By Arthur O’Sullivan
“Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
-C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock
The morbid power of evil is its ability to disguise itself as good, and seduce the well-meaning. Whether in personal failing or collective moral sickness, few consider their works to be malevolent in themselves. And often evil, in one’s own heart as well as that of society, is a hidden thing, confined to shadows and indirect causes. There are times, however, when evil steps out of the shadows, integrating itself with the banal and clinical realities of life, such that its appearance is so blindingly bright that few are willing to look upon it. Many atrocities follow this pattern, some of which have yet to be stopped. One such atrocity has taken root in our neighbor to the north: Canadian euthanasia.
In 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court struck down the country’s standing anti-euthanasia law, arguing that such laws violate one’s bodily autonomy. This forced the passage of bill C-14, which permitted euthanasia in the case of “grievous medical conditions” where “imminent death is reasonably foreseeable.” This law put Canada in the upper echelon of radical pro-euthanasia countries—on par with Belgium, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, but with few of the “safeguards” that define these other countries’ euthanasia practices. In 2021, the law was amended to remove the “reasonable foreseeability of death” prerequisite; in 2023 the proscription on euthanasia for mental illnesses will expire, making Canada’s euthanasia laws by far the most radical in the world. Is the suffering of Canada’s ill so terrible that it justifies their execution? Consider the following “exemplary” candidates for Canada’s euthanasia program:
Alan Nichols suffered from severe depression throughout his life, and his family would often have to hospitalize him for his psychiatric episodes. In one of these visits, he signed euthanasia forms—without the knowledge of his family, but with the approval of his doctors who deemed him “of a sound mind”—for the sole listed reason of “hearing loss.” His family continues to litigate the case, arguing that his killing was not consensual and unduly allowed by the hospital staff. Trish Nichols described her brother as “screaming uncontrollably” in his final minutes.
Sean Tagert, despite Canada’s “generous” public healthcare system, couldn’t afford 24-hour care for his ALS. He refused to live in a full-time care home, however, objecting to the distance it would place him from his son. But such a distance is now infinite, as after failing to raise the necessary funds for care, Tagert consented to be euthanized at 41.
Sean Foley was confronted by the “ethics” director of his local hospital to discuss the costs of treating his neurodegenerative disease. Foley, already alarmed by his doctors and nurses mentioning euthanasia, secretly recorded the conversation. In it, the director emphasized the profound costs of the hospital stay and bluntly asked Sean about his interest in euthanasia. It is important to note that Foley never broached the subject himself, but unlike any other “civilized” country in which euthanasia is permitted, there is no legal proscription on hospital staff introducing the idea. In fact, hospital staff may not only imply that euthanasia is one’s only option but even explicitly recommend it to their patients, such as the case of Candace Lewis, a 25-year-old with cerebral palsy, where a doctor told her caregiving mother that not pursuing euthanasia would be “selfish.”
Finally, take the case of an anonymous Canadian veteran, to whom the suggestion of euthanasia was casually posed after calling the Veteran’s Affairs PTSD hotline. Despite mental health issues not yet being grounds for euthanasia (and being protested en masse, even by most pro-euthanasia advocates), it seems that some are willing to jump the gun on the subject. An attitude of “it’s better than blowing your head off” rationalizes this approach to “healthcare.”
Unlike specialized medical treatment, for which the wait times and expenses are famously excessive in Canada, euthanasia is the quick and easy means of treatment. Thus reveals the Canadian disregard for human life: While expenses incurred to treat one’s illness are nominally the responsibility of the taxpayer, the weight of the price falls on the individual, socially blamed for the excess costs. Such a system makes Canada’s healthcare apparatus more myopically focused on the bottom line than any known capitalist institution.
If left unchecked, euthanasia may become Canada’s most common cause of death. It is already at least the sixth most common “manner of death” (apologists say it’s different from a “cause”), making up 2.5 percent of Canadian deaths in 2020. This is an increase of 34.2% since 2019! The eligible population continues to increase, with radicals advocating for “mature minors” to receive eligibility in 2023. The dissolution of restrictions on an already radical law frees doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff to commit mass slaughter of the elderly, the infirm, and the mentally unwell, all in the name of “dignity.”