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Medically Assisted Suicide for Babies and Teenagers in Canada
Quebec College of Physicians slides the slippery slope.
The Quebec College of Physicians recently came forward with some troubling recommendations. One of them involves the Physician assisted killing of babies with disabilities and the other is defining the term “Mature Minor” and then recommending that Teenagers 14-17 be allowed to be killed by medical practitioners with their parents consent.
Dr. Louis Roy, from the Quebec College of Physicians, told the Commons’ Special Joint Committee of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) on Friday that his organization believes MAID can be appropriate for infants up to age one who are born with “severe malformations” and “grave and severe syndromes” for which their “prospective of survival is null, so to speak.” -National Post
It also recommended making MAID accessible to minors from 14 to 17 years old, with the authorization of parents or of a tutor, adding that suffering has no age and that it can be as intolerable as for adults.
Until now, Canada has resisted expanding assistance in dying to children under the age of 18, but there has been some consideration given to making it accessible to “mature minors.”- National Post
This appears to be a major departure from the “original intent” of the law. The law which was first addressed in a 2015 Supreme Court Decision required changes to be made to the Criminal Code by 2016 to allow for the provision of a medically assisted death. There have been several changes since that time but a few things have remained generally consistent.
Eligible for this service (visitors to Canada cannot apply)
Be at least 18 and mentally competent. You must be able to make health decisions for yourself
Have a grievous and irremediable medical condition
Make a voluntary request for MAiD that is not the result of outside pressure or influence
give informed consent to receive the procedure
Mental Illness Exception- If Mental illness is the only medical condition leading one to consider MAiD, the person is not eligible. This exclusion will be dropped march 17, 2023.
For an extremely detailed breakdown I would recommend you check out the official Canada webpage on MAiD.
Robert Latimer and the ethics of Euthanasia
Robert Latimer was a Saskatchewan Farmer who was convicted of second degree murder in the death of his daughter Tracy Latimer. Tracy was born with Cerebral Palsy which resulted in severe physical and mental disabilities. She also suffered violent seizures that were controlled with medication. You have to understand that this was not a mainstream disability, Tracy couldn’t walk, she could not talk, she had little control of her body and wore a diaper. It was never disputed that she was in constant pain. This pain was made worse by the fact that she couldn’t take painkillers due to her seizure medication.
Tracey underwent several surgeries. The final straw was in October of 1993 when the Doctor recommended further surgery for hip reconstruction or thigh bone removal that would lessen the constant pain. The trade off is that Tracy could be in extreme pain for at least a year requiring the use of an epidural to numb the lower part of her body to relieve pain. The same month Tracy was found dead under the care of her father while the family was at church. He killed her with carbon monoxide poisoning in his truck.
Robert made the defense that he was motivated by his desire to end her suffering. he believed that the surgeries were mutilation and torture. He was charged with first degree murder and was found guilty of second degree murder. This was reaffirmed through the Courts and even a second trial.
In 2001 the Supreme Court ruled that the crime could not be justified through the defence of necessity and that the prison sentence (life with no Parole for 10 years) was not cruel or unusual. Robert Latimer has never waivered and continues to deny wrongdoing.
The Slippery Slope and Cost of “Progressive” Policy
Something has drastically changed in our society. What was inconceivable in 1997 has been repackaged and served up as “Healthcare” in 2022. If these proposals pass, Latimer in 2022 could have potentially gone to his doctor and gotten the doctor to kill his child, with his assistance, without being considered guilty of a crime. Perhaps if this policy passes he should petition the Courts?
The side that has not been explored on is the potential that this becomes a eugenics program. A type of Health Care that ensures only the fittest babies survive. There was a disputed tradition in Sparta. Upon being born babies were inspected for deformities or irregular behavior. If the baby was determined not to viable it was discarded over a mountain unto jagged rocks below. That may have worked for a Greek warrior society, consistently worried about uprisings but it shouldn’t work for us in the modern era. We’re supposed to be better then that.
Even worse is that additional proposal that Teenagers 14-17 could be considered “Mature Minors” and then consent to being euthanized, with (or without if they are a mature minor?) the approval of their parents. The mature minor concept is a huge slippery slope. We have strict definitions of minors and adults for all sorts of legal, ethical and safety reasons. The introduction of this type of loophole should be fought on all fronts. We have been fighting back against teen suicide but have all the efforts been in vain? Once suicide becomes a medical decision there are all sorts of legal healthcare protections on information sharing that could interfere with interventions on this front. Why would strive for a society that has this option for people who are still in the early stages of their lives?
For Progressive Policy to work it must constantly double down which means encroaching on more and more socially divisive topics. The Progressive blind spot is that there is no line in the sand. To draw a line in the sand means one will no longer be progressive, thus the sand becomes a slope with no end. We have attempted progressive policy in our Government Healthcare system and it has failed to yield results, especially for the most vulnerable. So it appears there is a desire to expand this specific field which will have a disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable, by killing them under the guise of “Health Care”. It is claimed that progressives push disability rights, will they support what appears to be a potential eugenics program to not appear Conservative?
Canadian Healthcare on Life Support
This is a healthcare failure, a failure to provide reasonable services to people. A system that has become so redundant that people would consider infanticide rather then trust their disabled babies in it. A system that is so in denial about its failures that it would rather promote infanticide as “Health Care” and allow Teenagers to be considered adults for the purposes of euthanasia. We cannot train enough doctors, staff enough hospitals, treat enough patients and have enough resources in our system. In response to this the system decides to promote people offing themselves? This is the easy way out for the health care system. A system where you can die waiting for surgery, a system where a hospital visit can take 20+ hours to be seen and a system that refuses to admit its fundamental flaws.
A parent of a newborn with disabilities will look at the Canadian Health Care system, the cost of adjusting their lives to this new reality when they barely are making ends meet, the hoops they will have to go through applying for funding and grants, the social stigma that their child will have, the ever lasting suffering the child may endure and decide that the most humane thing to do is to do a “healthcare procedure” on their child that will result in its death.
A teenager suffering mentally will look at the lack of Mental Health services available to them, the social stigma they receive from their peer groups, the lack of consistent doctor, the lack of affordable professional psychologists, the hopeless inflation driven future and decide to be deemed a “Mature Minor” for the purposes of seeking a “healthcare” procedure that will result in their death.
That is the state of Canadian Health Services and the State of Canadian society as a whole.
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