PRESS RELEASE: Comments after Passage of Bill C-14

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release June 20, 2016 Comments after Passage of Bill C-14 New Brunswick Right to Life Association executive director Peter Ryan offered the following comments after Friday’s parliamentary passage of Bill C-14 (medical assistance in dying). The bill is expected to receive royal assent very soon. “Many legislators rightly noted that this bill was the most momentous they have ever faced. With its passage it may be good for us to take a step back to assess where we are and also think about where we as a country are likely headed. “In a historic break in how health care professions view their role, doctors and nurses have been authorized to take the lives of patients under some circumstances. The new law restricts the practice to end of life situations, consistent with polls showing Canadians do not support assisted suicide or euthanasia for non-terminally ill persons. “The irony is that a drastic legal change was not needed to relieve the suffering of the terminally ill. We have the solution for that suffering – palliative care – only it is not accessible for 70% of the population. Instead of guaranteeing palliative care as a right for all Canadians, and delivering universal access, we have opted for access to medicalized death. As a result, people who might have died in comfort from palliative care will have their lives cut short. How sad and unnecessary. “The danger is once the genie of assisted dying is out of the bottle, it is not easily contained. Jurisdictions like Holland and Belgium that have legalized the practice for the terminally ill have soon expanded it to include the disabled and chronically ill. During the parliamentary debate we saw MPs and Senators agitating for a similar expansion, and the government has already said it will consider amending the law in the near future. “Once you offer procured death as medical treatment for some, our egalitarian body politic will find it hard to exclude anyone. The result is predictable: As with the history of abortion, initially legalized in 1969 for hard cases, the practice and law will over time evolve toward accommodating patient demand. “My body, my choice” will become the operating principle, as already theorized by leading euthanasia advocates like Jocelyn Downie. Expect state-sponsored assisted dying clinics. “The result will be the diametrical opposite of what Canadians today actually want. A national poll found only 4% currently support assisted dying on demand. Genies don’t heed polls. “It will not end there. A progressive outlook will demand that those unable to exercise a right to die for themselves – like disabled children, or elderly Alzheimer’s patients – be given access via someone else’s quality of life judgment. The door to euthanasia without consent will in all likelihood be opened. It is already legal for children in the low countries. Few Canadians support that kind of thing now. But they should not be surprised to find that’s what they are likely to get. “So it appears we are in for a tragic object lesson as to what can happen to a country when you open a Pandora’s box and unnecessarily allow a lethal medical practice to gain a foothold. “We were put on this course by the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision, entirely unjustified in my view, to reverse its landmark Rodriguez ruling of 1993. With the passage of Bill C-14, the needless termination of patient lives across Canada will begin. “The alleviation of suffering should very much be our constant goal as a country. There should never be a place for killing those who suffer. In the national outcome on medically assisted dying, wisdom has failed us.” - 30 -

1 comment to PRESS RELEASE: Comments after Passage of Bill C-14

  • Jennifer Snell

    So sad for Canada that we have arrived at this tragic state where human beings are reduced to being treated as animals. Thank you for the press release.

Leave a Reply