The federal government has decided to appeal a British Columbia Supreme Court ruling that struck down Canada’s ban on assisted suicide.
The reason? Justice Minister Rob Nicholson argues, “The laws surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide exist to protect all Canadians, including those who are most vulnerable, such as people who are sick or elderly or people with disabilities.”
To be blunt. Bullshit!
The Supreme Court argument has never contained a plan to open a chain of Stairway to Heaven or Straight to Hell assisted-suicide clinics on every street corner where you could drop off your elderly parents when they became too much of a burden.
The argument has always been about quality and enjoyment of life. And if there is one thing that we are so fortunate to enjoy as Canadians, it is an incredible quality of life.
Free of tyranny, we can choose to live our lives as we see fit. Thanks to some enlightened laws, we are not chained to an abusive spouse, our children are welcomed into the world regardless of gender, we can rise to any station regardless of our birth, we can choose our religion and change it at will, we can chase dreams and change jobs, screw up and find help getting back on our feet.
But the one thing we’re not allowed to do is hold up a hand and ask to humanely end our own life when pain and disease has robbed us of all that makes living worthwhile.
Instead, we’re told that it’s better to suffer. Why?
The short answer is cowardice.
Our politicians don’t want to make a difficult decision just in case God really exists and He takes that wee bit in the Bible about suicide seriously. Sure, politicians will argue until they’re bluer in the face that they haven’t been brainwashed by childhoods spent in the heaving bosom of organized religion and thus fear any karmic poke in the eye — but they’re bullshitting you. And, yes, they are very good at BS. They can make it look like an ice-cream sundae — until you actually take a bite.
When I hire someone, I want them to be smarter than myself in a specific area. I hire a plumber because he knows about pipes and gravity and where stuff goes when I flush. I hire a lawyer because she has studied the law and knows how to wield that knowledge with authority.
When the Supreme Court says a law is unconstitutional to Canadians, our elected government should listen rather than look for an excuse to cover its collective ears and chant “la, la, la, I can’t hear you.”
Dying with dignity is not the same as suicide, and it’s about time our government recognized the difference. M