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Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop expanding assisted suicide

(LifeSiteNews) — Just last week, I wrote a column in this space on the normalization of euthanasia and the sinister insistence by those who advocate for it that being killed by lethal injection is, in fact, both a good and a life-saving thing. We are seeing the complete perversion of language in order to justify medicalized killing, which is why you don’t read terms like “killing” or “suicide” in the context of the euthanasia debate in the press. Activists realized very quickly that these terms were unhelpful in the push for normalization. 

Earlier this month, Canadian MP Kevin Lamoureux, a Liberal, took it a step further, stating: “MAiD [assisted suicide] legislation, even on occasion, I would ultimately argue, saves lives.” 

READ: Euthanasia is becoming disturbingly ‘normal’ in Western culture 

What a truly insane thing to say – and the sad fact is, he likely believes it. He also likely doesn’t realize how dangerous his statement is. What message is being sent to those the government has deemed eligible for state-facilitated suicide? Euthanasia is, legally speaking, a choice. But just as with abortion, the “choice” is often a farcical one. 

When women were legally granted the “choice” of abortion, it swiftly became an expectation. Sick, sad, and depressed people may be told they merely have the “choice” to be euthanized – but as we have seen, this choice often seems like a social obligation. 

This point was made in a recent essay about euthanasia in Newsweek by Katherine Brodsky, who supports euthanasia in principle. She has, however, come to have doubts that a euthanasia regime in which choice is freely exercised is possible. She writes: 

I am now skeptical about the true autonomy of individuals opting for assisted death, especially in a country with socialized health care. The risk of medical practitioners recommending MAiD as a cost-cutting measure to alleviate strain on the health care system is unsettling, as suggested by a 2020 analysis estimating potential annual savings of save $66 million annually in health care costs. Individuals considering MAiD are already vulnerable due to physical or mental suffering, making them susceptible to external pressures. Reflecting on my own past struggles, I recognize the unpredictability of emotions and circumstances. What seems unbearable one day may change with time and support – yet the choice to end life is a permanent one.

Fortunately, the Canadian government has delayed – for the second time – expanding euthanasia to those suffering from mental illness. But they insist that this is a delay, not a cancellation, meaning that the position of the Trudeau government is that someone suffering acute despair caused by a mental illness is clear-headed enough to choose suicide-by-doctor. This is obviously untrue, and I genuinely wonder why the government seems so hellbent on doing this. Just a few years ago, we understood that suicidal ideation itself was an indication that something was seriously wrong – but our euthanasia regime has changed all of that. 

Brodsky notes that the “choice” being offered to a specific subset of Canadians who have been pre-approved for this “choice” – a choice not offered to all Canadians, but only those the government has decided have lives not worth living – is often a false one. Citing the example of Lauren Hoeve, the Dutch girl who was euthanized earlier this year, she notes: 

And yet, I was struck by something in the statement put out by Lauren Hoeve’s parents. ‘Millions of people are affected by ME/CFS, with no established treatment pathways and no cure,’ they wrote on X on Feb. 2. ‘Why is their suffering acknowledged enough for euthanasia but not enough to fund clinical research?’ And herein lies the rub. Why is euthanasia offered as a viable solution to a potentially non-permanent problem, when other options are possible?

Mental health services in Canada (and elsewhere) are scarce. Psychologists are expensive and out of reach for many. Psychiatric services are free of charge, but the wait lists are even longer than those for psychologists and few people can get access. The wait to get help is usually over a year. Family physicians just end up prescribing medications based on a checklist and see what sticks.

READ: Terminally ill children in the Netherlands can now be euthanized against their will 

Precisely true. We know that many people in Canada have chosen euthanasia because it was the only “choice” being offered to them at all. Cancer patients who cannot get the treatment they actually want have opted for suicide-by-doctor instead. One woman noted that her requests for additional help to deal with her chronic condition were denied, and thus euthanasia was, she felt, the only option left available. “Ultimately it was not a genetic disease that took me out, it was a system,” she wrote. “There is desperate need for change. That is the sickness that causes so much suffering. Vulnerable people need help to survive. I could have had more time if I had more help.” 

So, what does an ill and suffering Canadian hear when an MP stands up in the House of Commons and says that euthanasia “saves lives”? They know it doesn’t save their life. As Amanda Achtman noted: “Obviously, it’s not the lives of those being killed that are being saved. Such a utilitarian calculation amounts to a war against the weak and this is dehumanizing and wrong.” 

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop expanding assisted suicide

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.