Friday, April 15, 2016

Canada Legalizes Euthenasia but Excludes Visiting Foreigners From Privilege

An assisted suicide bill has been put before Canada's Parliament that legalizes euthanasia but will exclude foreigners from coming to die. People with mental illness and psychiatric disorders are excluded too.
Last year, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down a law banning doctors from helping someone die. This bill, which is backed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, must now be studied by committee and then voted on by both House and Senate.
It seeks to protect "the conscience rights of medical practitioners", said Canadian Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Asked why foreigners would be excluded from the new legislation, she refused to answer.
"We have considered this question only in the context of Canada and Canadian citizens," she said at a press conference. They hope to pass and establish  the bill before dealing with doctors concerns, ethical questions that may not have been covered and extending compassion to others. They can fine tune it on an ongoing basis  when they see what works and what doesn't.
Cases brought on by the families of two deceased British Columbia women spurred last year's decision by the court to strike down the law which denied people the right to choose to die. The court said outlawing assisted suicide deprives people of dignity and autonomy. Prior to that, counseling, aiding or abetting suicide was illegal in Canada.
The Liberal government had four months to come up with a new law, a time period that was extended. Only a few countries, at the moment, allow assisted suicide: Canada, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and a couple of states in the United States.
Among the people, whose opinion I asked, nine out of ten approved the bill and one was unsure of  how it would conflict with her religious beliefs, but in principle she approved. I wonder what the consensus would be with a larger survey.


  1. Jeannie ,
    What about a living will? If you know what is going to happen to you, could you not request in your living will for assisted death should you become non cognitive?

    I always find it odd that putting a pet to sleep is considered humane, but people are often forced to suffer until the bitter end. Dementia and Alzheimer's should be included because for me that would be the worst way to go--totally undignified, soiling myself--ugh what torture.

    If an individual, after tremendous thought, has decided that they would rather die peacefully from Euthanasia than horribly or painfully from a serious medical condition, why should they be stopped? Why does anyone else get the right to tell someone how they live (or end) their life? That is completely up to the individual.
    This all comes around to the right to choose? Be it abortion. gay marriage. I'm all for human rights and animals rights. But we only want people to have the right when they choose something that's deemed acceptable. Which in itself isn't a choice. We put down animals when they are in pain with no positive outcome. Why can't the same be done for humans? Let the terminally ill and elderly die on their terms with their idea of dignity and rights.

    A great and much needed post .
    Just my humble opinion

  2. Eventually, I think everyone will come around to the same way of thinking. If you were in agony day and night with no foreseeable end in sight wouldn't you want someone to assist you to a peaceful, pain free sleep? You just have to put yourself in their place for a moment. It's about compassion, humanity, and as you say, human rights. We just have to make it socially acceptable.
    What an excellent point about including the request in your personal directive. Then it would be up to your delegate to arrange it for you. I wonder if that point was covered in the bill. There will be a thousand situations and ethical dilemmas before this thing is carved in granite. I would like to see a copy of the bill as it stands. I wonder if it is on any of the government web sites.
    Thank you Gil for your comment


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