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

(LifeSiteNews) — Looking back at my commentary on euthanasia in Canada just after the Supreme Court’s Carter decision mandated the passage of legislation legalizing euthanasia, I realize now that I was naively optimistic.

At the time, I noted that Canada’s trajectory would become that of Belgium and the Netherlands. In fact, Canada’s journey down the slippery slope was far swifter. It took the Low Countries two decades for their euthanasia regimes to reach this point; it took Canada scarcely five years. 

Still, there are a few cautionary lessons Canada can learn from what is unfolding in the Netherlands – especially as the Trudeau government refuses to cancel their plans to expand eligibility for state-sanctioned suicide to those suffering exclusively from mental illness, with sustained public pushback prompting only a pause on the planned policy. Consider a story recently related at Spiked by Dr. Kevin Hull: 

Jolanda Fun is scheduled to die next week on her 34th birthday. As such, she has been able to prepare the funeral invites in advance. ‘Born from love, let go in love,’ reads the card. ‘After a hard-fought life, she chose the peace she so longed for.’

Fun, who lives in North Brabant in the Netherlands, explained why she wants to die in an interview with The Sunday Times last week. Though she is physically healthy, she feels constantly ‘sad, down, gloomy.’ At age 22, she was diagnosed with a litany of mental-health problems and has since run the gamut of therapies. Consequently, she has never been able to hold down a job. When a counsellor told her two years ago that she could be euthanized, she decided this was the only option left for her. ‘I want to step out of life,’ she explains.

Fun has no doubt had a difficult life. She suffers from an eating disorder, recurrent depression, autism and mild learning difficulties. But to suggest suicide as a cure to these problems is as good as giving up on her.

We all know somebody who suffers and struggles like Jolanda. We all know somebody – probably many people very close to us – who will become eligible for a lethal injection should Justin Trudeau remain prime minister long enough to implement his government’s planned expansion of Canada’s euthanasia regime. Stopping euthanasia for mental illness is an issue of such paramount importance that, whenever the next federal election is called, I will be voting almost exclusively to stop it. If Canada brings in suicide-on-demand for the suicidal, we will have a bloodbath – and that is not even remotely hyperbolic. Euthanasia deaths are already over 4 percent of all recorded deaths each year. 

If you need to put another face to this policy, consider 28-year-old Zoraya ter Beek of Twente, the Netherlands. According to a profile in The Sun on April 5, the physically healthy young woman – who suffers from depression and autism – has decided to die by euthanasia. Despite having a boyfriend she loves very much, as well as several beloved pets, she made the decision after she claimed that a psychiatrist told her “it’s never gonna get any better.” She has chosen to be euthanized at home, with her boyfriend by her side. “I don’t see it as my soul leaving, but more as myself being freed from life,” she said. “I’m a little afraid of dying, because it’s the ultimate unknown. We don’t really know what’s next – or is there nothing? That’s the scary part.”  

As an important aside: Almost nobody comments on the fact that legal euthanasia is based on the foundational assumption that Christianity is not true 

We all know somebody like Zoraya, who struggled with depression and at times feels like giving up. In Canada, it is incredibly difficult to get help for mental illness – and for many, assisted suicide will become the default option. Euthanasia will become the only thing they are actually eligible for. Suicide would become the only “service” the government is actually capable of providing access to. In theory, you can get an appointment with a psychiatrist; in practice, only the “MAiD provider” is available to see you. We are already seeing this with all kinds of other healthcare services, from palliative beds to hospital beds to cancer care – fundamental failures of the system result in desperate, suffering people opting for a lethal injection instead.  

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.