“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Sunday, May 1, 2016

RECOMMENDATIONS ON CANADA'S ASSISTED SUICIDE BILL C-14

Canada's Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights is studying Canada's bill C-14, to legalize physician assisted suicide euphemistically labelled "medical assistance in dying". The bill has received the 1st of 3 readings in Canada's Parliament. The Standing Committee invited input for recommended amendments before 2nd reading. Most MPs have bought into the false compassion of medically assisted suicide.  Barring a miracle, Canada is going to legalize assisted suicide. My two recommendations focus on protection of religious liberty of Christian medical professionals not to be forced to participate.

See below. They restricted input to 750 words that must be submitted by May 2nd 2016. If you wish to give input, don't feel you have to abide by this artificially imposed time-frame. Contact emails can be found at the end of this post

Mark
____________


Mike MacPherson                             Sent as email attachment
Committee Clerk
Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights
House of Commons
OTTAWA, ON, K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. MacPherson:
                                  
Recommendations for C-14

I wish with all my heart things had not come to this point where medically killing is being legalized for suicidal sick and disabled people whose deaths are "reasonably foreseeable" (whatever that means). Let me begin by registering my outright opposition to Bill C-14 or any other law that weakens protections for vulnerable life, like mine.

As I mentioned earlier, I live with advanced multiple sclerosis (MS) and meet virtually all the criteria of “grievous and irremediable medical condition” – as defined in 241.2 of Bill C-14: I have a serious and incurable illness that has severely disabled me (241.2(a)). After thirty-two years with aggressive MS, I am in an advanced state of irreversible decline (241.2.(b)). My disease has caused enduring physical and psychological suffering (241.2.(c)), for more than 3 decades. There have been times when my state seemed intolerable. If C-14 had been available back in the mid-1980s when my grief was at its height, and if I had not been surrounded by the love of my wife and family, my faith community, and my God, I might have opted for assisted suicide. Things were that horrible. But they lifted up my value as someone worth protecting and cherishing, even when I doubted my own value. I am so happy today I did not opt for suicide. I never would have known my five beautiful grandchildren.

Medically assisted death is called palliative care – not help with suicide. Assisted suicide is a profound abandonment of people at the very time they need a most tender care. 

There are two deaths that occur in helping someone killing themselves: The first death happens in the suicidal person when you agree their life is unworthy of living. The second death occurs with the deed. (In actual fact, there is also a third death. It is the death of conscience in the person who assists in the suicide.) Canada does not need more suicide. Canada needs the best palliative care available to all Canadians at their point of need. That brings me to my first recommendation for amendments to the proposed law.

Recommendation #1: Include an amendment to C-14  to recognize and fortify Charter guarantees of freedom of conscience and religion and their expression. Physicians, nurses and pharmacists who have profound conscientious or religious objections to participating, in any way, with euthanasia or assisted suicide must not be forced into it or required to refer patients to doctors who are willing to kill. This must be unequivocal in the legislation! Such emphatic recognition of religious freedom is a hallmark of a pluralistic society.

There are forces at play to force this on them.[1] Imbed in the legislation recognition of the supremacy of Charter guarantees of freedom of conscience and religion, and its expression (CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, Section 2, (a,b)).

From a Christian point of view, the Canadian Supreme Court decision on assisted suicide legitimized something that is intrinsically evil. Any Christian medical professionals can not comply. Recognize this by exempting medical professionals with conscientious objections and curtail provincial or professional associations from imposing participation in assisted suicide or forcing them to refer for assisted suicide. Mitigate the extent of this moral evil by endorsing conscience rights for doctors, nurses and pharmacists who have deep moral objections to participating in any way with medically assisted suicide.
       
Recommendation # 2: Ensure places of safe haven exist for people like me and my family, such as Catholic healthcare institutions, where we know euthanasia and assisted suicide are not practised. 

My family and I need to be able to rest assured the only medically assisted death I will receive is palliative care that rejects assisted suicide and euthanasia. The structure you are setting up will make people like me fear hospitals and nursing homes.

There are plenty of doctors and nurses willing to euthanize patients in secular health care situations. I don’t want them. My family and I need to know I can go someplace to receive care that will not acquiesce to euthanasia or assisted suicide – even if I request it because of depression, feeling I am a burden, or multiple sclerosis has affected my mental state.[2]

Thank you for considering my recommendations.


Mark Davis Pickup




[1] See Report of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted  Dying, Recommendations 10 & 11. Also see Michael Cook, “Canada’s euthanasia Leviathan”, MercatorNet.com, http://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/canadas-euthanasia-leviathan/17961 
[2] See A LETTER TO MY DOCTOR NOT TO KILL ME. I placed the text of that letter on my blog. See http://www.humanlifematters.org/2016/04/a-letter-to-my-doctor-not-to-kill-me.html

______________________

Contacts:
Mike MacPherson, clerk to the Standing Committee of Justice and Human Rights email: JUST@parl.gc.ca

- Anthony Housefather, Chair, Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights, email Anthony.Housefather@parl.gc.ca
- Ted Falk, Vice-Chair, Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights, Ted.Falk@parl,gc,ca
- Murray Rankin, Vice-Chair, Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights, Murray.Rankin@parl.gc.ca

Other committee members include: Chris Bittle - Chris.Bittle@parl.gc.ca, Michael Cooper -Michael.Cooper@parl.gc.ca, Colin Fraser - Colin.Fraser@parl.gc.ca, Ahmed Hussen - Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca, Ron McKinnon - Ron.McKinnon, Rob Nicholson - Rob.Nicholson@parl.gc.ca    



3 comments:

Audrey Laferriere said...

I do not understand you keep referring to those that are specifically vulnerable. We are all vulnerable when we are sick.

Also about doctors, they are great at referring patients. We already has a good death clinic in Vancouver. Dr. Ellen Weibe called her clinic HEMLOCK AID. To date two have died there by lethal injection. There might be more but how would we know as such deaths need not be made public. After a few months who dies will not be a good news story any more. Safeguards will deteriorate and who would know or who would care.

Mark Davis Pickup said...

You're right. Everyone is vulnerable when they are sick. You'e also right about safeguards: They are an illusion. See my earlier post where Belgium warns Canada about this very point after their bitter experience with safeguards. Safeguards aren't.

Pam Thorson said...

Nearly nineteen years ago, we had to fight back a push for euthanasia at a Canadian hospital when our son suffered a devastating spinal cord injury during a trip to Canada. We were able to bring him back to the States with the help of the wonderful people of Canada. He regained significant recovery and has lived at home for nearly two decades. He serves God daily in his broken body and has taught me much about faith.

We stand with you on this side of the border in the fight for life and dignity for the medically vulnerable. I would be interested in interviewing you and your family for the Unstoppable series on my website. You can contact me at thesong2008@live.com.

Yours,

Pam Thorson
Caregiver, nurse, author, and speaker