Justin Trudeau

Canadian religious leaders voice support for euthanasia of mental illness

Canadian religious leaders are condemning a federal law that allows mentally ill Canadians to apply for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), to treat their mental illness.

According to a report by the B.C., J. Michael Miller, Vancouver Archbishop, stated that “Next March, unless it is forced to change his mind, persons suffering only from mental illness will be eligible for euthanasia.” Catholic.

These comments are coming just months before the deadline for MAID Canada to be expanded to people with mental illnesses. Critics have called on the government not to implement the plan until it is fully studied.

Miller, who called the law “morally corrupt,” claimed that Canada has acted too fast to increase access to MAID in recent decades.

He said that Canada had gone from completely banning euthanasia in six years to become one of the most permissive regimes for euthanasia in the world. “And more access could be forthcoming, including the possibility of allowing mature minors to request it.

Only seven countries allow active euthanasia as of 2022, proving that the legalization of this practice has been controversial around the globe. Belgium and the Netherlands, which have some of the most permissive policies regarding euthanasia in the world were the first countries to legalize MAID in 2002. They were joined by Columbia in 2014, Luxembourg in 2009, and Canada in 2016.

Six years ago, Canada legalized euthanasia. However, it was only allowed for those aged 18 and over with terminal illnesses. The law was changed to allow for euthanasia of patients whose natural death cannot be “reasonably predicated” in March last year. This will make it possible for mentally ill people to get MAID in March 2023.

Miller and other religious leaders have expressed grave concerns about the imminent availability of MAID for mentally ill patients.

“Every life is equal in value, but the decision about when it should end is something we consider important,” Rabbi Berel bell, who lives and works near Montreal, stated. “Our creator knows when and how to end lives and does it every day. The reason a person is still alive is beyond our comprehension.

Bell pointed out that many practical considerations are not being addressed, and that MAID will likely be offered to the nation’s most vulnerable.

A person who needs to see a psychiatrist is placed on a waiting list. Bell stated that it takes five years for a person to see a psychiatrist. The price is prohibitive.

Canadians depend on the government-funded healthcare system. In recent years, there has been a shortage of family doctors. Patients are often referred to emergency rooms and clinics for care. This results in fewer personalized services and longer waiting times.

Bell is also an expert in Jewish law and fears that many of these vulnerable people might be guided to permanent solutions to temporary problems.

“People in mental and emotional distress or psychological distress — who said that they had to remain like this?” Bell stated.

Derek Ross, executive director of Christian Legal Fellowship shares similar concerns. He told Christianity Today last year when the law was amended that MAID is being offered to patients with more than terminal illnesses.

Ross stated that death is now being presented as a medical solution to suffering in a broad range of cases. This includes when someone is dying, but also at any age. Instead of prioritizing support to allow people to live meaningful lives, we have prioritized making death more accessible. This is a sad message.

Bell also expressed similar concerns. He argued that the continued expansion of eligibility would offer death to many more people over time.

Bell stated, “People claim it’s a false argument and the slippery slope. But here you can see it happening.” It’s happening in months, if not years as opposed to the usual time it takes. It was obvious that assisted suicide would lead to euthanasia. But in Canada, it has happened altogether. Then you expand the eligibility criteria and then we’ll move to the disabled. Next, we’ll reach older children and that will then go to younger kids.

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