Editorial: Misplaced pride

By 
  • July 15, 2021

“As Minister of Health, I am proud to present Health Canada’s Second Annual Report on Medical Assistance in Dying (2020).”

That’s the opening line of Patty Hajdu’s official message upon delivering the latest round of statistics on assisted suicide last month. “Proud”? What’s there to be proud of?

That the number of medically-assisted deaths in 2020 grew by almost 35 per cent? That 2.5 per cent of all deaths in Canada come from lethal injections? That 21,589 people have died via MAiD (up to the end of 2020) since the legislation was enacted in June 2016? That every province had “steady year over year growth” in assisted suicides, adding up to 7,595 deaths in 2020?

No doubt the minister will be extra proud next year when the 2021 figures will likely be bolstered with the passing a few months ago of Bill C-7, which expanded the access to assisted suicide by eliminating the requirement that a death be “reasonably foreseeable.”

Canada’s been on euthanasia’s slippery slope for quite some time and it appears our elected officials have no intention of applying the brakes, despite trumpeting their “safeguards” against abuse of the system.

For Catholics — and all who have decried the immorality of purposely taking a life — the statistics rub more salt in a wound that’s grown only wider with the passing years. Every battle lost in court or in opinion polls to protect the dignity of God-given life is disheartening, but should never leave us broken.

If anything, these latest statistics should only intensify the resolve to fight the good fight — to increase the availability and effectiveness of palliative care, to create more programs aiding suicide prevention and mental illness, to protect the rights of medical personnel who refuse to participate in MAiD, to make our opposition to euthanasia known to elected officials at every opportunity. And, not least, to pray for those struggling with illness and end-of-life decisions.

Aside from the gloomy outlook presented by the numbers in the 2020 MAiD report, there were some interesting twists. From the 9,375 requests for assisted suicide, 232 patients decided to withdraw their request. For most, the reason given was they “changed their mind.” Some decided that “palliative measures are sufficient.” A small percentage noted that “family members do not support MAiD.”

Even more interesting is that 51 patients opted for life immediately before they were to undergo the MAiD procedure.

“Adequate pain relief and appropriate care quickly led the patient to spontaneously conclude that he did not wish to die immediately, but to receive comfort care appropriate to his condition,” read one practitioner’s statement recorded in the MAiD report. “The patient chose to cancel his (physician-assisted death) application spontaneously and voluntarily within hours of admission. His decision remained unchanged during the week.”

Our hope, our prayer, is that there are many more who will choose that brave route before the next MAiD report.

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This government run by this Prime Minister who claims to be catholic needs to be called out. A believer in abortion, a believer in euthanasia - now a willing by standers of Catholic Churches being burned to the ground. The Catholic Church and...

This government run by this Prime Minister who claims to be catholic needs to be called out. A believer in abortion, a believer in euthanasia - now a willing by standers of Catholic Churches being burned to the ground. The Catholic Church and the followers of the faith need to stand against him and hi s party and their false beliefs. The churches were the vehicles for implementing an ill conceived policy and yet this Prime Minister does nothing to recognize that but does everything to allow attacks to happen. May god give us all the strength to stand and help clean up this residential school mess and may god give us the vision to see who our attackers really are.

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Reid Baker
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