WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 27, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Euthanasia advocates at the Liberal Party convention this weekend will still try to get an emergency resolution passed that would call for the government to make its Bill C-14 more permissive, despite already hitting a serious roadblock.
The long list of policy resolutions Liberal delegates from across Canada will consider is dominated by environmental and so-called social justice matters. There is no mention of the assisted suicide and euthanasia issue that the Liberal government hopes to cover with its Bill C-14 – now slated for a final vote in the House of Commons next week.
But the policy chair of the Liberal women’s commission, Wendy Robbins, claiming to speak for the party’s grassroots, says Bill C-14 is far too restrictive.
According to news reports, Robbins’ emergency resolution would call for the government to put into Bill C-14 a provision for “people to make advance requests for an assisted death once they're diagnosed with a grievous condition, like dementia, that will eventually render them incapable of giving informed consent.”
As well, it would call for a commission to examine whether advance directives shouldn’t be allowed regardless of a person’s health. Bill C-14 currently permits only those already terminally ill, in grievous suffering, and mentally competent to get physician-assisted death.
Robbins told reporters she was “stunned” when she saw how restrictive Bill C-14 was. “I just couldn't believe it wasn't more progressive.”
She is casting herself as a David pitted against the party Goliath. “They really don't want grassroots Liberals to embarrass them,” she said.
But she failed in her likeliest bid to get the resolution to the convention floor when her own women’s commission rejected it – she says on the recommendation of several MPs who want the convention to rally behind Bill C-14.
Still claiming grassroots support, though nobody else has been mentioned in news coverage, Robbins will now take her resolution to the convention’s policy committee for approval. But it’s a long shot, she admits, because, she has been advised, she doesn’t have sponsorship from a group such as the women’s commission.
Do Canadians want advance directives? The euthanasia advocacy group Dying with Dignity says they do, citing a 2016 poll by Ipsos-Reid showing 80 percent public support. But Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition says they don’t, citing a 2016 Angus Reid poll indicating Canadians want requests for euthanasia to come from competent adults who are grievously suffering and terminally ill.
More to the point, says Schadenberg: “It’s a crazy idea. It means someone who has given an advance directive and who now has dementia, but is quite happy, can be euthanized at the say-so of someone else. It takes away my right to change my mind.”
According to Schadenberg, “This is about ending the suffering of the people who have to care for a person, not the suffering of the person.”
The resolution roster for the convention is dominated by environmental and social justice issues, with an occasional blending of the two, such as with one calling for recognition of a human right to clean water and air, and another for granting refugee status to those displaced by climate change.
There are resolutions calling for reducing the voting age to 16, for forcing corporations to put more women on their boards, and for restoring funding to pro-abortion women’s advocacy groups eliminated by the previous Conservative government.
One resolution calls for the creation of a ministry and a minister of “LGBTQ2+ Equity,” and also recognition of refugee status for those persecuted for their sexual preference or gender identity.
Another resolution calls for travel expenses and, ironically, child care expenses, to be provided for women who have to travel out of town to get abortions.