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Great Reset

Assisted suicide activists should not be running our MAID program

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6 minute read

From the MacDonald Laurier Institute

By Shawn Whatley

We should keep the right-to-die foxes out of the regulatory henhouse

The federal government chose a right-to-die advocacy group to help implement its medical assistance in dying legislation. It’s a classic case of regulatory capture, otherwise known as letting the foxes guard the henhouse.

In the “Fourth annual report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada 2022,” the federal government devoted several paragraphs of praising to the Canadian Association of MAID Assessors and Providers (CAMAP).

“Since its inception in 2017, (CAMAP) has been and continues to be an important venue for information sharing among health-care professionals and other stakeholders involved in MAID,” reads the report.

With $3.3 million in federal funding, “CAMAP has been integral in creating a MAID assessor/provider community of practice, hosts an annual conference to discuss emerging issues related to the delivery of MAID and has developed several guidance materials for health-care professionals.”

Six clinicians in British Columbia formed CAMAP, a national non-profit association, in October 2016. These six right-to-die advocates published clinical guidelines for MAID in 2017, without seriously consulting other physician organizations.

The guidelines educate clinicians on their “professional obligation to (bring) up MAID as a care option for patients, when it is medically relevant and they are likely eligible for MAID.” CAMAP’s guidelines apply to Canada’s 96,000 physicians312,000 nurses and the broader health-care workforce of two-million Canadians, wherever patients are involved.

The rise of CAMAP overlaps with right-to-die advocacy work in Canada. According to Sandra Martin, writing in the Globe and Mail, CAMAP “follow(ed) in the steps of Dying with Dignity,” an advocacy organization started in the 1980s, and “became both a public voice and a de facto tutoring service for doctors, organizing information-swapping and self-help sessions for members.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tapped this “tutoring service” to lead the MAID program. CAMAP appears to follow the steps of Dying with Dignity, because the same people lead both groups. For example, Shanaaz Gokool, a current director of CAMAPserved as CEO of Dying with Dignity from 2016 to 2019.

A founding member and current chair of the board of directors of CAMAP is also a member of Dying with Dignity’s clinician advisory council. One of the advisory council’s co-chairs is also a member of Dying with Dignity’s board of directors, as well as a moderator of the CAMAP MAID Providers Forum. The other advisory council co-chair served on both the boards of CAMAP and Dying with Dignity at the same time.

Overlap between CAMAP and Dying with Dignity includes CAMAP founders, board members (past and present), moderators, research directors and more, showing that a small right-to-die advocacy group birthed a tiny clinical group, which now leads the MAID agenda in Canada. This is a problem because it means that a small group of activists exert outsized control over a program that has serious implications for many Canadians.

George Stigler, a Noble-winning economist, described regulatory capture in the 1960s, showing how government agencies can be captured to serve special interests.

Instead of serving citizens, focused interests can shape governments to serve narrow and select ends. Pharmaceutical companies work hard to write the rules that regulate their industry. Doctors demand government regulations — couched in the name of patient safety — to decrease competition. The list is endless.

Debates about social issues can blind us to basic governance. Anyone who criticizes MAID governance is seen as being opposed to assisted death and is shut out of the debate. At the same time, the world is watching Canada and trying to figure out what is going on with MAID and why we are so different than other jurisdictions offering assisted suicide.

Canada moved from physician assisted suicide being illegal to becoming a world leader in organ donation after assisted death in the space of just six years.

In 2021, Quebec surpassed the Netherlands to lead the world in per capita deaths by assisted suicide, with 5.1 per cent of deaths due to MAID in Quebec, 4.8 per cent in the Netherlands and 2.3 per cent in Belgium. In 2022, Canada extended its lead: MAID now represents 4.1 per cent of all deaths in Canada.

How did this happen so fast? Some point to patients choosing MAID instead of facing Canada’s world-famous wait times for care. Others note a lack of social services. No doubt many factors fuel our passion for MAID, but none of these fully explain the phenomenon. In truth, Canada became world-famous for euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide because we put right-to-die advocates in charge of assisted death.

Regardless of one’s stance on MAID, regulatory capture is a well-known form of corruption. We should expect governments to avoid obvious conflicts of interest. Assuming Canadians want robust and ready access to MAID (which might itself assume too much), at least we should keep the right-to-die foxes out of the regulatory henhouse.

Shawn Whatley is a physician, a Munk senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and author of “When Politics Comes Before Patients: Why and How Canadian Medicare is Failing.”

Economy

Refuting the ancient myth of overpopulation

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From LifeSiteNews

By Aidan Grogan

Recent findings decimate the Malthusian outlook and render advocacy of population control not only ill-informed and inexcusable, but frankly anti-human.

(American Institute for Economic Research) — Prince Philip once said, “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.” The late Duke of Edinburgh passed away in 2021, but the hysterical sentiment he expressed about overpopulation lives on.

YouGov poll found that overpopulation concerns are widespread among adults across the planet, with nearly half of sampled Americans believing that the world’s population is too high. This view is shared by 76 percent of Hungarians and 69 percent of Indians, according to the poll.

Overpopulation and ecological disasters have been the themes of numerous blockbuster movies, including ZPD (1972), Soylent Green (1973), Idiocracy (2006), and Elysium (2013). Mainstream news outlets have repeatedly promoted the apocalyptic idea to the public, with headlines such as “Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them” (NBC News). The progressive magazine Fast Company released a video titled “Why having kids is the worst thing you can do for the planet.”

The theory of overpopulation, and the collectivist idea that human reproduction must be limited, even by force, is nothing new. It first appeared in the ancient Mesopotamian Atrahasis epic, where the gods control the human population by infertility, infanticide, and appointing a priest class to limit childbirth.

Plato and Aristotle both endorsed a form of proto-eugenics and population control. In The Republic, Socrates and Glaucon conclude that an owner controlling the breeding of his dogs and birds to prevent their degeneration should also apply to the human species. The guardians would be tasked with deciding who is allowed to reproduce and who should be prohibited from having offspring. In the Politics, Aristotle advocated for state-mandated abortions of children with deformities or in cases where couples are having too many children and contributing to overpopulation.

The decline of Greek civilization in the second century BCE was not a consequence of an excess number of births, but precisely the opposite. Polybius attributed the downfall of Greece in his time to a decay of population which emptied out the cities and resulted in a failure of productiveness. It was not warfare and pestilence which reduced the birth rate, but decadence. The idle men of Greece, according to Polybius, were more interested in money and pleasure than marriage and child-rearing.

Two millennia later, English economist Thomas Malthus resurrected the old Mesopotamian myth with his 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus claimed that population growth increases geometrically while food production increases only arithmetically, which he believed would lead to widespread famine if the rapid propagation of humanity were not obstructed.

He identified two checks, one natural and one human-induced, which could keep population growth limited: preventive checks, such as delayed marriage or sexual abstinence, that stabilize the birth rate and evade the natural calamities of positive checks – famines, pestilences, earthquakes, floods, etc. – which represent nature’s striking back against the pressures of unhindered population growth.

Malthus preferred the former, but if unsuccessful, supported appalling and brutal depopulation measures. He suggested policies to “make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague.” He also recommended banning “specific remedies for ravaging diseases.”

READ: U.S. birth rate hit record low last year, signaling surge in childlessness

Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, used Darwin’s theory of evolution to develop eugenics – a pseudo-scientific theory that the human race could be improved through controlled breeding.

Subsidized by some of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institution, eugenics was embraced by many leaders of the American progressive movement, who favored involuntary sterilization and immigration restriction.

Margaret Sanger, the founder of the American Birth Control League – later to be renamed Planned Parenthood – denigrated charity and referred to the poor as “human waste.” She and her companions considered several names for their movement, such as “neo-Malthusianism,” “population control,” and “race control,” before finally settling on “birth control.”

The eugenicists’ fervent collectivism and disregard for America’s founding principles affirming the inherent dignity and rights of every individual were best expressed through Madison Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race, in which he wrote:

Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.

Eugenics laws were implemented across the United States beginning with Indiana in 1907. By the Second World War, around 60,000 Americans had undergone sterilization.

In Britain, eugenics was enthusiastically championed by socialists such as John Maynard Keynes, George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells. Keynes wrote an outline for a book called Prolegomena to a New Socialism, in which he listed “eugenics, population” as “chief preoccupations of the state.”

Eugenics – at least under that official title – began to fade after the harsh realities of the Holocaust were unveiled, but the Malthusian presuppositions which undergirded their movement never vanished.

Stanford biologist Paul R. Ehrlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb re-invigorated the Malthusian craze for a new generation, predicting imminent worldwide famines and other catastrophes due to overpopulation. In the prologue, he wrote: “We can no longer afford merely to treat the symptom of the cancer of population growth; the cancer itself must be cut out. Population control is the only answer.”

That same year, a group of European scientists concerned about the future of the planet founded an NGO called the Club of Rome. Their first major publication, Limits to Growth (1972), attacked the pursuit of material gain and continuous economic expansion. Two of the Club of Rome’s most prominent members openly declared in their 1991 book The First Global Revolution that humanity is the real enemy:

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill… All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.

At the time of the publication of Ehrlich’s doomsday book and the Club of Rome’s founding, the world’s population stood at 3.6 billion, and nearly half of people worldwide were living in poverty. Over the next five decades, the global population more than doubled to 7.7 billion, yet fewer than 9 percent of people remain in poverty today, and famines have virtually disappeared.

Ehrlich’s hypothesis was rejected by economist Julian Simon in his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource, in which he argued that a rising number of “skilled, spirited, and hopeful people” results in more ingenuity, less scarcity, and lower costs in the long run. In other words, the larger the human population, the greater the collective brain power our species may wield to innovate, overcome problems, and benefit everyone through increased abundance. The ultimate resource, according to Simon, is people.

Recent research from Gale L. Pooley and Marian L. Tupy has vindicated Simon’s optimistic view. For every one-percent increase in population, commodity prices tend to fall by around one percent. In the years 1980-2017, the planet’s resources became 380 percent more abundant.

These findings decimate the Malthusian outlook and render advocacy of population control not only ill-informed and inexcusable, but frankly anti-human. The ecological cataclysms predicted by Ehrlich and the Club of Rome haven’t come true. Nature hasn’t struck back against a rapidly increasing population in any manner anticipated by Malthus.

As former U.S. Department of Energy undersecretary for science Steven E. Koonin pointed out in his 2021 book Unsettled, U.N. and U.S. government climate data show the following: 1) humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century, 2) Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t shrinking any more rapidly today than it was 80 years ago, and 3) the net economic impact of human-induced climate change will be minimal through at least the end of this century.

Pooley and Tupy, however, caution that population growth alone is not enough to generate what they term “superabundance,” as they titled their recent book. The innovation required to sustain an ever-increasing world population demands economic and personal freedom. Collectivism and central planning will only restrict the human ingenuity, ideas, and enterprises that will pave the way toward a brighter, more prosperous future.

It is certainly time to lay to rest Malthusian theory and the overpopulation hysteria it has aroused. We must avoid the cynical outlook on humanity which regards us as net destroyers, a viral pathogen ravaging the earth, and instead opt for the more positive – and true – vision of human beings and human destiny. We are net creators.

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Economic Research.

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Digital ID

Tony Blair pushes digital ID as ‘essential’ to modern infrastructure but needing public ‘persuasion’

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Former UK prime minister Sir Tony Blair

From LifeSiteNews

By Tim Hinchliffe

In his Cyber Polygon 2020 talk, Blair didn’t make the case for why having a digital identity was actually necessary to prevent a cyber pandemic, but rather that digital identities would be an inevitable part of the digital ecosystem and would be crucial for managing health records, transaction data, and immigration status.

Speaking Tuesday at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) “Future of Britain Conference 2024: Governing in the Age of AI,” Blair continued his years-long push for digital ID adoption.

READ: Major anti-globalist TV station debanked in Germany and Austria

“An analysis on digital ID, which is an essential part of a modern digital infrastructure, could yield benefits not only for ease of interaction with government but for the public finances,” said Blair.

“Though, we have a little work of persuasion to do here, it has to be said,” he added.

Speaking at a session on “Why Building a Digital Backbone Is Essential for Britain,” India’s former Minister of State for Electronics, Information Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that digital ID was the “bedrock” of a “digital government architecture.”

When it came to the notion of individual civil liberties and digital identity, Chandrasekhar said that it was “an interesting debate to have” and that digital ID didn’t imply a violation of personal privacy:

People who say digital ID automatically implies a violation of personal information privacy have not read the last two chapters of the book they’ve been reading.

‘A citizen’s digital ID would contain a single unique identifier, which would help link the user with public services. Each service would retain its own unique identifier such as an NHS number or Unique Taxpayer Reference.’ — Tony Blair Institute, The Economic Case for a UK Digital ID, 2024

The report “The Economic Case for a UK Digital ID” claims that digital ID can be used for everything from integrating “personal health records and personal data” to streamlining taxation and welfare payments, as well as for managing refugees and asylum seekers.

The total cost of a digital ID rollout in the U.K., according the report, would cost at most £1.4 billion [$1.8 billion], and a digital ID scheme could be developed and deployed “over the course of a single parliamentary term (five years).”

Citizens would retain control over how linked they want their data from different databases to be via a user portal/app, while controlling how their digital identity attributes are used through a digital wallet (decentralized model).

Tony Blair has been pushing the digital ID agenda for many years for a variety of different reasons, from vaccine passports to tracking refugee statuses.

A TBI spokesperson told Politico EU that the organization was not advocating for mandatory digital ID cards, saying, “Everyone loves to talk about ID cards or government ID. That’s not actually our proposal,” adding that TBI’s vision is for people to be given “the ability to connect [their] data across the public sector.”

Speaking at the WEF-backed, Russian-based Cyber Polygon 2020 cybersecurity training exercise, former UK Prime Minister Blair stated with confidence that governments were “absolutely, inevitably” moving in the direction of digital identity adoption.

In his Cyber Polygon 2020 talk, Blair didn’t make the case for why having a digital identity was actually necessary to prevent a cyber pandemic, but rather that digital identities would be an inevitable part of the digital ecosystem and would be crucial for managing health records, transaction data, and immigration status.

Digital identity is one of three major components of what is known as Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), which also includes massive data exchanges, and a fast digital payments system, which can include the use of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

India is considered to be one of the world leaders in DPI, which everyone in the space refers to as the “India stack.”

Last year, India’s Aadhaar digital ID architect Nandan Nilekani said that everybody should have a digital ID, a smartphone, and a bank account because these were the “tools of the new world” upon which everything else was built.

In November 2023, the U.N. and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnered to launch the 50-in-5 campaign to accelerate DPI rollouts in 50 countries within five years.

Earlier this year, the European Union parliament said that its digital identity wallet would be voluntary, which is what India said about its own digital ID scheme before government agencies began mandating it for certain services.

At the WEF annual meeting in Davos this year, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands said that a digital ID was good for knowing “who actually got a vaccination or not.”

Reprinted with permission from The Sociable

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