Canada takes dark turn in rush to expand medical assistance in dying

Canada takes dark turn in rush to expand medical assistance in dying

It was supposed to be about people with terminal illnesses, but we’ve gone way beyond that now

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The good news is that the Trudeau Liberals have decided to delay implementation of their next move to offer medical assistance to Canadians dying.

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The bad news is that the government remains committed to taking those next steps.

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Offering MAID, the beautifully euphemistic term for helping people commit suicide, was suggested to Canadians as a compassionate way to help people struggling with terminal illnesses. Why should people suffer? was the refrain of the proponents.

Euthanasia opponents said we would end up on a slippery slope where vulnerable and vulnerable people would be pressured to end their lives with the help of a doctor. I guess most of us didn’t see how quickly we would go to a place as dark as a country.

I remember talking to former New Democrat Representative Joe Comartin in the foyer of the House of Commons. He expressed his concern that seniors without proper palliative care would take their own lives through assisted suicide and wanted to ensure that proper safeguards are in place to ensure this does not happen.

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We are now in the process of eliminating protective measures in the name of compassion.

Sick child, euthanasia. Depressed teenager, euthanasia. Bipolar adult, euthanasia. Injured veteran, euthanasia.


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That can’t be the answer to everything, but that’s how it’s put forward. In what world is it compassionate to help someone die instead of offering them the care they need? We’re now so far beyond what proponents say it was all about, helping people with terminal illnesses, that we’ve lost sight of the original intent.

A survey of 1,516 Canadians conducted over the weekend found that two-thirds of the population are unaware of the government’s plans to extend medical assistance when dying to people with mental health problems. The Leger poll for Postmedia found that 43% of respondents agreed that people with depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia should be allowed to see MAID, while 42% said no and the rest did not answer.

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The survey shows that, as a country, we are deeply divided on the whole.

What has been shocking in recent weeks, as politicians debated these changes on Parliament Hill, was not the idea of ​​offering children GIRLS that Canadians seemed outraged, but that veterans were being offered help to die. Both outrageous, both intended to get the public to ask questions and demand answers.

Maybe that will happen during the break.


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Late Thursday afternoon, after most MPs had already left Ottawa for the Christmas holidays, Attorney General David Lametti announced the government would be on hiatus. The changes allowing MAID for mental health problems were due to come into effect in March, but with pressure and criticism mounting, the government said it would take another look.

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“We listen to what we hear and act on it to make sure we’re moving forward in a proven way,” Lametti said.

Some of the feedback the government received came from the Association of Chairs of Psychiatry in Canada. The organization includes the heads of the psychiatric departments of all 17 medical schools across the country.

“More time is needed to raise awareness of this change and establish guidelines and standards that clinicians, patients and the public can turn to for further education and information,” said Dr. Valerie Taylor, leader of the group.

The Trudeau government would do well to take a break – it would be wiser to reconsider this enormous expansion of MAID.

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