I have been following the progress of a euthanasia and assisted suicide bill through the Canadian Parliament. It is now in the Senate, where Senators amended the bill to make even more people eligible to force a doctor or nurse practitioner even in a Catholic hospital to at the very least make a referral so the patient can receive a lethal injection or poisonous drug cocktail.
Yesterday, Senators voted down an amendment that would have added an important safeguard of prior judicial review for those newly eligible people who are not at end of life. The Liberals’ Bill C-14 did limit it to those whose death is “reasonably foreseeable” and that restriction is an important safeguard for disabled people. If the Senate gets its way, it will be open season.
Senators also voted down an an amendment that would have protected conscience rights for both individual healthcare workers and institutions to not only not participate in killing their patients but also referring them to someone else who will kill them.
The Senate did add an amendment to include a palliative care consultation or assessment, can’t remember the exact word, but something to the effect the person requesting to be killed be told about other options for reducing pain and suffering such as palliative care, which is patchy across the country. Only about one third of Canadians have good palliative care options available. For Pete’s sake, in parts of Canada, one can’t even find a family doctor and the fact conscience rights will not be respected in this bill, but devolve to provincial physicians’ colleges and other regulatory bodies which insist on referrals or doctors could lose their license, many good, conscientious doctors will retire early or leave medicine rather than be forced to compromise their principles.
All of this was brought to us by the Supreme Court of Canada in their Carter decision, that totally reversed a previous decision 22 or 23 years earllier that upheld the longstanding prohibition against assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Then, yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a decision on . . . . .I almost cannot write the word on my blog …..friggin’ bestiality, ruling if penetration is not involved, it’s a-okay.
Ora pro nobis.