Assisted-Dying Makes Canada MAD?

I’m home sick today, but even with a raging headache, I can’t let this nonsense post just skate on by without a rebuttal.

The post was titled, CANADA: A COUNTRY GONE MAD. It’s a rather long post so I’m not going to quote the whole thing, but it has to do with Canada’s recent decision to allow doctor-assisted dying. Here’s a little bit about it:

Doctor-assisted death will be restricted to mentally competent adults who have serious and incurable illness, disease or disability under new legislation tabled in Parliament today.

The long-awaited bill also sets out safeguards to protect vulnerable Canadians, but does not include some of the most contentious recommendations from a parliamentary committee, including extending the right to die to “mature minors” and the mentally ill, and allowing advance consent for patients with degenerative disorders.

Instead, the bill limits access to those “suffering intolerably” and whose death is “reasonably foreseeable.”

Personally, I don’t think the bill goes far enough but I agree with its implementation and the Supreme Court of Canada also agrees.

Of course, the religious have vehemently disagreed with the bill and I would never dream of trying to force them to have a doctor assist them in taking their own life, but some of them have no problem trying to force me to live through torturous, incurable pain.

Like the blogger I mentioned earlier:

Canada recently passed a bill legalizing what they term as “medical aid in dying”, whose proper acronym, fittingly, is “MAD”. Countless religious leaders of all persuasions spoke out against this so-called medical procedure as the bill worked its way through the Canadian Parliament and then the Senate, but the majority of Canadians supported the bill and now support the law. In other words, the majority of Canadians consider that getting someone to help you kill yourself is not only a darn good idea but a “right” that should be protected by law.

Yes, the Catholic Church actually told their priests not to hold services for people who had decided to go with doctor-assisted dying.

Stay classy, Catholic Church.

However, to be clear, I think that they have a right to do that. I think it’s unethical of them. I think they’re being unreasonably cruel by depriving the family of the service, but they’re also within their rights to be callous and stupid.

The majority of Canadians support the law because it makes sense and people don’t want to go days, weeks, months or even years dying in excruciating pain.

Let’s see what else this blogger has to say:

Only a few years ago, before the bill was tabled in the House of Parliament, people who indicated they were suicidal were still considered mentally ill in Canada and in urgent need of mental health intervention. If they persisted in voicing their suicidal intentions or even attempted suicide, they were usually taken into protective custody. Suicidal thoughts were considered – by law, by the medical community, and by the general public – an aberration and a clear sign of severe illness.

Please read what this bill means in my very first quote. People can’t just decide willy-nilly to take their own life. There are very real guidelines that must be followed.

No person of sound mind wants to kill him or herself. In my opinion, the desire to commit suicide has and remains an expression of an unhinged mind, regardless of the circumstances (i.e., terminal illness) or legal pronouncements.

Fuck me. I didn’t know you were a doctor or a psychiatrist.

We are talking about people who have an incurable disease, illness or disability. They will have to be judged as mentally competent adults by an actual professional, and they have to be suffering intolerably.

Denying them the right to say, ‘enough is enough’, is the cruel option, and we all know how religion often takes the cruelest, most despicable course of action.

However – and this is an argument that was never raised during the debates on MAD – killing yourself does not stop the pain. Death by your own hand is not a way out of a painful life. I know this to be an absolute fact, as do others who have approached death’s door and, for one reason or another, retreated. And yet, this absolute fact was never tabled as evidence against MAD during any of the debates or discussions prior to MAD becoming law. Instead, MAD was framed as a way out of suffering rather than a passageway to endless suffering, which is what it is.

You know this to be an absolute fact how?

It was never tabled as evidence because there is no evidence for such a thing. Your personal experience is anecdotal in nature. Your beliefs are not held by everyone and your religion does not rule our laws. If you want to go out bawling in absolute pain because you believe Jesus would want that, then you go ahead. Leave the rest of us out of your mythical house of pain.

We don’t want to suffer, we don’t want our loved ones to suffer, and MAD seems to offer a way to prevent suffering.

You are arguing that they (your loved ones etc) should be made to endure as much suffering as it takes before they draw their last breath.

Yet you don’t want them to suffer?

What is this double-speak?

Canada was once considered a Christian nation, but it is no more. For most Canadians, this dissociation with all things Christian is “progress”, whereas the truth is that turning away from God is the very opposite of progress.

We are not ruled by your particular religious ideology. Thankfully.

People who want to kill themselves need help to get to a state of mind where they no longer want to kill themselves, but in post-Christian Canada, they’re now given a doctor’s appointment and a two-week waiting period, and then they’re given a needle.

They were in their ‘right state of mind’ as judged by a medical professional before making the choice to end their life.

It is their life. Not yours. Not Jesus’. Not God(s).

Theirs.

Sadly, I believe that, like all other post-Christian nations in the world, Canada has reached the point of no return. It’s too late for collective repentance; all that can be salvaged is a few individuals who still hold to God’s laws and follow Jesus.

Given the alternative, you’d be wise to count yourself among those few.

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13 Comments

  1. Doctor-assisted death will be restricted to mentally competent adults who have serious and incurable illness, disease or disability under new legislation tabled in Parliament today.

    I am in no way equating humans to dogs/animals. But when an animal is in severe pain and/or has a terminal illness we think it only humane to assist them in their death. Why, it’s unfair and cruel to allow an animal to suffer like that!

    Why are we so much more compassionate and merciful to animals who cannot speak to even tell us that they’re ready for such a fate than we are to human beings fully capable of making a rational decision about their end-of-life care? It’s infinitely stupid. And no, people who have insufferable illness or pain are not too mentally unstable to make their own decisions. Only they can know how much they can take.

    • Exactly. If people don’t wish to have doctor assisted dying, then they are free to do what they wish.

      At the end of this post, I made the same correlation – we put our pets down as an expression of love and because they no longer have any quality of life, yet even when a suffering person says ‘enough’, we want to let them linger on in agony.

      It’s ridiculous.

  2. Excellent post on a very important topic. While the censorious, insane religious types have a certain amount of holdover power in the US, the boomers and the millennials are shaking forth a “none” ascendance.
    The NGO “Compassion & Choices” is a mainstream, growing large institution that is organizing for death-with-dignity legislation across the country, with four states on board, and Colorado possible to come on board this year.
    A long road is ahead, but on this subject, a form of identity politics (no one should deny indiviudals the freedom to end their life so as to minimize hopeless, hideous suffering), the outlook should be in line with marriage equality.

  3. Pain and suffering is supposed to bring people closer to God according to some of God’s nut jobs such as Mother Teresa who enjoyed seeing people suffer in agony often without pain killers or drugs and she is considered to be a saint. However, people who support medically assisted death so they do not go through this process are condemned because the Godly people claim only God can take a life and therefore they must believe as their psychopathic saint does. Clearly another most stupid idea.

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