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Bishop Scott McCaig delivers a homily during a morning pass prior to the National March for Life, May 11, 2017. Pete Baklinski / LifeSiteNews
Peter Baklinski

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Canada could start killing off the sick to ‘save money,’ warns bishop

Peter Baklinski

OTTAWA, May 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- A Catholic bishop is warning Canadians that legalizing assisted suicide last year has put the country on a path to a “new version of the horrible crimes we saw in the last century.” Specifically, he warned that the government will now take an interest in forcing euthanasia on citizens, especially the poor and the sick, as a way of saving healthcare dollars. 

“By passing assisted suicide laws, the state takes an interest in promoting the suicide of its citizens in order to save money,” said Bishop Scott McCaig, the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada, in a May 11 homily delivered in Ottawa on the morning of the National March for Life. 

Canada’s law prohibiting euthanasia and assisted suicide was struck down by the country’s highest court in 2015. A law was passed last year that outlined the circumstances in which Canadians can be legally assisted to kill themselves or be euthanized by a doctor. 

McCaig said that every country that has allowed doctors to kill their patients has seen its safeguards, meant to protect the weak and vulnerable, become “inadequate, watered down, or eliminated over time.”

The same will inevitably happen in Canada, he warned.

“Legislation which allows people to end their lives automatically creates incentives to seek death as a cost saving option. The elderly, the sick, the infirm, are seen as burdens that can be easily disposed of. Suicide becomes a convenient solution and an easy way out of problems,” he said. 

“‘Not being a burden’ becomes a very powerful coercion to end one's life,” he added.

The bishop said that at first euthanasia to save healthcare dollars will be voluntary. Then it will become a duty. Then it will be forced. And it will especially affect the poor who have no financial resources. 

“Assisted suicide puts the poor at risk. Without those financial resources, the poor are the most at risk. Suicide becomes the cheap alternative for the poor who cannot afford treatment or medication. By passing assisted suicide laws, the state takes an interest in promoting the suicide of its citizens in order to save money. In fact, many insurance companies favor and push assisted suicide because it saves them money,” he said. 

McCaig quoted Dr. Herbert Hendin, who wrote in the Psychiatric Times about the slippery slope that ensued in the Netherlands when legalizing euthanasia became the solution to problems of illness. 

“The Netherlands has moved from assisted suicide to euthanasia, from euthanasia for the terminally ill to euthanasia for the chronically ill, from euthanasia for physical illness to euthanasia for psychological distress, and from voluntary euthanasia to involuntary euthanasia called ‘termination of the patient without explicit request,’” quoted McCaig of Hendin.

McCaig said that Canadian soldiers gave their lives in previous wars to protect the country from the same kind of infringement to liberty that is currently happening in Ontario, where objecting doctors are not allowed to opt out of killing their patients.

“In Ontario, doctors and nurses may have no protection, no rights of conscience. Think carefully about that. Think about the men and women who put their lives in harm's way to protect our country from the kind of regimes that enforced this sort of thing,” he said. 

The bishop said that the government has “no right to approve laws contrary to natural law and divine law.”

“Assisted suicide goes against the laws of God and simple right reason. The practice of suicide is contrary to the fifth Commandment, ‘Thou shall not kill’ which prohibits the murder of one’s self, and the murder of others.”

He urged believers and non-believers alike to “firmly reject assisted suicide and euthanasia and stand up for morality and right reason.”

“As history demonstrates, the gap between assisted suicide and mandatory killing [by] euthanasia and suicide is very, very narrow,” he said. 

He called the National March for Life an event where people “witness peacefully, joyfully, and lovingly to the beauty, the value, and the dignity of every life, from conception to natural death.” 

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