AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris
At a pro-abortion rally earlier this week, Vice President Kamala Harris ignited a media firestorm by omitting the “right to life” when quoting the Declaration of Independence. But while the left’s disregard for unborn human life is well documented, the liberal crusade to legalize – and even encourage – so-called “assisted suicide” for everyone from the elderly, to the poor, to veterans with PTSD has received far less scrutiny.
Canada’s left-wing government has been at the forefront of the under-the-radar euthanasia frenzy in recent years, beginning with the passage of a “medical assistance in dying” (MAID) law in 2016. While the law, billed by the Canadian government as a way to “die with dignity,” ostensibly only applied to patients with a terminal illness, in 2019 a Quebec judge ruled that the law’s requirement that a patient have a “foreseeable death” was unconstitutional. Two years later, the Canadian parliament passed “Bill C-7” repealing that requirement, instead merely saying that someone must be suffering an illness or disability which “cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable.”
Since passage of the 2016 law, and especially following the law’s revision in 2021, numerous stories have surfaced alleging that doctors and even Canadian government officials are pushing euthanasia in cases where patients could be helped with basic medical care. In one instance from December of last year, Christine Gauthier, 52, a Paralympian and veteran, was offered assisted suicide when she sought to have a wheelchair lift installed in her home. The Canadian VA suggested assisted suicide to another veteran last August when he sought help in treating his PTSD.
Ahead of passage of Bill C-7 in 2021, a Canadian man also testified to Parliament that medical professionals at a hospital tried to coerce him into requesting assisted suicide by threatening to bankrupt him with extra costs. Another disabled man shared a similar story last November.
Thankfully, the victims in these cases did not accept the offer of assisted suicide. In other instances, however, patients did receive a medically unnecessary lethal injection – all at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer.
In 2020, 90-year-old Nancy Russell requested and was approved for assisted suicide when she found out that she would have to be confined to her room for two weeks as a consequence of pandemic lockdowns. In numerous other cases, the families of individuals killed by euthanasia have alleged that their loved one did not have the mental capacity to make such a decision, in some cases prompting investigations from police into potential wrongdoing by doctors.
Despite these serious concerns, however, the Canadian government has moved to broaden the law even further. Negotiations are currently ongoing to expand state-sanctioned assisted suicide to the mentally ill as early as March. The government has also taken steps to normalize euthanasia within Canadian culture, including by creating an assisted suicide “activity book” for children. Some companies in the private sector have joined in as well, with one Canadian clothing brand releasing a three-minute video celebrating the assisted suicide of Jennyfer Hatch, a 37-year-old woman from British Columbia.
Many observers, even some liberals, have argued that the prevalence of assisted suicide as a “treatment” option is a reflection of the failure of Canada’s socialized healthcare system and expansive welfare state. A disturbing number of Canadians are reporting an inability to acquire medical care and extreme poverty as their reason for seeking euthanasia – hardly conditions for which there is no remedy. In many cases, it seems, assisted suicide is easier to obtain than traditional medical treatment.
A chilling Canadian government report on the MAID law also lays out the government’s financial incentive to push patients toward assisted suicide, touting a “net cost reduction” of $62 million per year under Bill C-7. In other words, it costs far less for the Canadian government to simply administer a lethal injection than to actually care for patients.
An unusually broad coalition of groups and individuals has pushed back on Canada’s euthanasia regime, arguing that it violates the basic human right to life. Conservatives have largely opposed the practice. Pope Francis criticized Canada’s laws as an example of a “culture of waste” during his visit to the country last year. Marie-Claude Landy of the Canadian Human Rights Commission suggested that euthanasia was “a default for Canada’s failure to fulfill its human rights obligations.” Even the notoriously liberal United Nations Human Rights Commission has voiced “grave concern” with Canada’s euthanasia laws, writing that they have a “discriminatory impact” on disabled people.
But that hasn’t stopped some liberals in the United States from working to import Canada’s assisted suicide extremism. Last year, Vermont began allowing doctors to approve assisted suicide via Zoom call or Skype, totally eliminating any requirement that a doctor even physically examine the “patient”. Although assisted suicide in some form is currently legal in just nine states and Washington, D.C., activist groups are pushing for more laws to be enacted nationwide.
The extreme pro-abortion policies passed in the wake of the Dobbs decision should also make clear that Democrats have no compunction when it comes to killing people deemed “unwanted” or an “inconvenience” – meaning that assisted suicide could soon become the newest fad among the American left. Just last week, Minnesota Democrats passed a law repealing the state’s Born Alive Infant Protection Act and removing the requirement that women provide informed consent before they receive an abortion. In at least seven states, there is no limit on abortion, meaning that it is legal to kill an unborn baby up to (and in some cases even after) the moment of birth.
As with assisted suicide in Canada, leftists in the United States assert that abortion is “healthcare” and “compassion.” In both cases, they could not be more wrong.
Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter @Shane_Harris_.
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