By John-Henry Westen

OTTAWA, November 2, 2005 ( – The Parliamentary debate on assisted suicide/euthanasia bill C-407 began Monday with Bloc MP Francine Lalonde’s speech supporting her bill. Her speech was soon followed however by that of Conservative MP Jason Kenney whose arguments, were they heeded by the House, would have closed the door to the bill. C-407, as he pointed out , would lead to the same atrocities against the infirm and disabled as happened with the introduction of euthanasia in Nazi Germany.

Kenney, speaking personally and not on behalf of the Conservative Party, said “this legalization of euthanasia would change our social understanding of the human person as a subject with infinite and inherent value into a disposable object which can be eliminated at will.” Kenney said the legalization of euthanasia would attack the core belief of civilized society, namely the dignity of the human person.

However, Kenney did not limit himself to theoretical or even Christian arguments. He pointed out that from the earliest civilizations to the present euthanasia has been rejected for good reason.

“From the 5th century BC until now, western physicians have sworn in the Hippocratic Oath, first, to do no harm and, ‘I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked [for it], nor will I suggest the way. . .”, he said. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, said Kenney “states that everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law and no one shall be deprived of his life intentionally.”

Citing recent legal judgements on the matter Kenney pointed out that the Supreme Court of Canada, in its 1992 decision in the Rodriguez case, stated, “Suicide remains an act which is fundamentally contrary to human nature”. He also noted that the United States Supreme Court concluded in a case similar to the Rodriguez case “We are confronted with a consistent and almost universal tradition that has long rejected the asserted right, and continues explicitly to reject it today, even for terminally ill, mentally capable adults”.

He recalled that the Canadian Parliament itself with its 1995 Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide concluded, “In a pluralistic society, respect for life is a societal value that transcends individual, religious or diverse cultural values”.

And in comments which garnered media attention, Kenney recalled that euthanasia was introduced with similarly innocuous proposals in Germany in the early 20th century. “In the 1930s beginning on the grounds of compassionate treatment of the mentally ill and the severely infirm, euthanasia was unleashed in that country. Passive euthanasia became active euthanasia and active euthanasia became an entire cult of eugenics,” Kenney said.Â

And finally moving to the current day, Kenney noted the results of Holland’s foray into legalized euthanasia.“Three separate studies have concluded that an estimated 1,000 cases of active euthanasia occur a year without the consent of the patient. According to one study, Dutch doctors have gone from killing the terminally ill who asked for it, to killing the chronically ill who asked for it, to killing the depressed who had no physical illness but who asked for it, to killing newborn babies because they have birth defects even though by definition they cannot ask for it.”

See the full debate for Monday (PDF file):

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