Patient-Assisted Suicide or Voluntary Euthanasia (PAS/VE) has been a debate with lawmakers and medical practitioners for the last decade. As more and more countries approve PAS/VE, BC is now a few months short of approving its own version of the law. This prompted the Archbishop of Vancouver Michael Miller, to address the Catholic faithful through a pastoral letter last week. In his letter, the Archbishop asked the faithful to make a stand and let parliament know of the Catholic faithful’s concern for this impending law, which seeks to discriminate the vulnerable in our society such as the elderly, the physically and mentally disabled and the terminally ill, including children.
There are so many facets of this issue. First, if a person wishes to die and commit suicide, having another person do it for them would make it not a suicide, but a homicide. Those who are qualified to perform PAS/VE, doctors and medical practitioners who took an oath to save lives and not to end it, are against it, with only 10% of the Canadian Medical Association members willing to perform this procedure. The CMA has said, time and again, since Quebec introduced the end-of-life bill in 2014, that its members are against the said bill, because it seeks to equate it with palliative care. According to the CMA, medical practitioners and hospitals do not want patients going into palliative care thinking that they will be put down when the care is no longer available.
Second, how can someone who is in constant and excruciating pain, truly make a sound decision for themselves? What is influencing their decision primarily is their pain. When this decision is also influenced by a caregiver who is no longer willing to give the care he or she is supposed to provide, because of inconvenience. What can stop a caregiver from convincing the patient that the best solution to end the patient’s suffering is to end their life?
Beyond the surface, the public should look at the problem in a deeper sense. The problem is not the unwillingness of people around a sick person to care for them. The problem is that the federal government does not want to pick up the cheque to pay for the proper palliative care for people who are in critical care, such as the elderly, the disabled and the terminally ill. Trudeau’s Liberal government has already begun its pillage of the village by first promoting abortion, labelling it as a “women’s rights” issues. While its members claim to be pro-life in their recent local campaigns, the whole party has declared war on life – beginning with the unborn child in the womb of its mother. So, why stop there? Trudeau claims assisted suicide is a “charter issue”, therefore, its members have to vote in favour of the bill. While the NDP and the Conservatives have opted for conscience voting for its MPs, Trudeau has got the Liberals by their necks. So much for the Liberal MPs campaign for more free votes.
While Archbishop Miller, a Christian and a spiritual leader cries out for reconsideration, he is not alone. The Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Canadian Association for Community Living are also campaigning for a stay on the passing of the bill. Both organizations, together with the Canadian Medical Association, Campaign Life Coalition, other organizations and faiths, are all for the preservation of life until the very last breath. What human beings need is compassion and care that should be provided not only by loved ones who will care for them until the end, but also by a government who owes it them to give them the utmost care and service they deserve. What human beings don’t need is a shot that would carelessly and needlessly end their lives.