CommunityPeopleRon Baker

Addressing the MAID Law

I dislike a law that is currently before the House of Commons for review.

I dislike a law that is currently before the House of Commons for review.

Macleans magazine (February 3, 2020) has a great opinion piece on the MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying) law that was enacted in June of 2016. The authors are Jane Philpott and Jodi Wilson-Raybould. Both have watched the progress of the law and entitled their opinion piece “Expanding eligibility for MAID should not be rushed”.

The Department of Justice also outlines MAID on their website.

“’Medical assistance in dying’ currently includes: the use of medication by a physician or nurse practitioner to directly cause a person’s death at their request; the prescription or provision of medication by a physician or nurse practitioner that a person can use to cause their own death.”

The Supreme Court of Quebec (September 11th, 2019) felt that limiting access to MAID was unconstitutional. The Government of Canada took this as a national concern and began seeking input from Canadians towards a review of MAID.

Previous to the Supreme Court of Quebec ruling, the federal government was already reviewing the restrictions. This review was designed to address three complex issues including requests for MAID by mature minors, advance requests, and requests from people where mental illness is the only reason for requesting MAID, as stated on the Ministry of Justice website.

I wrote to our Minister of Justice, David Lametti, about the current review of MAID. I believe the MAID legislation is flawed and should be repealed. I don’t see a repeal of the law happening in our current political climate. But we do need to consider how we can protect the vulnerable, the conscience rights of the medical personnel, and tighten restrictions.

I could add philosophical and theological arguments dealing with the sanctity of life that would indicate MAID should be repealed. But, today, I thought a personal approach would be helpful. This does not speak to the complexity of issues surrounding this issue – but it does put a shovel into the ground as we try to dig into the matter of MAID.

I was born less than a decade after the Second World War.

The memories of horror were stark in the minds of the adults I encountered.

Our next door neighbour, Mr. Schiergel (pardon my child’s spelling) had escaped Germany. The story was that he swam a dangerous river to get away. His reason was his distaste for the actions taking place in Germany.

When he arrived in Canada, he became an aid at the local mental health ward caring for those who were “mentally retarded” – the exact people that his home country was ridding themselves of through Medical Assistance In Dying.

I heard my parents decry the term “euthanasia” as a euphemism for deleting unwanted races, unsuitable physical specimens, those who were a drain on the social fabric, and those who were opposed to the regime. Getting rid of the elite’s ability to determine who dies was a forceful unwritten responsibility for my parents.

I feel that same responsibility.

Read more by Ron HERE

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