For Immediate Release
Feb. 6, 2015
The soul of Canada has taken a major hit from today’s Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of assisted suicide.
Up to now our public policy has been that every human life is worth living. Twenty-two years ago, in its Rodriguez ruling against assisted suicide, the Supreme Court said exactly that. Now the Court has reversed itself. Now, in effect, the Court is saying some lives are not worth living, and in such cases it is reasonable for doctors to be involved in bringing about death.
The corrosive, revolutionary impact of setting this idea loose in our country and health care system, sanctioned at the highest levels, can hardly be overestimated. Right to Life executive director Peter Ryan commented: “As this idea seeps through society, we predict more and more that people with chronic illness, depression, disability or advanced aged will be misled into seeing suicide as a solution to their challenges. And for doctors, the bright line that should demarcate caring from killing will be blurred. Health care will be redefined.”
And there will be abuses, just as there have been in Holland and Belgium where euthanasia is legal. Many people – especially Alzheimer’s patients – are put to death without their consent. Why? Because the attitude has been unleashed: “If there is a right to death, but this person cannot decide for themselves, and their life is obviously not worth living, shouldn’t someone help them to die?”
In a classic 1949 article, Nuremberg trial expert Dr. Leo Alexander warned how the massive Nazi euthanasia program originated with a “microscopic” shift in attitudes toward the notion some lives were not worthy living. Today’s ruling shows a failure to learn from history how a rejection of the principle that every life has value can in time endanger the lives of the most vulnerable members of society.
Ryan stated: “We are worried about New Brunswickers who are sick, elderly, or disabled. And about the corruption of health care. Who among us may not one day be susceptible to someone’s judgment that our lives are no longer worth living? Will our hospitals or nursing homes even be safe? Any notion that a dangerous idea like this – that killing is a form of caring - can somehow be contained is an illusion.”
Ryan went to say that he federal government should invoke Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and disregard today’s ruling. “Whether they do so will be a test of how much the government cares about the most vulnerable Canadians. Are they willing to let lives be sacrificed? Will they be guided by political expediency alone? This is a watershed moment for determining Canada’s identity.”
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Contact: Peter Ryan 1-888-796-9600 / 506-459-8990