NDY Files Statement With Canadian Panel on Carter Case

On February 6, 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada issued a horrific ruling in the case of Carter v. Canada.  How horrific?  The Court held:

Section 241 (b) and s. 14  of the Criminal Code  unjustifiably infringe s. 7  of the Charter  and are of no force or effect to the extent that they prohibit physician‑assisted death for a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.

The Court gave the Canadian Legislature one year to act on this ruling.  A federal panel was formed to gather input.  With the assistance of Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet Canada, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities submitted goals, principles and recommendations to the panel on October 7th.  Not Dead Yet (USA) submitted a Statement to the Canadian panel on October 14.  The Executive Summary of NDY’s Statement is below.

October 19 is the deadline for formal online submissions to the panel, but “Issue Book” submissions to the panel can be made until November 1st, by going to the panel’s web portal.

Statement of Not Dead Yet (USA) to Canadian Panel on Carter Case Decision

Executive Summary

Not Dead Yet is a national, grassroots disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination against old, ill and disabled people. Not Dead Yet helps organize and articulate opposition to these practices in the United States based on secular social justice arguments. Not Dead Yet also demands the equal protection of the law for the targets of so called “mercy killing” whose lives are seen as worth-less.

This submission to the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada will focus on the Panel’s “key issue” in Terms of Reference Section 3.2 (c): “Risks to individuals and society associated with physician-assisted dying.” We will discuss the evidence coming from Oregon, the earliest of the four U.S. states to legalize assisted suicide, and outline the concerns of the disability community.

Regardless of our abilities or disabilities, none of us should feel that we have to die to have dignity, that we have to die to be relieved of pain, or that we should die to stop burdening our families or society. The realities of assisted suicide implementation in Oregon and three other U.S. states demonstrate the urgency of limiting the harms done by the Canadian Supreme Court ruling.

With that goal, we have two recommendations:

  1. Adopt the detailed Goals, Principles and Recommendations submitted by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD),[i] which demonstrate a well-informed, evidence based and reasoned approach to reducing the dangers that will inevitably flow from implementation of Carter v. Canada. In order to completely incorporate CCD’s recommendations, direct consultation with a representative of CCD in drafting the legislation is necessary.
  1. Provide training, guidance and encouragement to law enforcement agencies to exercise their existing level of authority to prosecute physicians and others involved in an assisted suicide or euthanasia death, while allowing those prosecuted to defend themselves by proving that the guidelines submitted by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities were met.

[i] https://www.dropbox.com/s/izn5zr6rrazq5lj/ccdpolicyfinal150924.docx?dl=0

One thought on “NDY Files Statement With Canadian Panel on Carter Case

  1. The right to life is the most fundamental human right without which any other human right is not even thinkable. Because those that are dead have no human rights. And the fundamental freedoms, too, are suspended (overruled). A dead one cannot exercise any so called freedom. One cannot talk about the life with dignity of a dead one.

    Life with dignity cannot be achieved by killing people but by abolishing these harmful and lethal conditions that make people suffer. People want to live, but do not want to live like this, under these harmful conditions. At any rate one lives better being alive than being dead. Nobody needs a right to die, nobody requires a right to be killed by a doctor.

    These statements are expressed in the Open Letter of the SOCIALIST PATIENTS’ COLLECTIVE / PATIENTS’ FRONT – MFE CANADA sent on June 9th, 2015 to all Senators of Canada, by which they were asked as Members of the Canadian Parliament to refrain from legalizing the so-called euthanasia on the pretext of the Supreme Court’ decision (Carter v. Canada, 2015).

    The Senators are reminded that “The Parliament of Canada is autonomous and cannot be ruled by the Supreme Court to enact the laws, not even the laws that the medical class requires. That kind of intromission is not constitutional. The Parliament of Canada should only respond and submit to the will and interests of the people of Canada, the people that the parliament claims to represent.”

    In the Open Letter is also mentioned the Resolution of Jnuary 25, 2012 of the 47 member states of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which states that:

    “Euthanasia is prohibited. Any propaganda in favor of annihilation and elimination must be fought against. Thus confirming what the same Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe had previously recommended in 1999, a recommendation whose title was “Protection of the Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being”. In that the European Council had stick to the principle that the states had to guarantee the right to “live in human dignity in all stages of life till its end”. In that recommendation it was stated that “a person’s wish to die never constitutes any legal claim to die at the hand of another person, let alone to constitute a legal justification to be killed on somebody’s demand”. These recommendations are based on international laws and international declarations on human rights which are binding for Canada and its parliament.”

    As to the alleged control measures there are reminded the experiences with the euthanasia practiced in The Netherlands and in Belgium:

    “Any alleged control measures are useless. Doctors do not abide to them. In Holland, where euthanasia has been legalized doctors continue breaking the regulations and limits. Also in Belgium, where doctors are allowed to kill even children under the motto of euthanasia. The Dutch euthaNAZIa legislation, too, was intended – according to the Dutch legislator’s own proclamation – to limit the illegally practiced euthaNAZIa to narrowly restricted cases. After the guarantees of exemption from punishment in cases of killing by medical doctors, given by the Ministry of Justice, had no longer been sufficient to keep that killing within certain limits, a first euthaNAZIa law became effective in The Netherlands on 1.1.1994. Since the medical doctors did not keep their murdering practiced on a mass scale within the limits imposed by the law, the least one could have expected was that they were brought before the courts and condemned for their criminal doings. But nothing of the sort! The penal laws were changed instead, in order to take off their strictness, and to take away the medical doctors’ fear of the law. The margins of the law for unpunished killing by medical doctors were extended with effect from April 1, 2001, thus more patients and categories of patients were permitted to become the medical doctors’ fair game worthy to be killed. As even that second amendment had not served the purpose to keep the patients killing by doctors in their greed for prey within the boundaries established by the law, it were not the medical murderers who finally would have been withdrawn from circulation; No! Once again it was the law to give way to the medical doctors. The excuse: “to dam up euthanasia by legalizing it and to prevent malpractice”, invoked by the jurists and backbenchers of The Netherlands, has been unmasked and exposed.”

    And, finally, a line is drawn back to the NAZI euthanasia programme (Aktion T 4):

    “Each time the medical doctors are allowed to kill without punishment and they feel protected by law and judges, it results in massive genocide of patients; just remember the so called Euthanasia-Programme (Aktion-T4) during the NAZI regime but do not forget the mentioned of Holland or Belgium today where euthaNAZIa has been legalized and thousands of patients are being killed every year, even without their consent or against their will according to the own official law standards, thus even leaving aside that one should always question if there really exists such thing as a will to be killed but one better should suspect of those noxious circumstances where there is still someone asking for being killed and/or is giving his/her consent for it.”

    The Open Letter concludes:

    “The Canadian Parliament should refrain from legalizing the so-called euthanasia. Although prescribed by the Supreme Court, the parliament should not capitulate to the medical class. The Canadian people is under a very dangerous threat! Stop it now! The patients’ class is the citizens’ first duty!”

    The whole Open Letter is published on:

    With solidarity greeings
    Hans Drager

Comments are closed.