Does Canadian Assisted Suicide Relieve Pain or Speed Up Death?

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Does Canadian Assisted Suicide Relieve Pain or Speed Up Death?
Does Canadian Assisted Suicide Relieve Pain or Speed Up Death?

Euthanasia—sometimes known fictitiously as “mercy killing”—became legal in Canada in 2017. The first year saw the law used 2,838 times. Marked increases occurred ever since—4,478 in 2018, 5,425 in 2019 and 7,383 in 2020—the last year for which records are available.

If the fatality rates for any disease climb as rapidly, there would be loud cries to throw massive amounts of money to prevent and cure it. But, this is euthanasia and liberals like it.

Until quite recently, all Western societies forbade suicide. In this, they followed Church dogmas about the sanctity of life and the salvation of souls. Leftists are devoted to destroying all vestiges of Christian civilization. Allowing suicide is only one part of its many-pronged assault.

The Church’s Warnings

Suicide has long been one of Satan’s effective tools for luring people into perdition. It attracts those who believe that pleasure is the only reason for living. When there is no more pleasure and only pain, people—for a thousand actual and imaginary reasons—see this as justification for ending their lives.

Eternal and Natural Law: The Foundation of Morals and Law

The Catholic Encyclopedia lays out the situation with uncomfortable clarity.

“[F]or a sane man deliberately to take his own life, he must, as a general rule, first have annihilated in himself all that he possessed of spiritual life, since suicide is in absolute contradiction to everything that the Christian religion teaches us as to the end and object of life and, except in cases of insanity, is usually the natural termination of a life of disorder, weakness, and cowardice.”

Legislation Mandated by a Court

The roots of the current Canadian law are not in Parliament but Canada’s Supreme Court. In its decision in Carter v. Canada (2015), that Court declared, by a 9-0 vote, that Canada’s earlier law forbidding suicide violated that nation’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

To say that the Court’s reasoning was convoluted is a gross understatement. The decision implies that protecting life is a form of death.

“The right to life is engaged where the law or state action imposes death or an increased risk of death on a person, either directly or indirectly. Here, the prohibition [of assisted suicide] deprives some individuals of life, as it has the effect of forcing some individuals to take their own lives prematurely, for fear that they would be incapable of doing so when they reached the point where suffering was intolerable.”

The reliably leftist journal The Atlantic immediately signaled its approval of the Canadian Court’s decision.

“[T]here are likely to be… more rulings like Canada’s, deciding that the right to make an informed decision to end one’s life is part of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit to (sic) happiness—or however a jurisdiction phrases the most essential rights.”

“The Least Safeguards”

To comply with the Court’s ruling, Parliament provided marginal guidelines by passing the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) assisted suicide law in 2016. The law was later amended in 2021.

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Even some liberals think the law is too permissive. A New York Times article quoted Trudo Lemmens, who serves as the University of Toronto’s law school’s chairman in health law and policy.

“‘Canada has the least safeguards of all of the countries that allow it, and it has the most open-ended system. It’s a state-funded, state-organized, medical system providing end of life,’ he continued. ‘What I find particularly troublesome is that there is no other jurisdiction that treats the ending of life by a physician as a standard medical practice.’”

When Permission Becomes Advocacy

Such a system is fraught with potential abuse. A report in the New York Post relates one case in which that potential harm could have easily become a reality.

The article described a situation in which an unnamed Canadian veteran reached out to Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC), the counterpart to the U.S. Veterans’ Administration. The veteran sustained a traumatic brain injury and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“[T]he veteran called VAC seeking support for PTSD when the employee brought up medical assistance in dying, or euthanasia, unprompted. The veteran was reportedly shocked by the suggestion. His family [said] that the soldier had been making positive progress in his physical and mental rehabilitation and that he felt betrayed by an agency that is tasked with assisting veterans.”

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In this case, the veteran declined to kill himself. However, the conversation could easily have had a more deadly conclusion. According to a September 2018 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report, about twenty veterans commit suicide daily.

Bureaucratic Ignorance, Activism or Intent?

The VAC employee’s thoughtless suggestion and other complaints reveal a system that reflects a godless society that values pleasure, not life. Many in the medical establishment adhere to the idea that life has no purpose in the face of pain. They hold a nihilistic vision (shared by Satan) that embraces self-destruction.

Such situations inevitably result from abandoning God’s law in favor of secularism. Such society has no concern for the salvation of souls created in the image and likeness of God. They seek to blot out this image. Like the lives of the unborn killed by abortion, the lives of the living are the next in line.

Photo Credit:  © Torval Mork –

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