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Canada taps the brakes on the runaway euthanasia train

After the Society of Canadian Psychiatry (SCP) sounded the alarm late last year, the government of Canada has now temporarily put the brakes on its expansion of the country’s already liberal euthanasia regime. It had planned to make euthanasia available to the mentally ill as of March 2023, but is giving the system more time to get ready. The SCP’s warning was based on clinicians’ current inability to assess when a mental illness is or is not “irremediable” (i.e., irreversible/incurable). The SCP asserted as a given that euthanasia shouldn’t be given to people who may still recover. So, their argument went, since we can’t yet tell when someone with a mental illness will or won’t recover, it is premature to be offering it to the mentally ill.

The organization Dying with Dignity, which has been leading the charge for state-sponsored death in Canada, was upset by this decision. “We must avoid creating barriers that will prolong grievous suffering.” Sounding very similar, Justice Minister David Lametti said:

“Remember that suicide generally is available to people. This is a group within the population who, for physical reasons and possible mental reasons, can’t make that choice themselves to do it themselves.”

Before Canada legalized assisted suicide back in 2016, ARPA Canada urged the Supreme Court of Canada and the federal government to recognize that once the sacred line of the 6th Commandment is crossed, condoning some killing, it will become impossible to draw a new line that will hold. The past six years bears this out. Our society no longer knows which suicides should be prevented and which should be celebrated as an expression of choice.

Lobbying government to stop (and reverse!) the train is important and needs to continue. But given that the train keeps roaring down the tracks, the Church needs to do what it can to get people off the tracks. More than ever before, Canada needs to hear the hope of the Gospel, which gives meaning to all lives. Have your neighbors heard it?

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Pro-life - Euthanasia

Euthanasia and the folly of downward comparisons

Have you ever heard a euthanasia advocate argue that to force grandma to live in pain is to treat her worse than a dog? The assumption is that if euthanasia is compassionate for the dog, it’s compassionate for the human: “I put my dog down because of horrible pain, so why can’t we put grandma down too?” A simple rebuttal The simple answer: “Because grandma is not a dog.” As Barbara Kay eloquently wrote in the National Post a few years back, …if we applied human standards of compassion in all things to our treatment of animals, our willingness to euthanize them when they are suffering would be “compassion’s” exception, not the rule. Sure, we euthanize animals when their lives are a burden to them (and us). We also line-breed them when we want more of them, neuter them when we want fewer of them, give them away when our children develop allergies to them, control what and how much they eat, when and where they sleep, and when they may go outside to relieve themselves. Those in our care who do have sex with others of their species only do so when we permit it, infrequently and only for breeding purposes. We separate them from their biological families to make them members of our own. Is all that compassionate? Not if they were human. But they’re not human, you see, so there’s nothing unethical in any of those actions. Two understandings of “compassion” Our response to the question of suffering is predicated on our worldview. Two radically different answers to the question of our origin result in two radically different answers to our expiration. If we accept that we are mere animals, then maybe we should only be treated as animals. Social Darwinism has us oriented downward instead of heavenward. But the Judeo-Christian worldview re-orients us. Paradoxically, we are both dust and ashes (Ps. 90:3; Eccl. 3:20) and yet a “little lower than the angels” (Ps. 8:5) because we are “made in the image of God” (Gen. 1:26-28). And so our response to suffering is not to “put down” our fellow man like a dog, but to do everything we can to alleviate the suffering of our fellow man. Ideas have consequences, and societies need to understand those consequences when we decide what ideas we are going to embrace. In the ongoing euthanasia debate we can choose to view every one of our neighbors as just another animal and treat them as such. Or we see them as “little lower than the angels” and treat them as such. Let’s not lose ourselves to the animals. We can do better. André Schutten is the Director of Law & Policy, and General Legal Counsel for ARPA Canada. A version of this article first appeared on their website ARPACanada.ca....


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