The people who will survive this year
In 2021, the Canadian government passed Bill C-7 to expand euthanasia to persons whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable.
The new law excluded those whose sole condition is a mental illness but only for two years, until March 17, 2023.
We have got to stop using words like “eligibility” and “availability” as if euthanasia is a perk or a benefit. Euthanasia is the premature ending of a person’s life by killing.
Many Canadians suffering with mental illness had today’s date circled on their calendars. They anticipated scheduling an appointment to be killed in a Canadian hospital. Whatever their reasons for doing so, those are what we must urgently address this year.
Now, thanks to mounting global pressure and scrutiny, the Government has delayed the expansion of euthanasia to those for whom a mental illness is the sole condition for one year, until March 17, 2024.
While this is a relief and will save thousands of lives, the clock starts now.
We have one year to make the case in the media, in culture, in politics, in law, in families, in communities, and in medical offices that death doesn’t have to be the answer.
Unfortunately, many Canadians with mental illness are already being euthanized, though, under the auspices of meeting other “criteria” like having a disability or illness. It is dehumanizing to tell someone that they qualify for death.
This year, we need your support to oppose euthanasia and to provide the ethics education to medical professionals that will make a decisive difference in our society.
To contribute, please click here.
This post first appeared in Vital Bylines. Sign up below to receive Vital Bylines weekly.