After claiming seven years ago when the law was established in June 2013 that it would only apply to seriously ill adults, the government is now considering expanding euthanasia to children and the mentally ill.
James Reinl, the Daily Mail's social affairs correspondent, wrote on March 19, 2023: “When Canada changed its laws in 2016 to allow euthanasia, voters were assured that lethal injections would only be available to seriously ill adults who needed to hasten imminent death and end their suffering.”
A lot has changed in those seven years. “The government is currently studying the possibility of extending euthanasia to children and the mentally ill.” The author continues: “Another concern: a leading medical organization in the French-speaking eastern province of Quebec says lethal injections should be available for critically ill newborns.”
Mr. Reinl continues: “Proponents of assisted suicide claim that it allows very ill people to end their agony. Critics claim this is the start of a slippery slope that is leading more and more vulnerable people to end their lives prematurely.”
“Now that we have legalized euthanasia, everything is upside down,” Alex Schadenberg, director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, told DailyMail.com: “Now we think in terms of denial of a service that should be available to people.”
Schadenberg and others were stunned by the “MAiD activity book” intended to help children understand why a family member would choose euthanasia and how the process unfolds. Critics point to the childish language used in this 26-page, government-funded booklet to explain a process that, for many, is macabre.
“A doctor or nurse uses drugs to stop a person's body from functioning,” the booklet says. “When the person's body stops functioning, the person dies.”
Euthanasia is described as a desperate procedure reserved for consenting adults with an illness or disability that “damages their body or mind so much that it is too difficult for them to continue living.”
He explains how the drugs cause drowsiness and coma before a “third drug… causes the lungs to stop breathing and the heart to stop beating.” But “the person doesn't realize it and it doesn't hurt them,” adds the book, written by Ceilidh Eaton Russell, a professor at McMaster University and a specialist in child bereavement.
The MAiD Workbook was published last year by the Canadian Hospice Portal and funded by Health Canada. Reinl explains that Canadian politicians are debating the extension of MAiD to minors, while the euthanasia lobby, Die with Dignity, advocates euthanasia for children from the age of 12.
This limit is too high for Dr. Louis Roy, of the College of Physicians of Quebec. According to him, newborns who come into the world with “serious malformations” or “serious and severe syndromes” should have the right to a medically assisted death.