TORONTO, Ontario, 23 January, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The political arm of Canada’s pro-life movement is urging the federal Justice Minister to use “whatever legal or punitive measures are necessary” to prevent Quebec from “legalizing euthanasia” and thereby violating the country’s Criminal Code.
“The PQ government does not appear to respect human life or the law,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) in a press release.
“Legalizing euthanasia would transform the doctor into a killer,” he said. “Prime Minister Harper and Justice Minister Nicholson cannot let the Quebec politicians get away with murder."
The Quebec government has announced plans to legalize “medical aid in dying” in the coming months. The decision came after a panel of legal experts issued a 400-page report arguing that the province can circumvent Canada’s federal criminal code.
“The Quebec legislature has the constitutional power to organize the required legal framework for end-of-life care within the health-care system,” the report reads.
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According to section 241 of the criminal code, “every one who (a) counsels a person to commit suicide, or (b) aids or abets a person to commit suicide, whether suicide ensues or not, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.”
Quebec’s bishops have condemned the province’s euthanasia proposal as “dangerous”, saying that it confuses “intentionally causing the death of a patient” with medical care.
“There is every reason to worry when so intentionally causing death is considered a ‘care’ and when it is claimed as a ‘right,’” the bishops said in a press release last Friday.
“Respect for human dignity primarily involves respect for human life.”
Geriatrician Catherine Ferrier of Physicians’ Alliance for Total Refusal of Euthanasia (PATRE), accused the Quebec government of operating by a “dangerous legal vision.”
“This report is the work of some hand-picked lawyers who present the act of doctors killing patients as if it were part of a natural continuum with good end-of-life care,” said Ferrier.
“They and the politicians who appointed them introduce the term ‘medically-assisted dying’ as if it were something different from killing patients.”
The Catholic Civil Rights League pointed out that if Quebec’s proposal were successful, it would legalize a “direct, intentional act of killing” and would “change the traditional healer role of the doctor”, creating “serious pressures on the religious and conscientious freedoms of doctors and other health care professionals.”
The Hippocratic Oath, originating in 5th century BC, was until recently sworn by all those who practiced the healing arts. At one point in the oath, doctors swear that they will “neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect.”
Campaign Life Coalition is directing concerned citizens to a short film it produced that provides evidence that promised ‘safeguards’ have not worked in other countries and have resulted in a “slippery slope” that leads to the abuse of the “most vulnerable in society.”
CLC is asking all those who value human life to contact Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and request immediate federal action against Quebec’s euthanasia proposal.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson
Ph: (613) 995-1547