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Barbara Kay: Canada’s Death System is “Top of the Line”

by | Mar 28, 2023

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Barbara Kay

Barbara Kay wrote an excellent opinion column that was published in the National Post on Saturday March 18 titled: Thanks to Trudeau, Canada’s death-care system is top of the line.

Kay begins her article by announcing that Ed Fast MP introduced Bill C-314 titled the Mental Health Protection Act which would prevent euthanasia for mental illness alone. She then points out that Senator Stan Kutcher, who was responsible for the amendment to Bill C-7 that extended euthanasia for mental illness alone is arguing against Bill C-314 by stating that the issue is already decided.

Kay states that with reference to Canada’s euthanasia law, slippery slope which conjures up an avalanche is more like a toboggan ride.

Kay continues:

Writing in National Review in the fall, one American commentator called Justin Trudeau “modernity’s Doctor of Death,” whose willed expansion of MAiD makes Canada “arguably the assisted-death capital of the world.” An exaggeration? Consider that California, with the same population as Canada, and universally regarded as a singularly progressive domain, legalized medically assisted death in 2016, just like Canada. In 2021, 486 Californians availed themselves of the program. In the same year, 10,064 Canadians ended their lives with MAiD (a term for euthanasia used only in Canada, and brazenly stolen from palliative care, where it rightly belongs.)

Kay points out how Canada’s MAiD law has become an international cautionary tale. A British writer used Canada’s euthanasia law as an example bad public policy that is based on “good” intentions. Kay writes:

Canada’s MAiD, “originally marketed as a rational choice for sensible adults and therefore an indisputable moral good, it is now being used to kill the poor and the mentally ill as well as the physically sick and the elderly.”

Kay continues

Too many reported incidents of MAiD chosen and executed for bad reasons — including credit card debt, poor housing, and difficulties getting medical care — attest to the truth of this criticism. In the legislative pipeline are “advance requests” — and consent by “mature minors.” Be afraid , be very afraid.

Kay then refers to the $86 million in health-care spending savings due to the original euthanasia law, as stated by the parliamentary budget office in October 2020. The budget office estimated, based on the expansions of euthanasia in Bill C-14, that there would be $149 million in health-care savings. 

I estimated that the numbers in the report were low based on several factors. First, I stated that there would be more deaths than predicted. Sadly I was right. Secondly, the shortened time of life was under-estimated by the budget office, meaning many people would die months, if not years before their death would otherwise have been. Sadly I am right.

Kay then writes about the fact that doctors are required to falsify the death certificate:

the medical certificate of death, physicians are obliged to list the illness, disease or disability leading to the request for MAiD as the cause of death, rather than the medications administered, the actual cause.

Kay argues that if euthanasia is a public good, then why the deflection?

Kay concludes:

This deliberate obfuscation is consistent, however, with the honed tactics of boundary-pushing activists whose Dignity-R-Us rhetoric captured the nabobs. Liberals settled on a winning strategy. Don’t make euthanasia a political plank; do use the courts to keep the expansion ball rolling. The fix was always in for expansion of the death as “reasonably foreseeable” guardrails established by the 2015 Carter decision. Thus, the 2019 Quebec Truchon decision that found Carter’s limits to MAiD access unconstitutional went unchallenged by Quebec and Ottawa, in spite of a flawed trial process.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Euthanasia