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Euthanasia Activists want to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia (MAiD)

by | Feb 9, 2024

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by Thomas McKenna that was published in the National Review on February 3, 2024 explains that Dying with Dignity Canada and a group of law professors intend to sue St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver with the intention of forcing all Catholic Hospitals to provide euthanasia (MAiD) on their premises.

McKenna reported:

“It would be my hope the case would pave the way for ending the ability of religion to dictate health care,” said Daphne Gilbert, vice chairwoman of Dying with Dignity Canada and a law professor at the University of Ottawa.

Gilbert and Dalhousie University law professor Jocelyn Downie have assembled a legal team to file a constitutional challenge against St. Paul’s Hospital, which is operated by a Catholic medical organization, Providence Health Care. St. Paul’s does not allow medical assistance in dying (MAID) within its walls, but the hospital arranges transfers to other facilities that provide MAID for patients who request it.

Gilbert, Downie, and Dying with Dignity want to force St. Paul’s as well as every Catholic hospital in Canada to kill their patients by (MAiD) euthanasia at their facilities.

According to a recent article published by The Walrus, Dying with Dignity, Canada’s largest pro-euthanasia lobby group (which also happens to be a charity) is working to prepare the lawsuit.

McKenna reports Gilbert as stating

The challenge is a “test case,” Gilbert said, for compelling religious medical institutions to provide abortions and “gender-affirming care,” in addition to assisted suicide.

“It would pave the way for the secularization of medical care in Canada,” Gilbert said. “Religious institutions would either have to decide to get out of the business of offering medical care — and it could be taken over by the province — or these institutions would have to align their care with the Constitution, even if it opposes their values.”

On December 1, 2023 I wrote an article stating that the British Columbia government will be building a euthanasia center next to St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver in response to a complaint that palliative care patients did not have access to euthanasia at the Catholic hospital. The British Columbia government expropriated land from St. Paul’s Hospital in order to build the euthanasia center.

I also reported on June 27, 2023 that the euthanasia lobby group, Dying With Dignity, was lobbying the British Columbia (BC) government to force Catholic hospitals to provide euthanasia.

At that time I reported that Alex Muir, the Chair of the Metro Vancouver chapter of Dying With Dignity, wrote in a letter to the editor in the Vancouver Sun announcing their campaign to force Catholic hospitals to kill their patients rather than transfer their patients.

McKenna reported Gilbert’s strategy:

The constitutional challenge will cite the Canadian Charter’s fundamental freedom of conscience and religion, Gilbert said, and argue that patients have a “conscience right” to choose euthanasia. St. Paul’s, she said, must provide MAID on-site.

“My argument would be that there is no freedom of religion for an institution,” Gilbert said. “Bricks and mortar don’t have conscience and religious beliefs. People within them might — and those people need to be respected and accommodated — but the four walls of the building are publicly funded health-care institutions.”

Brian Bird, a lecturer at the University of British Columbia’s Peter A. Allard School of Law told Mckenna

…the high court’s treatment of religious liberty has been on the wrong track. The St. Paul’s case, he said, could be “an opportunity to correct course.”

 “It seems to me that what reconciliation could look like is allowing a health-care institution like St. Paul’s or other healthcare institutions to provide 99.5 percent of legal health-care services, but for conscientious or ethical or religious reasons, not provide certain procedures,” Bird said. “It’s quite a heavy-handed argument to say they must provide everything.”

Phil Horgan, with the Catholic Civil Rights League, told McKenna 

“The government says ‘we’re providing the funding, you can’t deny a service,’” 

“But follow that to its logical conclusion. What does that mean for the expression of religious views in the public square? What does that mean to various other possible tax exemptions available to religious institutions?”

The Archdiocese of Vancouver responded after the BC Government expropriated land from St Paul’s hospital to build a euthanasia center next to the Catholic hospital by stating that euthanasia and assisted suicide will not be permitted in Catholic Healthcare Institutions.

The euthanasia lobby is committed to eradicating opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide and eliminating any “safe space” that doesn’t provide euthanasia, that is doesn’t kill their patients.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition supports any institution, group or individual that provides support for people in a “safe space” from being killed by euthanasia.

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

Categories: Euthanasia