Although the Canadian constitution defends the right to life, Canadian courts are demanding more and more deaths.
The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) finally ruled in 1993 that an euthanasia ban protects vulnerable people in a constitutionally justified manner. In 2015, the court changed its mind and pushed legalization of euthanasia. Last September, a Quebec court ruled that the law was still too restrictive. The federal government is now holding hearings on how to change this. This sequence of events shows that the Constitution does not defend rights; It only gives judges the opportunity to redesign Canada based on their image.
Legislators, the courts and the public have banned euthanasia for years. The constitution guarantees “life, freedom and the security of the person”, not specifically a right to death. In the early 1990s, Sue Rodruiguez, who suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), wanted to be put to sleep and challenged laws that prevented this. The SCC confirmed the ban in a five-to-four decision.
Judge John Sopinka wrote the decision saying that the law was acceptable because the legislative “purpose is to protect the lives of the terminally ill.” to prevent the terminally ill from preferring death to life. “
Another judge, Beverley McLaughlin, said this was unfair because people with disabilities could kill themselves whenever they wanted. She added, “It is not in accordance with the principles of justice that Sue Rodruigez refuses to help people die.”
What is “fundamental justice”? The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says at the beginning: “Canada is based on principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” In this worldview, God is the author of life and death. The Old Testament, sacred in theistic religions, sees suicide as murder.
Most judges have rejected these foundations and left their sense of “fundamental justice” to their own liberal moral compass. They declare conservative precedents to be out of date and replace them with more liberal laws. So it was and is with euthanasia.
Like Sue Rodriguez 20 years ago, Gloria Taylor was a British Colombian woman with ALS. But when she contested the euthanasia ban, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lynn Smith crushed the law. Smith used interpretive gymnastics to determine that Taylor’s euthanasia could “shorten her life. Ms. Taylor’s shortened lifespan would occur if she concludes that as long as she can physically, she must commit suicide earlier than she thinks necessary if she could be helped , “
The B.C. The appeals court overturned Smith’s decision, but the SCC agreed. Under the direction of McLaughlin, who had been chief judge until then, the judges unanimously agreed that parliament should legalize euthanasia for terminally ill people within a year.
Do you remember May 2016 when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accidentally bumped the conservative whip Gordon Brown and NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau onto the floor of the House of Commons when the MPs gathered to vote on the law to support the dying? This happened because the prime minister was concerned that MPs could resume business so as not to miss the deadline set by the court for the introduction of a new euthanasia law.
Now the parliamentarians rush again – and not even for a federal judge. In accordance with the Carter decision, federal law provides that euthanasia should be limited to circumstances in which death is “reasonably foreseeable”. Last September, Justice of the Quebec Supreme Court, Christine Baudouin, said this was too restrictive. The judge gave only six months to amend the law despite the upcoming federal elections.
The reelected liberal government will question the Canadians for just two weeks on a literal question of life and death. In the past, judges stopped pipelines for inadequate consultations with First Nations, even though they lasted for months. So it goes on with the farce, which has already blamed doctors for one in a hundred deaths in Canada.
Current consultations ask Canadians if they would support euthanasia (for minors, the mentally ill and those who want to be approved in advance (so that they will not be able to do so later). Imagine parents asking doctors not to kill their suicidal teenagers but to say from a medical and legal institution, “It’s their right and you can’t stop them.”
When the SCC negotiated the Carter case in 2015, Professor Etienne Montero from Belgium warned that euthanasia was a slippery slope on which the acceptable criteria continued to expand and deaths would become difficult to enforce. If politicians are unwilling to listen to people, not just judges, this horror is a foregone conclusion.
Lee Harding is a former political employee, tax attorney and think tank researcher. Today he is a columnist in Saskatchewan.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Epoch Times.