Quebec is hell-bent on legalizing euthanasia. On Tuesday, the government announced they will put forward a bill by summer to allow doctors to offer “medical aid in dying,” to use their euphemism. The move comes after a government-appointed legal panel determined the Criminal Code’s prohibition on euthanasia need not be an obstacle to the province’s plans.
Despite all of the talk about dignity in the euthanasia movement, their basic claim is that life has no inherent dignity. According to the legal panel, while Canada’s Criminal Code was based on a belief in the sanctity of life back in 1892, it has since been replaced by a concern for personal autonomy.
In their view, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms relegated the right to life to “one right among others” alongside the “security of the person.”
With that as background, we get to this chilling quote:
"It is no longer life for the sake of life that merits being maintained, but life with a certain dignity. When that dignity no longer exists, there's no justification to maintain it." (Translated from French)
Ponder that one for a moment. Then ask yourself: Who decides when a person’s dignity is gone? For now it is officially left up to the patient. But how long will that last? How long until having Down syndrome or cerebral palsy is taken as a sign that dignity “no longer exists” and bureaucrats are empowered to judge you unworthy of state-funded health care?
Of course, the government is promising strict safeguards to prevent abuses. But euthanasia regimes always do. They promised strict safeguards in Belgium, but in the Flanders region one study found that 32% of euthanasia victims were killed without their explicit consent. They promised strict safeguards in the Netherlands, but now they’re euthanizing disabled newborns.
This is what happens when we give the government the right to kill the innocent. What the government panel has offered, taken to the extreme, is an apologia for Hitler’s death camps. Their frank admission shows that Quebec is setting out on a slippery slope that lands in Aushwitz.
The Charter was ostensibly adopted in the tradition of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, coming in the wake of the horrors of World War II and Nazi Germany, aimed to enshrine the inherent dignity of all men and women.
So it’s ironic that the Charter has become the pretext for denying human dignity and, it would seem, the catalyst for wedging open the door to the horrors of totalitarianism.