Quebec euthanasia bill opens a ‘treacherous path’ to ‘culture of death’: Evangelical analysis
OTTAWA, October 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Canada’s largest association of evangelical Christians is urging the Government of Quebec to shut down proposed legislation that would authorize euthanasia in the province as “end-of-life care.”
“Euthanasia must be seen for what it is, the intentional killing of another human being,” the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) stated today in a detailed analysis of the bill, entitled, “Quebec’s Bill 52: Euphemisms for Euthanasia.” “If we begin to prize human autonomy over the value of human life, we will shift from a culture of life to a culture of death, and our most vulnerable citizens will be subject to the greatest risk.”
“Life has value at all stages; terminal illness does not strip a person of his or her inherent worth, nor does physical or mental disability.”
The EFC argues that the bill's authors manipulate language to encourage people to accept the murder of vulnerable people as a solution to a problem. Should bill 52 be passed, then “patients will die at the hands of their doctors under the guise of ‘end-of-life care,’” the EFC observes.
The EFC also warns Canadians about the slippery slope that history has shown to ensue when human life is deemed dispensable and not worth living.
One chilling historical example of this slippery slope related in the report is the legalization of euthanasia in 1935 in Germany under Adolf Hitler’s leadership. First came the acceptance of the attitude that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived, which was applied only to the severely and chronically sick. This attitude eventually became enlarged to include the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans. The slippery slope resulted in the horror of extermination camps as the “final solution” to the problem of lives not worthy to be lived.
The ethical slippery slope of legalizing euthanasia is not confined to WWII Nazi Germany, the report says. Euthanasia in the Netherlands has also burst every regulation boundary originally set in place, expanding today to include euthanasia of disabled children, of people deemed incompetent, or individuals who are simply lonely.
States the EFC: “Bill 52 will compromise the safety of the vulnerable. The above examples, especially in Belgium and the Netherlands where children can request euthanasia and doctors administer terminal palliative sedation without reporting the instance as euthanasia, give evidence that regulations and safety protocols inevitably loosen, paving the way for grave abuses of the system.”
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The EFC says that there is no evidence that legalizing euthanasia in Quebec will not lead Canadian citizens down the same slippery slope as elsewhere. It calls the bill’s assurance that Quebec will maintain proper regulations as nothing but “smoke and mirrors”.
EFC’s Vice-President and General Legal Counsel Don Hutchinson said that the Quebec government is proposing to “head down a treacherous path” in its “effort to legitimize a prohibited act.”
“We’re concerned about the impact on our laws, our medical system and ultimately on some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Hutchinson in a press release today. “In the small number of countries where these practices have been legalized, there are well documented reports of people being euthanized without their consent.”
“The so-called safeguards are failing in every one of those jurisdictions,” Hutchinson continued.
“People report they are afraid to leave loved ones alone in the hospital. Is that really what we want for Canadians?”
The EFC is calling the Government of Quebec to withdraw the bill, and if that fails, urging that the members of the Assemblée Nationale act to defeat the bill or stymie it by not bringing it to a vote.
Bill 52 is slated for debate this fall.