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Canada's liberal euthanasia laws create culture of death

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 8/18/2022 Mary Vought
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As Democrats celebrate the passage of a bill that will entrench the government in our healthcare, our neighbors to the north provide a chilling example of the effects of socialized medicine. A recent Associated Press expose about the culture of death within Canada’s single-payer system shows how putting the government in charge of healthcare leads to the devaluing of human life, particularly the most vulnerable.

The Associated Press noted that Canada has some of the loosest and most permissive laws on euthanasia in the entire world:

· Unlike most countries that have legalized assisted suicide, Canada does not have a commission to investigate to review troubling deaths under the law.

· While countries like Belgium forbid doctors from bringing up euthanasia with patients, fearing the physician will unduly influence a patient’s perspective and wishes, the Canadian association of health professionals encourages doctors to discuss euthanasia with patients as a possible “clinical care option.”

· Unlike in Belgium and the Netherlands, Canadian patients do not need to exercise all medical options before choosing euthanasia.

Despite these already liberal guidelines, Canada’s euthanasia laws will become even more open on several levels. First, so-called mature youths under the age of 18 will qualify for this “mercy killing.”

In addition, people will be able to qualify for death based exclusively on mental health conditions. Coming so soon after the coronavirus pandemic, when prolonged lockdowns in many locations, including in Canada, exacerbated depression and related symptoms, this liberalization could lead to an explosion of new deaths from euthanasia.

Yet Canada has already seen a wave of euthanasia in recent months. The Associated Press noted that “there were more than 10,000 deaths by euthanasia last year, an increase of about a third from the previous year.” This number is even more staggering when you consider that Canada has roughly one-tenth the population of the United States.

When euthanasia cases rise by more than 30% in a single year, that should provide cause for alarm for most observers. But that's not the case in Canada, which will only expand access to the procedure.

As the mother of a child with a disability, I share the outrage of those who believe the Canadian healthcare system devalues some of the most vulnerable in society. The details of stories such as that of Alan Nichols, a 61-year-old involuntarily committed and then euthanized within a month, raise serious questions about an out-of-control system in which doctors and bureaucrats view patients not as subjects entrusted to their care but as objects to be dealt with however they choose.

When Canada can allow for euthanasia based solely on a person's disability, which international experts have called a human rights violation, it exemplifies a culture that devalues the most vulnerable. That culture becomes manifest in cases such as Nichols’s as requests by his brother and family members for an investigation into the suspicious circumstances of his death have gone nowhere.

Noting the way in which both medical and law enforcement authorities have called Nichols’s death justified and appropriate — the euthanasia form listed hearing loss as the sole justification for his killing — one Canadian professor said the case “demonstrates that the rules are too loose and that even when people die who shouldn’t have died, there is almost no way to hold the doctors and hospitals responsible.”

I hope and pray this culture of death will never migrate into the U.S. and that Canada will reform its laws to end its permissive euthanasia system. All patients, no matter how vulnerable, especially the most vulnerable, deserve protection by the healthcare system and our laws, in Canada, in the U.S., and around the world.

Mary Vought (@MaryVought) is the founder of Vought Strategies and a disability advocate.

 

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Tags: Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Blog Contributors, Euthanasia, Canada, Healthcare

Original Author: Mary Vought

Original Location: Canada's liberal euthanasia laws create culture of death

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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