A few weeks ago, the federal government proposed legislative amendments to broaden eligibility for “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAiD). Bill C-7 proposes to further liberalize Canada’s current law and endangers the lives of vulnerable Canadians.
Bill C-7 would allow a new category of people to be killed, namely those who are not dying, whose natural death is not “reasonably foreseeable.” This would include people with disabilities or chronic but not fatal illnesses.
Although we now know the content of the new proposed law, the content of the final law is still very much in question. The minority Liberal government introduced this legislation but will need the support of at least one other party to pass it. There is division within each party around how the issues this bill raises should be resolved. During the passage of the first assisted suicide legislation, several Liberal MPs voted against the legislation while most supported it. A few Conservative MPs supported Bill C-14, while most opposed it. Even after the House of Commons passed Bill C-14, the Senate proposed various amendments, some of which the House of Commons adopted and some of which the House rejected.
In short, this legislation on assisted suicide could change significantly in the next few months. Proposed amendments by other parties or the Senate could further remove safeguards and expand eligibility, or proposed amendments could strengthen safeguards and restrict eligibility.
ARPA’s Submissions to Parliament
John Sikkema, legal counsel for ARPA, had the privilege of presenting to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on the issue of euthanasia and C-7. ANdre Schutten, the Director of Law & Policy for ARPA, had a similar opportunity to testify before the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Watch both of their submissions below!
What can you do?
Share Personal Stories
An extremely powerful way to connect with politicians and members of the public is to tell stories. Those in favour of euthanasia have used these stories well and to good effect,. We need to share these stories as well. Please watch the stories of pastors George van Popta and John van Popta as they discuss how the liberalization of access to euthanasia will impact them and people like them suffering from multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
What about the Care not Kill campaign?
Another actionable item is to help spread the word of these troubling legislative changes through our Care not Kill campaign.
Click below to order fliers to hand out to your neighbours or postcards to send to your MP!
Where can I read more?
This article was published earlier this year on the subject of Bill C-7. Though the Bill has been re-introduced after Parliament was prorogued in September, its content is identical.