dispute over what was understood to be a reasonable or proximate expectation of dying. The current bill leapfrogs over that issue (which is troubling in itself) to demand easier access on a whole host of other areas. Notably, the next stage of a further expansion will be established in the bill when a demand for “equality” of mental health claims will be made.
The current bill moves us from what the CCRL deemed to be a national climate of “suicide relativism”, which is a half-hearted opposition to suicide in general, but sanctioned allowance when requested through the medical system. Canada has now moved to a regime of full “suicide facilitation”, with further expansion expected.
Again, the CCRL asks its supporters and friends to contact their Members of Parliament in opposition to Bill C-7 and same-day death on demand in Canada. Although the chances of amendments during third reading seem slim to nil, there is still the opportunity of amendments in the Senate. Yes, it seems unlikely that we can stop the Liberal government’s intent for Canada to become the world’s leader in restriction free death on demand, but by contacting our MPs and voicing our opposition, we can refuse to be counted among those who embrace the culture of death.
We must also remember that as Christians, as Catholics, we know the war has been won. We must continue, however, to bear witness and fight the good fight.
We appeal to any of you not financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, who may wish to accomplish more almsgiving by sending a donation to the CCRL by clicking here or by mailing a cheque to the CCRL at 2305 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M6S 1P1, or by calling the office at (416) 466-8244 or 1-844-722-CCRL.
About the CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League (CCRL) (www.ccrl.ca) assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. The CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization with a large nationwide membership base. The CCRL is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.
To donate to the CCRL, please click here.
For further information:
Christian Domenic Elia, PhD
CCRL Executive Director