Canadian Law

The Culture of Death has tightened its grip on Canada with the passage of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Bill C-14. On June 16, 2016 the Parliament of Canada voted 190 to 108 in favour of legalizing the murderous practices of euthanasia and assisted suicide. On June 17, the Senate passed the Liberal Government’s bill in a 44 to 28 vote, and a few hours later, it received royal assent and officially became law.

So now, the Pandora’s Box is open. It is legal for doctors and nurses to kill their patients. But it doesn’t end there. The law also permits friends or relatives, or any average person, who is asked to do so, to carry out these killings. This is a dangerous recipe for abuse, for reasons of inheritance perhaps, or to free oneself of a relative whose constant care has become a “burden”.

The Liberal government’s Bill C-14 has overturned our previous Criminal Code prohibitions against euthanasia and assisted suicide, which had always been viewed as illegal forms of homicide. The Criminal Code had always protected vulnerable Canadians - but no more. The vulnerable elderly and disabled will now start to feel institutionalized pressure to view themselves as costly burdens on the health care system, and on family members. For many, the so-called right to die will quickly be transformed into a duty to die.

The new law contains almost no restrictions whatsoever. Furthermore, the Liberal government has signalled that it plans to broaden it further, so as to permit child euthanasia, likely in the next 2–5 years.

Trudeau’s expansion plan will also extend euthanasia to Canadians with mental illness, who by definition, cannot even give informed consent. This expansion will almost immediately be interpreted to mean that Canadians who are merely depressed, also have a “right” to demand a euthanasia killing. Like Belgium and the Netherlands where euthanasia/assisted suicide have been legal for years, it will become common for depressed persons, who are not even physically ill, and theoretically cannot give consent, to be granted a State killing.

Analyzing Canada’s new euthanasia law… what’s in it and what’s missing

The following list highlights some of the appalling contents and omissions in Bill C-14:

1. Gives access to people who are not even dying

Bill C-14 was dressed up for public consumption to create the illusion of limiting eligibility to those who are terminally ill and close to death. However, the bill does not define how close to death a patient must be in order to qualify. It states merely that “the person’s natural death must be reasonably foreseeable”.

How is one to interpret "reasonably foreseeable"? It does not define it in terms of weeks, months or even years. In practice, this ambiguous term will result in doctors and nurses rubberstamping euthanasia requests for people who are nowhere close to death.

This deceitful language was designed to give the appearance that the Liberals have restricted the bill to the terminally ill, when in fact, it created a regime of wide open access for almost anyone who requests it.

This sleight of hand was given away by the fact that immediately following C-14’s passage, the Government of Canada website dispensed with the disguise, stating explicitly: “You do not need to have a fatal or terminal condition to be eligible for medical assistance in dying.” View that statement excerpted from the Liberal government's website, right here.

Other ambiguous wording was included in the law to give the appearance of strict controls. For example, there is a mention that a patient must have “a grievous and irremediable medical condition”. Notice however that this wording does not mean a person has to be dying to qualify. The mere presence of suffering is sufficient, even for those whose entire life is still ahead of them. So much for the promise of a narrow law with strict guidelines!


2. Door opened to euthanasia for psychological suffering

Although the Liberals have made it sound like it is limited to persons with a physical illness, in reality the bill gave a convoluted description of the medical condition of eligible persons which includes “psychological suffering”. It thus opens the door to unhappiness with one’s medical condition, or perhaps even depression without any medical condition, being accepted as a legitimate criteria.


3. No conscience rights protection

This law provides no conscience protection whatsoever to doctors or other health care workers. Nothing in this Liberal law protects doctors from being required to participate in, or refer for, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

In fact, the bill requires doctors and nurses to send all requests for euthanasia and assisted suicide to a “designated recipient” or to the Minister of Health. Therefore the law requires, at a minimum, all doctors and nurses to refer patients to another provider who will commit the dirty deed.

The Trudeau government refused to protect conscience rights for healthcare workers. In fact, Liberal MPs, joined by the NDP, defeated a Conservative amendment that would have added conscience protection into C-14. The vote was 97 Yeas to 222 Nays, according to Party lines.


4. No exemption for Catholic hospitals or other institutions which believe that euthanasia is murder

By definition, Catholic hospitals in Canada embody the Church’s belief in the Ten Commandments, including the 5th commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill. As such, these religious health institutions cannot offer euthanasia in good conscience. Nor can they help connect patients with external doctors who are willing to do the killing, since that would make them morally complicit in murder.

And yet, the law offers no conscience protection for institutions whatsoever. With C-14 therefore, the Trudeau government has knowingly served up Catholic hospitals to be coerced by provincial governments into violating their conscience and religion.


5. Gives total immunity to medical practitioners, nurses and anyone else who makes decisions or engages in acts that contravene Bill C-14

In Section 227(2), the law requires a medical or nurse practitioner to be of the opinion that the person meets all of the criteria. To “be of the opinion” is a very low standard. It will be impossible to prove that the medical or nurse practitioner was not of the opinion that the person met all of the criteria.

Section 227(3) goes on to state: For greater certainty, the exemption set out in subsection (1) or (2) applies even if the person invoking it has a reasonable but mistaken belief about any fact that is an element of the exemption.

This clause would protect negligent health care workers who, for example, euthanize an elderly person who had not given free consent, or who was coerced by an abusive relative. The “reasonable” wording will be used to shield euthanasia providers from criminal charges, even if there was evidence of abuse that should have given them pause. It also provides immunity to elder abusers who, if suspected of coercing a relative, can claim they were “of the opinion” that the person wanted to be killed.


6. Allows other people to sign approval for your euthanasia request

Section 3 of Bill C-14 lays out a list of so-called safeguards. One of them, under 3(b) is that a person’s request to be killed must be “made in writing and signed and dated by the person”.

That would appear to help ensure that other people aren’t taking advantage of someone who isn’t of sound mind, or who is susceptible to suggestion, by being able to sign on their behalf, right? However, in Section 4 it proceeds to gut that supposed safeguard of all its force, by stating: “If the person requesting medical assistance in dying is unable to sign and date the request, another person — who is at least 18 years of age and who understands the nature of the request for medical assistance in dying — may do so…”


What triggered the change in law?

On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada, in its landmark Carter decision, struck down Sections 14 and 251B of the Criminal Code. The vote was unanimous, with all nine judges agreeing to give doctors the power to kill their patients. It gave Parliament 16 months to create new legislation.

In doing so, the Supreme Court ignored its own past jurisprudence which had already found in a 1993 case that no such thing exists as a right to euthanasia. By ruling against itself in 2015, the court violated a basic legal principle called Stare Decisis and made a mockery of the justice system. Stare Decisis is a legal principle stating that judges should stand by previous decisions on the same matter.

Through a fraudulent exercise of linguistic gymnastics, the activist judges agreed with a lower court’s opinion that the “right to life…and the right not to be deprived thereof” found in the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms actually means: a right to be put to death by the State.

The opinion was absurd. However, Canada’s biased mainstream media wanted this result, so instead of criticizing the Court’s ruling as illogical, they praised it. This media spin gave respectability to a judicial opinion that would have been otherwise impossible to get past right-thinking people. It also gave cover for the strongly pro-euthanasia Liberal government to ram a radical bill through Parliament which clearly puts vulnerable Canadians at risk.

Another egregious and abusive aspect of this decision is that the unelected judges wrote into their ruling an outline of the law they wanted to see imposed on Canada. That was an unconstitutional overreach by the unelected judges. Under Canada’s constitution, only Parliament has the power to make laws. Not judges. The latter’s role under the constitution is limited to interpreting laws as written by Parliament. But with cover from the media, the activist judges got away with violating Canada’s constitution.


Provinces left to regulate euthanasia under the pretense of healthcare

The Supreme Court ruling, and the new federal law, has essentially redefined the killing of patients as a form of "medical treatment". Pay no attention to the fact that killing people is not treating them, nor is it the practice of medicine. However this is what has been imposed on our healthcare systemAs such, the regulation of euthanasia and assisted suicide falls under provincial jurisdiction which is responsible for the “delivery” of health care under the Canada Health Act.

In fact, before the federal law was changed, Quebec had already implemented a euthanasia regime, starting December 22, 2015, under the euphemism of “medical treatment”.

Ontario’s Liberal Premier, Kathleen Wynne, long known to support legalizing these acts of homicide, had set up her own provincial commission, stacked with pro-euthanasia activists. On November 30, 2015, this biased commission laid out 134 recommendations for a Canadian euthanasia and assisted suicide regime. One of the more horrifying recommendations was to allow children under age 12 the “right” to be killed by a doctor, provided they are "deemed" to be mature enough to make the decision for themselves. This is a ludicrous idea given that children, by definition, lack the ability and power of rational judgment to give consent to such a thing.

Neurological science has long proven that the part of the brain which governs decision-making and the ability to make good judgment, the prefrontal cortex, does not become fully developed in human beings until approximately age 21. This is the reason we do not allow children to legally drive or consume alcohol. But for the radicals pushing euthanasia, neither science nor logic enter into the equation. All they care about is their ideological goal of reshaping society based on an absolute “freedom to choose,” unrestricted by ethics, morality, the common good of society or even a duty to protect children.

It remains to be seen if Premier Wynne will try to make Ontario’s killing apparatus even more radical than the federal law.


The battle isn’t over

Provinces and Territories have regulatory powers and can use them to tighten up the practice of euthanasia, which will be governed by the provincial and territorial health care systems. Therefore, pro-lifers need to heavily lobby their provincial government representatives.

Most importantly, ask them to write provincial or territorial guidelines on “assisted death” such that they provides conscience protections for doctors and other health care workers, as well as for institutions. Bill C-14, like the Supreme Court ruling, provides absolutely no legal protection for conscientious-objector health care workers to refuse to participate in, or refer for, euthanasia and assisted suicide. Therefore, provincial governments are the last line of defence to protect doctors and others who believe they would be participating in an act of murder, from having to violating their consciences or religious beliefs.

A failure to provide conscience protections would not only represent a violation of constitutional rights, it would also drive many physicians out of the country, or push them to give up their licences, thus causing further damage to the health care system.

Due to the fact that provincial lawmakers have the power of regulation, they can also tighten up this horrible law by:

  • requiring that a terminal illness be present; and
  • banning assisted suicide for "psychological" reasons; and
  • banning euthanasia for minor children

We recommend you contact your elected provincial government representative, plus the Premiers, the Health Ministers and the Justice Ministers of your provinces or territories and begin making these regulatory demands. The links below will allow you to look up contact information for your provincial or territorial representative, based on postal code or street address.  

Alberta Newfoundland & Labrador Ontario Yukon
British Columbia Northwest Territories Prince Edward Island  
Manitoba Nova Scotia Quebec  
New Brunswick Nunavut Saskatchewan  

To read the final text of Bill C-14 which received royal assent and became law, click here.  Please also continue to pray for Canada, that God may help us restore, one day in the future, respect for the sanctity of life.