We live in interesting times. Yesterday, Senator Nancy Ruth and Senator Larry Campbell introduced Senate Private Bill S 225, a bill that legalizes euthanasia and assisted suicide by lethal prescription. This bill is based on the private members bills that were introduced in the House of Commons by Stephen Fletcher MP, earlier this year.
According to the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, the bill is deliberately permissive.
The bill is designed to protect physicians who act by lethally injecting or assisting the suicide of their patients. It is not designed to protect the patients.
The bill specifically allows euthanasia and assisted suicide for people with disabilities.
The bill allows euthanasia or assisted suicide for “psychological suffering.” Psychological suffering is not defined.
The bill is not limited to terminal illness.
The bill requires the physician to self report the death after it has already occurred. This assumes that physicians will self-report abuse of the law. Since the patient is dead, when the act is reported, therefore no actual protection exists for the patient.
The EPC also quotes Dr. Theo de Boer, who sat on the Regional Euthanasia Review Committee in the Netherlands for nine years. After seeing the progression of the practice of euthanasia, Dr. de Boer went from being an ardent supporter to opposing it internationally. In a recent article, that exposes the incredible increase in euthanasia in the Netherlands, de Boer stated:
I used to be a supporter of legislation. But now, with twelve years of experience, I take a different view.
At the very least, wait for an honest and intellectually satisfying analysis of the reasons behind the explosive increase in the numbers. Is it because the law should have had better safeguards? Or is it because the mere existence of such a law is an invitation to see assisted suicide and euthanasia as a normality instead of a last resort? Before those questions are answered, don’t go there. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.