MP Introduces Euthanasia Bill into Canadian Parliament
By John Jalsevac
May 14, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Francine Lalonde, the Bloc Québécois Member of Parliament from La Pointe-de-l’Île, on Tuesday introduced a private members bill to legalize euthanasia in Canada.
Bill C-384* would add an exception to the criminal code, ensuring that doctors will not face criminal prosecution if they help a person die who is at least 18 years old and who, after being given or refusing treatment, continues to "experience severe physical or mental pain without any prospect of relief," or suffers from terminal illness.
"The time has come for this Parliament to find a way to decriminalize medical assistance in dying, which is of such vital importance to those whose suffering can no longer be relieved except by this ultimate compassion," said Lalonde in introducing the bill.
Lalonde went on to observe that so far three countries in the E.U., and two U.S. states, have legalized assisted suicide. "Serious research into the application of this legislation and their very specific criteria clearly shows that the greatest fear expressed in this Parliament some years ago, abuses and the hypothetical slippery slope, has not in any way become reality," she said.
She also claimed that "a remarkable progression has taken place in public opinion concerning the need for such a law. Increasingly, people believe that they should have the right to choose, when the time comes."
This is Lalonde’s third attempt to legalize euthanasia in Canada.
Her first two attempts that were introduced in June 2005 (Bill C-407) and June 2008 (Bill C-562), would have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada. Both bills were not limited to the direct and intentional killing of terminally ill persons, but also people experiencing chronic physical and mental pain. The current bill also makes allowances for euthanasia for physical and mental pain.
Lalonde stated in the House of Commons in February that she intended to introduce a bill to legalize euthanasia in Canada. Lalonde is number 42 in the private members bill order of precedence, meaning that unless an election is called, it is likely that her bill will receive a vote at second reading.
Alex Schandenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition told LSN in February about Lalonde’s pending attempt at again legalizing euthanasia: "We are very concerned about the bill.
"Our primary concern," he said, "is that euthanasia and assisted suicide directly threatens the lives of the most vulnerable in society. We should not be focused on how to take the lives of the vulnerable but rather how we should be caring for them.
"To legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide represents the right of one person to take the life of another person. Our society should not be going there."
*Note: This article had originally erroneously reported that Lalonde’s article was number C-484. The actual name of the bill is Bill C-384.
Help the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition stop Lalonde’s bill in Canada by donating by paypal online at: http://www.euthanasiaprevention.on.ca/
To see related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Canadian MP Introduces Bill to Legalize Euthanasia Again
Canadian MP Again Seeks to Legalize Assisted Suicide
Bill C-407 A Bill to Legalize Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
Canadian Parliamentary Euthanasia Debate Begins - Conservative MP Slams Proposal
Canada "Not Ready" for Assisted Suicide Debate - Liberal Senator