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MAiD

Conservative MP warns Canada to stop ‘wrong’ and ‘dangerous’ euthanasia expansion to mentally ill

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MP Michael Cooper

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

On March 9, 2024, Medical Assistance in Dying is set to include those suffering solely from mental illness and MP Michael Cooper said Canadians ought to be ‘offered hope and help’ and ‘not death.’

Canada is set to go down a “very dangerous road in March of 2024” should it proceed with expanding euthanasia to the mentally ill, warned Conservative MP Michael Cooper, who urged the Liberal federal government to immediately “scrap” its “radical” assisted-suicide program and instead offer “hope” for the suffering.

“Unless the Liberals reverse course, Canada is set to go down a very dangerous road in March of 2024, when MAiD for mental illness becomes available,” Cooper said in a video posted to X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.

“There is something they (the federal government) can do. Canada doesn’t need to go ahead with this, what the Liberals need to do is follow the evidence, stop the madness, and introduce legislation to permanently scrap this radical expansion.”

Cooper then said Canadians who are “suffering from mental health issues” ought to be “offered hope and help” and “not death.”

On March 9, 2024, euthanasia in Canada, or Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) as it is known, is set to expand to include those suffering solely from mental illness. This is a result of the 2021 passage of Bill C-7, which also allowed the chronically ill – not just the terminally ill – to qualify for so-called doctor-assisted death.

The expansion comes despite warnings from top Canadian psychiatrists who said the country is “not ready” for the coming expansion of euthanasia to those who are mentally ill, adding that the procedure is not something “society should be doing” as it could lead to deaths under a “false pretense.”

Cooper noted that the law itself is ambiguous in that it leaves open the door to anyone being approved for the grim procedure.

“It is impossible to accurately predict your immediate reality under the law,” said Cooper, adding, “The leading medical professionals said that Canada isn’t ready for two fundamental reasons.”

“The first is that in order to qualify for MAiD, someone must suffer from an irremediable disease or illness, and afterwards one must suffer from a disease or illness in which they are not going to get better, and they are in an irreversible state of decline,” he noted.

He then noted that a second “fundamental problem” with expanding MAiD to those with mental illness is the difficulty to “distinguish in the case of mental illness between a rational request for aid and one motivated by suicidal ideation.”

“This is underscored by the fact that the vast majority of persons who commit suicide suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. And you might be wondering who would qualify for MAiD in mental illness? What constitutes a mental disorder for the purpose of the law?”

As it stands now, according to a task group appointed by the Liberals that was struck to establish MAiD practice “standards,” anyone would qualify “if they suffer from a mental disorder listed in” the standards guide, which includes those who are depressed, autistic, or having addictions issues.

Cooper said that the standards as written are “radical” as well as “dangerous” and “wrong.”

The mental illness expansion was originally set to take effect in March 2023. However, after massive pushback from pro-life groups, conservative politicians and others, the Liberals under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delayed the introduction of the full effect of Bill C-7 until 2024 via Bill C-39, which becomes law next year.

The delay in expanding MAiD until 2024 also came after numerous public scandals, including the surfacing of reports that Canadian veterans were being offered the fatal procedure by workers at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC).

When it comes to MAiD, more Canadians are dying from the procedure every year. Indeed, a recent Statistics Canada update admitted to excluding euthanasia from deaths totals despite being the sixth highest cause of mortality in the nation.

The number of Canadians killed by lethal injection since 2016 now stands at 44,958.

Stopping euthanasia expansion still possible, says pro-life advocate

Recently, LifeSiteNews reported on how pro-euthanasia lobbyists want Canada’s assisted suicide via lethal injection laws to be extended to drug addicts, which critics warn could lead the nation down a dangerous path nearing “eugenics.”

Recent attempts by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) to stop the expansion of MAiD have failed.

MPs in the House of Commons voted down a private members’ bill introduced by CPC MP Ed Fast that would have repealed the expansion of euthanasia laws to those suffering from mental illness.

However, according to LifeSiteNews contributor and pro-life advocate Jonathon Van Maren, Canadian Justice Minister Arif Virani noted that the “Trudeau government is considering delaying the expansion once again.”

Virani recently told The Canadian Press that the Liberal government is “weighing our options” about expanding MAiD in March while currently assessing what the joint parliamentary committee and medical experts are telling them.

“We’ll evaluate all of that comprehensively to make a decision whether we move ahead on March 17 or whether we pause,” he noted.

For respectful communication with Justice Minister Arif Virani:

Email: [email protected]
Constituency Office phone: 416-769-5072
Parliamentary Office phone: 613-992-2936

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MAiD

Even Canadian leftists are starting to recognize the ‘dystopian’ nature of MAiD

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From LifeSiteNews

By Alex Schadenberg

Euthanasia based on poverty or disability is rarely based on personal choice and autonomy, it is horrifying, it is profane, it is the outcome of a failed social welfare system, and it is indefensible.

David Moscrop wrote an excellent article that was published by Jacobin Magazine on May 2, 2024. Jacobin is an ideologically left magazine, which is concerned about Canada killing people with disabilities and the poor by euthanasia, known as MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying).

The article begins with this quote:

Canada boasts one of the world’s highest assisted-death rates, supposedly enabling the terminally ill to die with dignity. However, this suicide program increasingly resembles a dystopian replacement for care services, exchanging social welfare for euthanasia.

Moscrop tells the story of Normand Meunier, the quadriplegic man in Québec who died by euthanasia after suffering from horrific neglect. Moscrop writes:

For want of a mattress, a man is dead. That’s the story, in sum, of a quadriplegic man who chose to end his life in January through medically assisted death. Normand Meunier’s story, as reported by the CBC, began with a visit to a Quebec hospital due to a respiratory virus. Meunier subsequently developed a painful bedsore after being left without access to a mattress to accommodate his needs. Thereafter, he applied to Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program.

As Rachel Watts writes in her report, Meunier spent ninety-five hours on a stretcher in the emergency room – just hours short of four days. The bedsore he developed ‘eventually worsened to the point where bone and muscle were exposed and visible – making his recovery and prognosis bleak.’ The man who ‘didn’t want to be a burden’ chose to die at home. An internal investigation into the matter is underway.

I find it interesting that the article states that Meunier chose to die by euthanasia when in fact he was put into an untenable situation. Moscrop then reinforces the concerns of the disability community:

Disability and other advocates have been warning us for years that MAiD puts people at risk. They warned that the risk of people choosing death – because it’s easier than fighting to survive in a system that impoverishes people, and disproportionately does so to those who are disabled – is real. Underinvestment in medical care will push people up to and beyond the brink, which means some will choose to die instead of ‘burden’ their loved ones or society at large. They were right.

Moscrop comments on how euthanasia is the outcome of a failed social welfare state:

A libertarian ethos partially underwrote the fact that not many people blinked when MAiD was initially rolled out. Taking a more expansive view of rights, many of those not swayed by rote libertarianism were convinced that concerns over bodily autonomy and compassion were reason enough to adopt MAiD. However, in the absence of a robust welfare state, and in the face of structural poverty and discrimination, particularly toward disabled people, there is no world in which the MAiD program can be understood to be ‘progressive.’

Indeed, last year, Jeremy Appel argued that MAiD was ‘beginning to look like a dystopian end run around the cost of providing social welfare.’ Initially supportive, he changed his mind on MAiD as he considered that the decisions people make are not strictly speaking individual but are instead collectively shaped and sometimes ‘the product of social circumstances, which are outside of their control.’ When we don’t care for one another, what do we end up with?

‘I’ve come to realize,’ wrote Appel, ‘that euthanasia in Canada represents the cynical endgame of social provisioning with the brutal logic of late-stage capitalism – we’ll starve you of the funding you need to live a dignified life [. . .] and if you don’t like it, why don’t you just kill yourself?’

READ: Young, healthy women being euthanized in the Netherlands should be a warning for Canada

Moscrop then comments on that euthanasia for psychiatric reasons has been delayed in Canada based on the lack of mental health care. He refers to the reality as grotesque and writes that this is the stuff of nightmarish science fiction. Moscrop comments on the broken social welfare system in Canada.

In Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, a recipient of disability support receives about $1,300 a month – a pittance they’re meant to stretch to cover food, shelter, and other basic needs. Ontario Works – the province’s welfare program – pays a current maximum of $733 a month. Meanwhile, rental costs for a one bedroom apartment routinely push toward an average of $2,000 a month in many cities. In April, in Toronto, a one bedroom apartment averaged almost $2,500 a month.

Moscrop challenges a statement by euthanasia activists James Downer and Susan MacDonald who stated:

Despite fears that availability of MAiD for people with terminal illness would lead to requests for MAiD driven by socioeconomic deprivation or poor service availability (e.g., palliative care), available evidence consistently indicates that MAiD is most commonly received by people of high socioeconomic status and lower support needs, and those with high involvement of palliative care.

By their own admission, the data on this matter is imperfect. But even if it were, the fact that ‘most’ patients who choose MAiD are better off socioeconomically is beside the point. Some are not – and those ‘some’ are important. That includes a man living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis who, in 2019, chose medically assisted death because he couldn’t find adequate medical care that would also allow him to be with his son. It also includes a man whose application listed only ‘hearing loss,’ and whose brother says he was ‘basically put to death.’ This story came a year after experts raised the concern that the country’s MAiD regime was in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 2022, Global News said the quiet part out loud: poverty is driving disabled Canadians to consider MAiD. Those ‘some’ who are driven to assisted death because of poverty or an inability to access adequate care deserve to live with dignity and with the resources they need to live as they wish. They should never, ever feel the pressure to choose to die because our social welfare institutions are starved and our health care system has been vandalized through years of austerity and poor management.

Moscrop then states that Canada has the resources to prevent endemic poverty and provide adequate care, that poor people being euthanized by the state is profane.

Moscrop then refers to a recent article by professor Trudo Lemmens who is a critic of Canada’s euthanasia law.

In a February piece for the Globe and Mail, University of Toronto law professor Trudo Lemmens wrote, ‘The results of our MAiD regime’s promotion of access to death as a benefit, and the trivialization of death as a harm to be protected against, are increasingly clear.’ In critiquing MAiD’s second track, which allows physician-assisted death for those who do not face ‘a reasonably foreseeable death,’ Lemmens points out that within two years of its adoption, ‘“track two”’ MAiD providers had ended already the lives of close to seven hundred disabled people, most of whom likely had years of life left.’

In raising concerns about expanding MAiD to cover mental illness, Lemmens added that ‘there are growing concerns that inadequate social and mental health care, and a failure to provide housing supports, push people to request MAiD,’ noting that ‘[a]dding mental illness as a basis for MAiD will only increase the number of people exposed to higher risks of premature death.’

Moscrop continues by referring to a commentary from disability leader Gabrielle Peters.

In 2021, Gabrielle Peters warned in Maclean’s that extending MAiD to cover those who weren’t facing an immediately foreseeable death was ‘dangerous, unsettling and deeply flawed.’ She traced the various ways in which a broader MAiD law could lead to people choosing to die in the face of austerity, adding an intersectional lens that is often missing from our discussions and debates over the issue.

She warned that we were failing to consider ‘how poverty and racism intersect with disability to create greater risk of harm, more institutional bias and barriers, additional layers of othering and dehumanization, and fewer resources for addressing any of these.’ And now here we are. We should have listened more carefully.

Moscrop ends his article by suggesting that euthanasia may be OK based on personal choice but it is indefensible when it is based on poverty.

While MAiD may be defensible as a means for individuals to exercise personal choice in how they live and how they die when facing illness and pain, it is plainly indefensible when state-induced austerity and mismanagement leads to people choosing to end their lives that have been made unnecessarily miserable. In short, we are killing people for being poor and disabled, which is horrifying.

It thus falls to proponents of MAiD to show how such deaths can be avoided, just as it falls to policymakers to build or rebuild institutions that ensure no one ever opts to end their life for lack of resources or support, which we could provide in abundance if we choose to.

I agree with most of Moscrop’s comments but I disagree with his statement that euthanasia is possibly defensible as a means of individuals exercising personal choice. Even though people with disabilities experience social devaluation in Canada, they may be still exercising personal choice when they ask to be killed.

The problem with modern writers is that they miss the fact that euthanasia is about killing people. Even if Canada had a greater level of equality, there would be people who ask to be killed based on their poverty or their concerns about homelessness.

The real concern is that Canada has given medical professionals the right in law to kill their patients. This is about people killing people.

Nonetheless Moscrop is right that euthanasia based on poverty or disability is rarely based on personal choice and autonomy, it is horrifying, it is profane, it is the outcome of a failed social welfare system, and it is indefensible.

Reprinted with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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28-year-old Dutch woman to be killed by assisted suicide after doctors deem her autism ‘untreatable’

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28-year-old Dutch woman Zoraya ter Beek (YouTube Screenshot)

From LifeSiteNews

By Louis Knuffke

28-year-old Zoraya ter Beek plans to die by assisted suicide over her struggles with depression and mental illness, a trend which is increasing in The Netherlands.

A 28-year-old autistic woman is scheduled to die by assisted suicide in May in The Netherlands after struggling with depression and mental illness, with her psychiatrist telling her that her condition is untreatable and will never improve. 

Zoraya ter Beek, who does not suffer from any physical illness, has decided to end her life by assisted suicide after psychiatrists said they had exhausted any means of helping her deal with her mental illnesses, which includes borderline personality disorder, according to The Free Press. 

Her struggles with mental illness have prevented her from being able to finish school or start a career. 

READ: Canadian judge blocks imminent euthanasia death of 27-year-old autistic woman 

In testimony to the nihilistic attitude adopted in the choice to end her own life on account of suffering, Ter Beek has decided that after she has been killed, her body will be cremated without a funeral and her ashes scattered in the woods. 

Ter Beek’s choice to take her own life comes despite her admitted fear of death arising from the uncertainty of what happens after death. 

“I’m a little afraid of dying, because it’s the ultimate unknown,” she said. “We don’t really know what’s next – or is there nothing? That’s the scary part.” 

The diagnosis of autism and mental illness as “untreatable” and “unbearable” has become an increasing trend in The Netherlands, with a study published in June 2023 revealing 40 cases over a 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. In a third of those cases, those with autism or intellectual disabilities were told there was no hope of improving their lives, and so their condition was deemed “untreatable.” 

Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a palliative care physician at Britain’s Kingston University, who led the study  which examined 900 cases, said, “There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering. But is society really OK with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them and it’s just better to be dead?” 

Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia, added, “Helping people with autism and intellectual disabilities to die is essentially eugenics.” 

The scheduled killing of the 28-year-old autistic woman comes as The Netherlands continues to expand the scope of what legally qualifies for euthanasia, with a new law effective February 1 allowing the killing of terminally ill children aged 1 through 12 who are deemed to be “suffering hopelessly and unbearably.” 

The law allows parents to decide to kill their child even if the child is unwilling or unable to consent. 

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