At the centre of Leftism is emptiness, a utopia at the heart of European civilization today and its only value is the complete repudiation of western culture. Totally destructive, totally negative. (Sir Roger Scruton 1944-2020)
With recent developments on the euthanasia front, the picture in Canada has become ever more ominous. The latest out of Ottawa is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement that his government has accepted a Quebec court ruling striking down as unconstitutional the “near death” requirement for patients seeking euthanasia. Thus the doors to broadening Canada’s euthanasia law have been opened even wider with a new feature called “advanced consent” wherein a patient can consent to being euthanized at a later date and then be forbidden from changing his mind when the time comes.
Last September, Quebec Superior Court judge Christine Baudouin struck down the existing law that said a person’s natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable” and gave the federal and Quebec governments six months to amend their legislation.
Baudouin’s imposed deadline of March 11, 2020 in turn prompted the Trudeau government to launch an online consultation/questionnaire that closes January 27. That’s just a week for Canadians to weigh in on this life-and-death decision – literally. But this also assumes Canadians have heard of the consultation which, in all probability, most will not before the expiry date.
So much for broad-based voter input!
Under the current criteria for euthanasia, patients are required to be at least 18 years old; mentally competent; have a serious disease or disability; be in an advanced state of irreversible decline; experience “unbearable physical or mental suffering”; natural death must be “reasonably foreseeable”; and they must have voluntarily requested to be euthanized and provided informed consent.
As for Canadians becoming more widely and deeply informed on this issue by the online ‘consultation’, common sense suggests they won’t. Plus, despite the likely-thin response to it, the Liberals are likely to use the results as a basis for broadening euthanasia in Canada under several criteria, including ‘advance consent’ which would allow individuals with degenerative diseases such as dementia to issue consent for being killed by lethal injection at a future date when they are no longer competent to actively consent.
“That’s a serious problem,” Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told LifeSiteNews in mid-January. “Because, of course, it then denies your ability to change your mind. It also means that the person you’re killing doesn’t even have the right or the ability to confirm that they want you to inject them.”
Which, according to Schadenberg, is why it’s crucial that Canadians who oppose euthanasia answer the Liberal online survey despite its “very problematic” questions that presume support for euthanasia. And why Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s largest pro-life, pro-family national political lobbying group, is likewise urging supporters to participate in the questionnaire which includes a section in which they can add their comments up to 500 words.
Here is the link: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cons/ad-am/index.html
“Silence is not golden in this case. Silence does not help us,” Schadenberg stressed. “Even if the question is awkward, it’s better to express your opposition to something than to be silent.”
Even so, some of the online questions are unclear, he noted. Such as the one on the 10-day minimum wait between requesting and receiving a medically assisted death which neglects to mention that the law allows a doctor or nurse practitioner to waive this period. The consultation also asks if the law should require both the medical practitioner and patient to agree that other reasonable treatment options have been tried without success; that psychological or psychiatric assessments be done to determine capacity to consent; and that in addition to the current mandatory two medical assessments, a consultation with an expert in a person’s medical condition be done.
Deja vu, all over again
Where have we heard that before? Wasn’t that just the sort of “guaranteed safeguard” cited at the top of the slippery slope of legalizing abortion in Canada all those years ago? And which ultimately led to Canada’s having no abortion law whatsoever? And therefore no protections whatsoever for the unborn in Canada?
“At least (the consultation) gives us an opportunity to say ‘I’m absolutely opposed to this,’” Schadenberg continued. “It might be worth something. And then I have hope that there’ll be enough of a response that the government will say, ‘Hold on.’”
Why do I feel so pessimistic?
After all, Schadenberg is doing the Lord’s work and the task is monumental. So let’s not mince words here. If past is prologue, this latest development isn’t going anywhere good.
The truth is that since Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government legalized euthanasia, or “Medical Assistance in Dying” (MAiD-Bill C-14), in June 2016 (following a February 2015 Supreme Court decision striking down the law prohibiting euthanasia and assisted suicide as unconstitutional), an estimated 6,700 Canadians have been killed by euthanasia or assisted suicide. And now as Canada appears set to broaden its criteria for institutionalized killing, Canada is poised to lead the way in euthanasia-based organ harvesting as well.
This is because Canada – having joined Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Columbia in allowing euthanasia death by lethal injection – is now on track to expand euthanasia to non-terminal cases, thereby providing the means to build up an organ bank as well. That is, if the Liberals, who are now promising a ‘fuller review’ by the summer, expand their criteria to include non-terminal cases, allowing advance consent and including children and those with mental illness alone.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, other jurisdictions, such as Belgium and Netherlands, currently allow only patient-initiated organ donation while Switzerland doesn’t allow for organ harvesting because the individual typically kills himself with a self-administered drug cocktail at one of that country’s death clinics.
Call me cynical, but we all know where this is going. And we all know that such wicked legislation – virtually all without fulsome Canadian voter approval – amounts to open season on Canadians whose country has suffered a moral deterioration no senior citizen could have imagined even 30 years ago.
The slippery slope 2.0
But there’s more to this story – isn’t there always? And its possibilities are opening the way for further atrocities.
Consider a hospice in British Columbia which has been ordered to conduct euthanasia for terminal patients by February 3rd. At the latest! Yes, the British Columbia government is ordering a palliative care hospice to allow its patients to be killed on-site through “medically-assisted death,” or euthanasia, by next month.
In late December, the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) issued the deadline to the Delta Hospice Society but did not specify the consequences if it does not comply. According to a local newspaper, this is just the latest development in the society’s long-running battle to prevent the lethal injection of patients at the 10-bed Irene Thomas Hospice it runs in a suburb of Delta, south of Vancouver.
And lest you think all this legalized murder is a Florence Nightingale-style movement to merely assuage physical and mental pain, open your eyes to the ultimate materialist possibilities of forced organ donation.
Did you know, for example, that Canada leads the way internationally in organ donation? Recent news that organ harvesting from Canadians killed by lethal injection is on the rise in Ontario has euthanasia opponents warning that more horrors and assaults on human life are to come.
“Everybody says, ‘Well, it can’t get any lower than it is,’ but we will get lower than it is, because every time you break a new ethical barrier, it opens up a new question,” says Schadenberg. “There is growing evidence that coercion plays a substantial role for many vulnerable people with regards to so called physician-assisted death.”
Moreover, conflating this decision with organ donation further complicates the issue of coercion, echoed John Smeaton, chief executive of the U.K.-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). “We need to acknowledge the unsettling reality that many vulnerable people who have been euthanized without consent, may also have had their organs harvested without explicit consent.”
Organ donation turns sinister
The Ottawa Citizen reported in mid-January that the Trillium Gift For Life Network, which administers organ and tissue donation in Ontario, harvested 18 organs and 95 tissue donations from 113 people euthanized in the first 11 months of 2019, a 14 percent increase over 2018 and a figure that should alarm Canadians, particularly in Ontario which now has the distinction of being the first jurisdiction in the world to proactively ask persons approved for euthanasia if they want to donate their organs. This in a province which reportedly has at least 1,600 patients awaiting a transplant.
The Citizen also reports that, after initially allowing only patient-initiated organ donation, Quebec has followed suit by permitting Transplant Québec to open discussions about organ and tissue harvesting with patients scheduled to be euthanized.
The international picture also got a whole lot darker recently with the introduction of a proposed law in Germany that would make every German a compulsory organ donor. Currently, Germans may sign up to be an organ donor, and only then would their organs be harvested at some point in the future. But the new law would mean that any person objecting to donating his organs would have to do so explicitly and in writing.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on Judge Baudouin’s ruling that nullified both the federal Criminal Code requirement in MAiD (Bill C-14) that an individual’s death be “reasonably foreseeable,” and the Quebec Bill 52 requirement that an individual be at the “end of life” to be eligible for euthanasia. And the governments of Quebec and Canada – neither of which is appealing her decision – now have until March 11, 2020 to change their laws.
Quebec, for its part, has already opened up “consultations” on whether to allow “prior consent” for euthanasia, in which a person as mentioned earlier, suffering from a degenerative illness gives an advance directive to be euthanized at a future date, opening the door for people to be killed by lethal injection without, perhaps even against, their active consent.
Killing for organ donation?
All this will inevitably increase attacks on human life, warns Schadenberg. It also makes attacks easier since linking organ donation to euthanasia changes the perception of death by lethal injection to “a good” in which “people who are sick can get better because you had your life ended.”
This means that with imminent death no longer an eligibility requirement for euthanasia, vulnerable people, particularly those with depression or psychiatric illnesses, or mental or physical degenerative decline, or who see their lives as worthless, could find the perceived “good” of organ donation irresistible, he added. “There are a lot of people who are not even sick. They may have ALS, or a neurological condition such as Parkinson’s. Their organs are perfectly good. So they become the great organ donors. If you open up euthanasia for psychiatric reasons, those are even better donors because they have no physical health problems.”
The Nazi Precedent
When euthanasia became legal in Canada, I said I didn’t want to hear another word about the wicked policies and practices of the Nazis.
Oh, but we’re simply being compassionate, Canadians said at the time.
And they’re still saying it, in face of the latest absolutely gruesome developments on that scene, of which most Canadians remain ignorant, either wilfully or because they have been intentionally misinformed. So how many Canadians, do you think, will be aware of the current “public consultation” that may be used to drastically expand the euthanasia regime (remember, euphemistically referred to as ‘MAiD’ or ‘Medical Assistance in Dying’)?
In essence, the Liberals are seeking to expand euthanasia to those who cannot give consent. They are also considering euthanasia for persons who are not even dying, which may include additional groups such as the elderly, the disabled, the depressed and even sick children. And if their current legislation is broadened as planned, who knows how many thousands more will fall victim to this sanitized form of medical murder?
All of which confirms the grim truth that since legalizing the murders under C-14 of suffering Canadians as a charter-ordained “right to die” and compelling doctors to be complicit, Canada has entered a whole new phase of her decades-long embrace of “enlightened” evil, while at the same time undermining all the advances in palliative care and the Hospice Movement whose mission is to relieve pain until natural death occurs.
Despite this, however, many Canadians still argue that legal euthanasia in Canada is a good thing because, hey, we’re different. We’re nicer!
Does that mean then that Canadians are nicer than the Dutch? Or the Luxembourgers? Or the Belgians, few of whom seemed to appreciate that when they approved euthanasia for children in 2014, they were legalizing one of Adolf Hitler’s favourite policies? That year, the newer and broader law – passed with a landslide majority in a traditionally Catholic country – replaced a former law from 2002 which allowed euthanasia only for individuals over 18.
Medical murder metastasizing
That was six years ago. And now look. As the number of euthanized kids jumps by 25% every year, the Belgians still aren’t done with their push towards an ever more gentile genocide, this time by tinkering with the question of what constitutes “consent” and searching for ways for a physician’s consent to be circumvented.
It’s the same story in Netherlands where medically administered euthanasia has become common and popular since their legislation was passed in 2002 – particularly among the elderly who now view it as socially acceptable. The number of Dutch cases has skyrocketed as well with the introduction of mobile euthanasia units allowing patients to be killed by voluntary lethal injection if their family doctors refuse.
And so it goes.
“Just you watch!” a colleague used say. “Some day soon, Hitler will look like a piker. A visionary ahead of his time! On the cutting edge of institutionalized murder …. as the West adopts new laws like Hitler’s, designed for the victim’s own good!”
I thought him cynical, hopelessly pessimistic. After all, hadn’t Hitler been defeated before a world disgusted by his scientifically engineered system of mass murder? Hadn’t the lessons of his abominable dictatorship been learned by subsequent generations who knew better? And haven’t we seen hundreds of films and documentaries to remind us of the unspeakable horrors?
That was then. Today I’m reminding readers yet again about how accurate my friend’s observations were two decades ago, and how they have already been fulfilled in Belgium and beyond. And, unthinkably, in Canada.
Cardinal Collins’ warning
Remember, in February 2016, when Thomas Cardinal Collins of Toronto warned Canadians of the danger, particularly those who complacently believed that MAiD would effect only those with grave illness, who’d lived a long life and were near death? “In a few short months, assisted suicide, its grim reality hidden behind blandly deceptive terms like ‘medical assistance in dying,’ will be declared an acceptable option in our country, enshrined in law. Physicians across our country who have devoted their lives to healing patients will soon be asked to do the exact opposite. They will not be asked to ease their suffering by providing them with treatment and care, but by putting them to death. In fact, killing a patient will no longer be considered a crime, but will actually be seen as a kind of health care, complete with legislation to regulate it.”
Wasn’t Cardinal Collins citing exactly the kind of language that seduced Canadians into accepting abortion as a “good and rare thing” which, with a lot of activist pressure on the legal system, became such a free-for-all that Canada is the only nation in the world with no abortion law whatsoever?
And wasn’t this how similar legislation on euthanasia developed in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, though today’s proponents of the “right-to-die” movement still reject any comparison?
They also insist there is no connection because, get this, Hitler’s regime was not a democracy. Rather, it was a dictatorship bent on exterminating Jews and plenty of other ‘undesirables’. Plus, Hitler’s agenda was about power, not compassion – a word commonly used to legitimize the slaughter of innocents by cloaking the practise in ‘caring’, ‘kindness’ and medical garb.
Nor do today’s zealots want to look at the fact that German society of the 1920s and 1930s was much like our own and with most of the same influences at work.
Dr. Alfred Hoche
Take the 1920 tract The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life by Dr. Alfred Hoche, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Freiburg, who argued for the killing of the mentally ill and those diagnosed as “mentally or intellectually dead” since birth or early childhood. Hoche also recommended “death assistance” from a physician under carefully monitored conditions and with the approval of a panel of three experts, and that doctors involved should be immune from any legal prosecution.
The benefits to society would be great, Hoche rationalized, allowing money previously devoted to the care of “meaningless life” to be channeled to those who most needed it – the socially and physically fit.
So it was hardly surprising that Hoche’s ideas proved immensely appealing to Hitler who implemented them into his Nazi euthanasia law of 1935. Which in turn led to the development of a comprehensive euthanasia programme which included the building of starvation houses for children and adults whose deaths were caused by “withholding treatment”, that is, food and heat, a practise that, by 1941, had become hospital routine throughout Germany.
As for drawing contemporary parallels between Nazi Germany and its imitators, its imitators are today as convinced of their moral rectitude as the Nazis were when they occupied Belgium, Holland and so on in 1940. And they are today just as oblivious of its ultimate cost and consequences.
And how wretched, how tedious and how utterly predictable, too, that by implementing such a policy across Canada, the Liberal Party remains bent on reaffirming its long-term support for immoral and socially destructive policies, masking as compassion. And that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals do so by remaining oblivious to the long-term consequences of such policies and by remaining convinced that, because of their own imagined virtue and moral superiority, no policy of theirs could ever turn out badly.
Wasn’t it the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci who said: “To subvert a society, all that is needed is to force the marginal into the mainstream?” And isn’t this latest policy drive working well as yet another very bad idea further threatening a soft and now morally relativist nation such as Canada?
Yet except for the small but morally muscular groups warning us from the rooftops of our folly – and some being punished for it by the progressive media – our national response is to watch passively and helplessly as the decades-long implementation of very bad Gramsci-style ‘progressive’ ideas push our once strong, vibrant and prosperous culture into existential despair.
Adding to the outrage is the fact all this is being done under that hazy rubric of “Canadian values” – that laundry list of vagaries and fatuities punctuated by such slogans, catchwords and clichés as multiculturalism, diversity and rights, none signifying anything of real substance. At least nothing of hard cloth that might be sold by the metre and sewn together into a patchwork quilt of a country,
And, in an increasingly socialized country going broke fulfilling its utopian promises, how many Canadians fully appreciate the magnitude of what their government is advocating and engineering? How many of them appreciate that the sands shifting beneath their feet might one day produce a nation so comfortable with murder that any Canadian suffering from persistent depression might be deemed worthy of government-assisted death? Or find themselves denied medical assistance and medications because they fall outside the accepted criteria for treatment in Canada’s socialist health systems?
All the while bragging about Canadian values … based on what? The lofty notions of a famous prime minister who, in the late 1960s, paved the way for all this death-dealing legislation by legalizing abortion, Canada’s first holocaust, which has now so weakened this now post-Christian nation that it resembles a dying patient on a gurney, too weak to remove his poisonous IV or even to open the curtains to the light.
And all while still chasing Nazi centenarians down rabbit holes around the world. Talk about straining at a gnat while swallowing a homicidal camel!
Sheen foresaw it all
The worst of it, however, is what this murderous rationale is doing to the hearts and minds and souls of Canadians as Canada’s deep decline continues. Given its moral choices, Canada – this once widely admired, once Christian nation – is now appearing tragic, occasionally laughable, its collapse inevitable, as the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen described such eventualities so eloquently.
“It is a characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of the people are unaware of the tragedy,” he wrote in the early 1950s. “Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives. Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standards outside of themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated? Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world: the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on, because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.”