Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis

Charles Lewis is a freelance writer and former religion editor at the National Post.

In the pro-life battle it’s imperative to gather ammunition that comes from outside the movement. If we are ever going to change the minds of the great mass of Canadians, we need to bring in information free of any political or social agenda — in other words, scientific research that could care less about our cause or our faith.

During the summer I decided to take a break from speaking about euthanasia. There were several reasons. First, it was getting more and more difficult to find groups that were interested in hearing the anti-euthanasia message. Then when something was arranged only a handful of people would show up.

It would be grand to believe the CBC is for everyone. It is, after all, a national broadcaster that we all support with our tax dollars, whether we want to or not.

I want to focus on a single word, one that is loaded with enough meaning to sway life or death decisions.

A few weeks ago the Sunday New York Times Magazine ran a lengthy feature about a Vancouver Island man who had chosen to die by euthanasia. John Shields, a former priest who later married, was suffering from a rare disease that caused proteins to build up in his heart and painful nerve damage in his arms and legs, the Times story said.

As I write this, I’m fixated on a photo of eight-year-old Saffie Rose, the youngest victim of the Manchester bombing. Her picture is part of a newspaper photo array of the young victims of that awful night.

In mid-April The Globe & Mail gave two days of coverage to the suicide of Adam Maier-Clayton, just 27 years old. He lived for years with a variety of psychiatric disorders and unremitting pain. There is no doubt he knew suffering.

At the end of the last millennium, gay marriage was not yet a reality and the idea of legalized euthanasia was considered ridiculous. Abortion was of course an issue, but there seemed some hope that the lawless practice would at least become regulated.

It was a story that slipped through public consciousness like a shadow, first ominous then quickly evaporated and forgotten.

For many years I have enjoyed a group of Catholic writers who hit their stride roughly in the middle of the 20th century.

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