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The euthanized society

Canada charges on to a Brave New World


The euthanized society
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Euthanasia was legalized in Canada in June 2016, so we are only six years into this next stage of the culture of death. Since 2016 legislation has been evolving steadily. As of March 17, 2021, the rules governing Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) law were loosened even further. The Government of Canada website on MAID says:

The revised law modifies MAID eligibility criteria in response to the Superior Court of Québec’s 2019 Truchon decision. The Superior Court found the “reasonable foreseeability of natural death” eligibility criterion in the Criminal Code, as well as the “end-of-life” criterion from Québec’s Act Respecting End-of-Life Care, to be unconstitutional.

As a result of this decision, one need not be terminally ill to request MAID. In 2016, we were assured that MAID was only for terminally ill people at the end stages of a disease causing unbearable suffering. That restriction lasted five years. Now healthy individuals who are not facing imminent death cannot be denied MAID just because their death is not imminent. But it does not end here.

Further loosening of the criteria is now in process. The government website goes on to say:

Canadians whose only medical condition is a mental illness, and who otherwise meet all eligibility criteria, will not be eligible for MAID until March 17, 2023. This includes conditions that are primarily within the domain of psychiatry, such as depression and personality disorders. 

So, seven years after the legalization of euthanasia, it has already become an option for people who are depressed. Unfortunately, this means that some of the most vulnerable people in the country—those suffering from depression, loneliness, and mental illness—will be euthanized when they request it.

Canada’s euthanasia is morphing into what can only be described as a passive eugenics program.

Now we are setting up a mechanism whereby the government will kill you when you give in to despair. But it does not end here. The same government website informs us:

Other outstanding important questions related to MAID—such as eligibility of mature minors, advance requests, mental illness, palliative care and the protection of Canadians living with disabilities—will be considered during a Parliamentary review of the MAID legislation that would commence within the next 30 days.

Next on the agenda of the expanding culture of death is MAID for minors. It started with abortion and then advanced to the terminally ill at the end of life. From there, it spreads backwards to adults who are not terminally ill but merely depressed, and the next stage will see it applied to children.

The fact that minor children cannot even give legal consent to things like medical procedures might become eligible for MAID should terrify us. It crosses one of the precious few boundary limits left in secular society: consent. The implications of arguing that a minor child might be able to request death makes a mockery of the denial of a child’s right to consent to sexual activity, just to name one example.

The slope has indeed turned out to be extremely slippery, and we are careening down it at high speed. No one really knows where the bottom is—or even if there is a bottom. When the consent guardrail is breached, the way is open to coercive euthanasia.

I would contend that Canada’s euthanasia is morphing into what can only be described as a passive eugenics program. This is true whether anyone intentionally intends it or not. It is increasingly a way to weed out the weak who would require large outputs of societal resources to take care of them, such as the terminally ill, the handicapped, and those who are depressed and on disability. Combined with widespread social acceptance of aborting Down Syndrome babies, the way is being paved to active eugenics. 

A form of eugenics was popular in North America before WWII, and only the revulsion at the Nazi atrocities caused eugenics to be halted for a while. But as historical memory fades and secularism advances, eugenics is back on the march. But it is happening stealthily, not as loudly proclaimed ideology but as step-by-step changes in medicine and law.

Christians must oppose this horror at all costs.

Craig A. Carter

Craig A. Carter is the research professor of theology at Tyndale University in Toronto, Ontario, and theologian in residence at Westney Heights Baptist Church in Ajax, Ontario.

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