QUEBÉC CITY, Québec, March 22, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The National Assembly committee in Quebec released a report today calling on the provincial government to legalize euthanasia according to a Netherlands/Belgium model, effectively ignoring existing federal laws that protect human life.
“The pertinent laws should be modified to recognize medical aid in dying as an appropriate end to life option,” states the Dying with Dignity report.
According to the report, persons opting for “medical aid in dying” must be a resident of Quebec, an adult, must have freely requested the “medical help” to die, must suffer from a “serious and incurable disease,” must have a medical situation with “no prospects of improvement,” and must be experiencing “physical or psychological suffering which is constant and unbearable.”
Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews that the report was “very concerning.”
“The Quebec Dying with Dignity report uses the philosophical approach of Peter Singer in which human life in-and-of-itself does not have any intrinsic value and where personhood is based on one’s mental capabilities or self awareness,” he said.
Schadenberg pointed out that the report defies parliament’s overwhelming 2010 defeat of a similar bill that sought to legalize euthanasia. At that time, the House of Commons rejected Bill C-384, proposed by Member of Parliament Francine Lalonde, by an across-party-lines vote of 228 to 59.
“The report does not adequately address concerns related to elder abuse, suicide prevention and vulnerability at the end of life, as addressed by the recent report by the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care,” wrote Schadenberg on his blog.
Georges Buscemi of Quebec Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews that the Dying with Dignity report simply confirms what he see as Quebec’s “collective suicide.”
Buscemi said that he is “disappointed” with the direction that Quebec is taking on life issues. “Only a dramatic turn-around will save Quebec from extinction,” he said.
“Quebec’s people have completely sawed themselves off from the branch they were sitting on 50 years ago. They’re going to hit the ground soon. This is just another step on that road to perdition.”
“It is a really sad day for this province. It is a day of mourning. They really are obstinately making the same mistake over and over, which is just refusing life, refusing policies that promote life, whether it’s their insistence on gay ‘marriage’ or promotion of abortion on all levels, promotion of gender theory. … it’s just another step down the road to Quebec’s complete disappearance.”
While the Dying with Dignity committee boasted that “medical aid to die is in line with changing social values, law and medical practice,” Schadenberg pointed out that the committee ignored the results of their own public hearings on the issue, where 156 of 271 briefs were against or somewhat against euthanasia and assisted suicide.
“The recommendations of the Quebec Committee are contrary to the view and ethics of nearly every medical association in Canada and around the World. The report recommends a radical reformation of the doctor/ patient relationship,” concluded Schadenberg on his blog.
The Quebec report on Dying with Dignity comes days before Justice Lynn Smith is expected to make her decision in the Carter case in Vancouver, British Columbia, a case that the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has warned is an attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada through the court.
Schadenberg commented to LifeSiteNews that the timing of the Quebec report and the Carter case could not be worse for Canadians who value human life. “This is timed in such a way that we are getting a one-two punch,” he said, adding that he suspects that the Quebec report is a foreshadowing of how Justice Smith will rule in the Carter case.