Written June 11, 2016 blog post.
Macleans, that otherwise liberal magazine when it comes to killing the dying and disabled, has an editorial scolding Parliament for not standing up for itself. This is in the June 20, 2016 issue on page 5 should you care to find it.
The argument is that Parliament could have used the notwithstanding clause. They chose not to do this. (EPC and its supporters and allies were pushing for this as of late last year, in 2015)
The federal Liberals greatly accelerated the legislative schedule and warned darkly of chaos if it wasn’t passed in time. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s flying elbow was an outward sign of his impatience in trying to get the House of Commons to abide by the court’s timeline.
Warned darkly of chaos…so in other words, we had to make a decision on medical killing now (usually because unfortunate people were suffering, according to the euthanasia enthusiasts) or people would be left in pain. The ethical construct that people being well cared for would have pain properly managed was never discussed, of course. That’s a real world problem and therefore means that real world suffering can be solved.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s flying elbow…he physically assaulted members of parliament – his government – to push his law through on someone else’s say-so. Yet he has had no legal sanction against this action – and there should be.
So if the Prime Minister, no less a person, can physically assault someone to push the ‘debate’ through the House, how much more likely is it that a patient will be coerced, since they have no social power whatsoever when they are dependent upon nurses and nurse practitioners for care?
We have already heard of nurses who abused their patients in the US, in Italy and in England, so how much more likely is it to happen here? In short, if coercion is used in the House, coercion will be used on doctors and nurses, and by extension on families and on patients. We live in a rules-abiding, do it or else culture now, and this is one manifestation of that problem.
The real concern is not that Parliament missed a court-appointed deadline, but why it should be considered necessary for Parliament to dance to the Supreme Court’s tune in the first place.
Because people have gone to the Courts to get their way when Parliament won’t pass laws. We have also seen rights tribunals making decisions on social actions that otherwise in history would have been a private matter. So we are seeing the imposition of rules on Parliament, curtailing their political power, and the threat that the SCOC will use that power again in the future, say in the instance of bestiality…
So this was inevitable, and the Parliament – elected officials, for what it’s worth – are left powerless.
Assisted dying is one of the most controversial and widely debated topics of our generation, entailing many serious moral and practical issues.
It’s not a controversy, depending upon who you talk to. Everyone is suffering, or could be suffering, so everyone should be equally vulnerable to be killed on someone else’s say-so. (This is because social events do not take place in isolation, either from their social context or from the influence of other members of the social cohort). It has hardly been debated in the proper way, given the Royal
Commission ignored the real-world effects euthanasia has had on places where it has been imposed.
So we can hardly have had a debate if we have missing information. We can likewise hardly have a debate if those who are going to be impacted – the disabled who are vulnerable persons – are ignored and denied access to that debate, or worse, if they are allowed to show up are defined away as tokens for their effort.
The many serious moral and practical issues are set up and demolished by those with an interest in killing as a rhetorical flourish. It is widely known that the ‘only’ opposition to euthanasia is religious, regardless of whether it is religious or not – and there are cogent arguments against killing the vulnerable which do not involve religion whatsoever. However, because the position is opposed, it must be religious…
...whatever result Parliament finally produces carries the unmistakable stamp of democratic deliberation.
Yet we have not had democratic deliberation: we had Prime Minister Selfie attack parliamentarians and swear at them, and we had the Liberal government try to railroad discussion by changing the rules in mid-debate! What sort of democratic deliberation is that?
If the public disapproves of the outcome, they can have their say in four years or less. Yet this time honoured process has been perverted in the case of assisted dying.
Yet in four years’ time, we will have had people killed, and those same Courts and Parliamentarians will have pushed through the addition of minors, the mentally ill and those with dementia into the net by alterations to the law based on ‘human rights’. The trouble is though that no-one seems to want to put brakes on this issue probably because they are afraid of
The alleged urgency of passing C-14 is entirely arbitrary, and largely hypocritical.
Which is what the disability community has said, but who listens to them?
There are dire warnings that Parliament is in danger of being made irrelevant to the process of making laws. It is also argued in the editorial that the Court should not be wagging the beaver. Yet that is precisely what has happened.
And the argument that the Parliament was threatened with chaos and that people would be suffering needlessly if the law was not passed is more than a little precious. You see, the editorial, even in this cursory reading, has been incomplete. They didn’t do their due journalistic diligence.
Palliative care, which most Canadians I have seen want, and demand, if the public statements and conversations I have had are any indicator. I heard a year ago that 70% of people needing palliative care in Canada don’t even get the option. And this was before euthanasia was made legal.
There is now therefore no incentive for the Canadian government to even do anything about palliative care at all: the cheaper option for the provinces is to offer death and death only.
As is now obvious, the shorter time frame was inappropriate and ill-advised.
And yet the public, which has been largely ignored and therefore silent on the matter, is defined as ‘wanting this option’! It must be good to have such twenty twenty hindsight that you can state the obvious in such a way in an editorial in a national magazine.
We have to wonder if this editorial was just sitting in the wings, waiting to be trotted out as a ‘proof’ that Maclean’s did its due diligence, or if they just decided to notice the problems that those in the disability community have been warning of since before 2013.
I predict we will now see articles in the media showing how the death imposition process has ‘gone off the rails’ and how we need to reform it to make it ‘safer’, while at the same time the media flacks whistle past the graveyard over the issue of how we could have avoided the whole issue of medicalized killing by just saying no…
It remains to be seen if patients are steered to death as a foregone conclusion, like Hassan Rassouli was and they attempted to do with Madi Vandstone. It's early yet, but over the long term, the rhetoric of 'pro life' violence will be presented as an ogre more often, the more silent the silent majority gets. Keep in mind that killing the dying is the first step, next will be the comatose, those in dementia, then the mentally ill, then children, and those who have misgivings will just have to remain silent, or risk being branded the new terrorists.