TORONTO, September 27, 2013 ( – Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay said Wednesday that the Conservative government had “no desire” to introduce legislation that would reopen debate on legalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide, but Ontario's Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne scoffed at Ottawa's position. She insists there “will be” a national debate, whether the federal government wants one or not. 


“A federal government may decide that it doesn't want to have the discussion, but the fact is that human beings are going to be having this discussion, and that is what Donald Low has put on the table,” Wynne told reporters at a press conference in Toronto on Thursday. “So, it will be, I believe, a national discussion.”

Wynne, asked by a reporter about her own position on assisted suicide, said that she has not “landed” yet, adding that her own “conflicted view of the whole discussion reflects the public discourse on it.”

In a short video shot eight days before he died of a brain tumour, mircrobiologist Dr. Donald Low spoke of his wish to die by assisted suicide in Canada, a practice illegal according to the Criminal Code. Low’s video was released this week on YouTube by Cancer View Canada.

Life and family leaders have warned that decriminalizing euthanasia and assisted suicide would open a Pandora's box of abuse leading to an indiscriminate taking of human lives, as has happened in European countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium.

Euthanasia in the Netherlands has burst every regulation boundary originally set in place, expanding to include euthanasia of disabled children, of people deemed incompetent ,or individuals who are simply lonely.

One study discovered that as many as 32 percent of people euthanized in the Belgium’s Flemish region were killed without their explicit request.

“Once you start looking at killing as a means to solve problems, then you’ll find more and more problems where killing can be the solution,” said Karl Gunning, head of the Dutch Doctors’ Union, when the Netherlands sanctioned euthanasia for emotionally ill patients in 1994.

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MacKay said that Canada’s current laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide are “meant to protect people from abuse.”

“It is a very slippery slope when one starts to contemplate the various scenarios and the range of circumstances in which people can find themselves,” he said.


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