Canada is set to expand their already-liberal euthanasia laws to include teenagers and the mentally ill, the Associated Press reported. Euthanasia is a process of chemically committing suicide under a doctor’s care.
Under the new law, “mature” youth under the age of 18 and the mentally ill will soon qualify for euthanasia, which was originally conceived as a compassionate final option for extremely rare cases. Patients opting for euthanasia are supposed to be enduring “unbearable physical or mental suffering that cannot be relieved under conditions that patients consider acceptable,” and their deaths must be “reasonably foreseeable” in order to qualify.
Unsurprisingly, reports of coercion have surfaced since the law became official in 2016, especially for the disabled. Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia said that Canada’s euthanasia law is “probably the biggest existential threat to disabled people since the Nazis’ program in Germany in the 1930s.”
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to understand that this type of law can easily be manipulated for unsavory purposes. Mental illness has spiked across the world in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic artificially locked many citizens inside of their homes for weeks and months on end.
Proponents of euthanasia call the decision a reprieve for those who have lost their dignity and autonomy
Mary Vought, founder of Vought Strategies, is particularly troubled by the latter group since government lockdowns over the past two years may have instigated or exacerbated experiences of mental illness, and that “an explosion of new deaths from euthanasia” may soon result.
Canadian law also does not require consenting doctors to discuss the life-ending “treatment” with the patient’s family. Even health law and policy experts at major universities are on the record saying that the laws are too “loose” and that the doctors “cannot be held accountable” under the current system.
Around 10,000 patients were legally euthanized in 2021, which represented about a 30 percent increase over the year before. Of all patients euthanized since 2016, about 65 percent of them were cancer patients; heart, respiratory, and neurological issues are other commonly listed conditions.
The procedure is legal in seven countries — Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain — plus several states in Australia.
Canadian health minister Jean-Yves Duclos said the country’s euthanasia law “recognizes the rights of all persons … as well as the inherent and equal value of every life.” The new laws go into effect in 2023.