Canada’s Parliament has now passed the euthanasia law known as Bill C-14.
From the first day Bill C-14 was introduced in the House of Commons, members from all parties began the work of attempting to make this sow’s ear into a silk purse.
Even in the final days of deliberation, when the bill bounced back and forth between the House and the Senate, a majority of members still held on to the hope that they could get the job done for Canadians and turn this ‘bad’ bill into ‘good’ law.
One last ditch attempt to clean up the mess introduced in Bill C-14 by the Liberal government was the proposal of a protective amendment that would prohibit a beneficiary from participating in a person’s assisted death, or, signing the person’s request for assisted death.
This was a proposal that protected people from a greedy beneficiary or an unscrupulous family member.
But wait, why try to make this bad bill better? Turns out, this protective amendment didn’t ‘fit the bill’ so it was passed without it — by a majority of Parliament. And, why should Parliament at this point, even try to make the legislation better? Especially when the sweet smell of summer is calling back home and the steaks are sizzling away on the barbeque.
That call of summer sure seemed to be a draw on the attention of MPs and senators because they then chose to conveniently pass the bill ‘as is’ on the last day of the Parliament schedule.
Just in time for the summer recess making no further attempt to amend even the most grievous parts of Bill C-14.
Like this one.
Bill C-14 provides medical practitioners or nurse practitioners legal immunity for decisions or acts that contravene the law.
A medical practitioner or nurse practitioner only needs to be ‘of the opinion’ that the person meets all of the criteria to be euthanized even if in the end they have ‘a reasonable but mistaken belief’ about any facts regarding the person’s eligibility.
These sections of the law (among others) ensure that a medical or nurse practitioner will never be prosecuted for decisions or acts that contravene Bill C-14.
Bill C-14 also allows anyone to cause death by euthanasia or assisted suicide.
Section 227(2) of the bill states; no person is a party to culpable homicide if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying. No person? Doing anything?
No jurisdiction in the world offers legal immunity to anyone who does anything for the purposes of assisting death. But here in Canada, our Parliament passed Bill C-14 with this clause making it the most wide-open bill in the world. Even worse than the notorious Belgian euthanasia law.
Parliament and the government of Canada have only one ‘primary’ responsibility and that is to provide for the safety and security of the citizens of Canada. Especially those who are vulnerable.
Parliament is also tasked with the responsibility of passing good legislation. They have failed on both counts and have proven themselves blind to the implications of dangerous language in the laws they pass. The issue of legalizing euthanasia is such an important matter.
As a citizen of Canada, I expected so much more from my MPs and senators.