Euthanasia

As of June 17, Bill C-14 became law after bouncing back and forth between the Senate and House of Commons. This formally legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. Although this is a tragic choice, our leaders did so in full knowledge of the consequences and a much better alternative.

ARPA’s Legal and Policy Resources on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia:

17 Feb 2014 Canada – Watch and Learn from Belgium’s Experience with Euthanasia

ARPA is very grateful for the positive reception we are getting from the mainstream media who are publishing our articles. By Mark Penninga, Calgary Herald, February 14 2014: On the eve of Valentine's Day, Belgium lawmakers voted to remove any age restrictions on euthanasia, granting children the right to have someone end their life. Canadians should be watching this closely as Quebec is just days away from passing its own euthanasia law, modelled in part after Belgium's. The amendment to Belgium's euthanasia law still requires that children understand their choice to die and request it themselves. And it mandates that the child be terminally ill and near death, among other things. But one has only to study Belgium's short 12-year record on euthanasia to discover the inadequacies of these "strict" safeguards.
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27 Jan 2014 ARPA in National Post: Defining Human Dignity

ARPA Note: One important line was left out of the published version which explained where the Court can find an objective foundation for human dignity - the Supremacy of God. We encourage our readers to write letters to the editor of the NP, explaining where dignity ultimately comes from. By Mark Penninga, National Post, January 27 2014: The euthanasia debate will come to a climax in the coming year, as the Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal of the Carter case from the B.C. Court of Appeal. It was a little over 20 years ago that the Supreme Court first visited this issue, with the case of Sue Rodriguez, who pleaded with Canadians and the Court for the right to a doctor-assisted death to end her suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In the Rodriguez decision, just five of the nine justices upheld the Criminal Code sanction against assisted suicide. Twenty years later we have different judges, but the very same issue. Central to their decision will be how the justices define human dignity. The answers they provide to what makes human life valuable will impact far more than Canada’s laws on assisted suicide and euthanasia. It will go to the heart of how we, as a nation, understand and value human life and human rights.
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09 Jan 2014 Death with Dignity – A Priority Issue for 2014

Update: The Supreme Court has now agreed to hear the Carter case, revisiting the euthanasia issue and making a final decision. Please pray! By Mark Penninga (French version available below as an attachment). Although we originally published this article some years ago, the issue is more alive in 2014 than ever before. Quebec is pushing to allow euthanasia regardless of the Criminal Code. And an appeal of the law against euthanasia is likely going to be made to the Supreme Court of Canada. Words can pack a punch. As such, they can be used for both noble and crafty purposes. Advertisers, political spin-doctors, and even Supreme Court judges know this well and take full advantage of the power of words. One example is the concept of dignity. Because dignity seems to be such a favourable word it is being used, and exploited, for purposes as far ranging as Hillary Duff’s latest pop album to the push for legalized abortion in third world countries. But the movement that has most exploited the concept of dignity is the political effort to legalize euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. The term “death with dignity” is being used by right-to-die advocacy groups because they know that associating dignity with euthanasia will soften the public perception of what they are really demanding– state condoned death.
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24 Sep 2013 ARPA signs Joint Statement to withdraw Quebec’s Bill 52

As Quebec seeks to flout a federal ban on euthanasia by adopting its own law legalizing the practice, national organizations across Canada have banded together to oppose such a move through a Joint Statement. The Statement, released by LifeCanada, has been signed by 15 organizations, calling on Quebec to rescind Bill 52. The Statement asks lawmakers not only in Quebec, but also throughout the rest of Canada to attend to their duty of caring for the most vulnerable in society. It says Bill 52 would signal "a momentous shift in medical ethics and public policy." "We know that with the acceptance and legalization of [euthanasia] comes an immense loss of commitment to people's lives, a loss of incentive to provide quality end of life care, a weakening of the resolve of the health care profession to truly work for the benefit of patients, and an opening for abuse of the vulnerable who have no one to advocate for them," the Statement reads.
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12 Apr 2013 ARPA Interview with Dr. Margaret Somerville

Is there any hope for an abortion law in Canada? Is the euthanasia lobby an unstoppable train? Dr. Margaret Somerville is Canada's most well known ethicist. She is also the media's most sought-after academic as she addresses issues that pertain to science, law, and medicine. She recently sat down with ARPA's director Mark Penninga to discuss the future of abortion and euthanasia law in Canada.  ...

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10 Dec 2012 Rasouli case has huge implications for end of life care

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada heard oral arguments for the Cuthbertson v.Rasouli case. The case will determine whether physicians are required to obtain consent from a patient or their substitute decision maker before withdrawing life support. The case is about an Ontario man who became comatose following complications with a relatively minor brain surgery. While his condition has since improved, at the time the legal proceedings began, his physicians determined that he was in a persistent vegetative state, had no hope of recovery and should be withdrawn from life support. His family, including his wife who is a physician, disagreed with the diagnosis and sought a court order to prevent the doctors from removing Mr. Rasouli from life support.
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14 Jul 2012 How About the Right to Cry for Help?

Amy Hasbrouck, from the disability rights group Not Dead Yet writes an excellent op-ed in the Montreal Gazette on the recent B.C. court ruling that threw out Canada’s laws on assisted suicide and euthanasia. Hasbrouck ably demonstrates that the decision is laden with discrimination towards those who suffer from disabilities. Here are a couple of excerpts from her article titled, How about the right to cry for help? It’s one thing when a random guy walks up to you on the street and says, “I’d rather be dead than be like you.” It’s...

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15 Jun 2012 B.C. judge strikes down assisted-suicide ban

ARPA Note: Find an excellent commentary on the decision here. Also, thank you to Garett Vane and the ARPA folks from BC's Lower Mainland who were able to witness at the steps of the BC Supreme Court, both when the case started and again when the decision was made public. Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Press release, June 15 2012: The BC Supreme Court released its decision in Carter v. AG Canada today. The decision carves exceptions into the laws allowing Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in Canada. The Federal Parliament of Canada recently considered legalization of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in a bill that came before the House in 2010. Bill C-384 was overwhelmingly defeated based upon concerns related to the prospect of the abuse of seniors, people with disabilities, the lack of an effective national suicide prevention strategy, and the lack of access to good palliative care in Canada.
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23 Mar 2012 Legislative Committee on Euthanasia: Just Ignore the Law!

ARPA Note: We provided a 12 page submission to this committee, urging them to see the dangers of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It is a sad and troubling day when our authorities urge the Attorney General to ignore the law and turn a blind eye to euthanasia. Please consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper. You are welcome to borrow arguments from our submission. Montreal Gazette, March 22 2012: A committee of the Quebec National Assembly unanimously recommended Thursday that rules be established to shelter...

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