Oh Canada, what have you done now to annoy Catholics?

Oh Canada, what have you done now to annoy Catholics? June 16, 2016

You’ve just ‘officially crossed the boundary into a place in which the sick, the suffering and dying can be legally dispatched by lethal injection or a glass of liquid poison’ by allowing the nation’s laws against assisted suicide and euthanasia to evaporate.
And in doing so, according to pro-life activist Charles Lewis, who writes for the National Catholic Register, Canadians have:

Entered a frightening world in which several thousand years based on Judeo-Christian morality have been rejected. It is as if the Good Samaritan of the Gospels is no longer praised for helping the wounded man, beaten and broken on the side of the road, but is instead lauded for bashing the victim’s skull all in the name of ending suffering.

The story begins with Kay Carter, above, an elderly woman who said she did not want to end up “an ironing board on a bed” and was terrified of “dying inch by inch”. In 2010, Carter, who suffered from a debilitating case of spinal stenosis, travelled to a clinic in Switzerland to drink a toxic dose of sodium pentobarbital and end her life.
But before her death, she challenged Canada’s euthanasia ban. After she died, her daughter, Lee, above, took up the battle – and won. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in her favour, saying:

The prohibition on physician-assisted dying infringes on the right to life, liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

The judgment gave Parliament a year to draft new legislation that recognises the right of clearly consenting adults who are enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to seek medical help in ending their lives. And, most importantly, it does not limit physician-assisted death to those suffering a terminal illness. The deadline for the new legislation was set for June 6, 2016 – but the deadline was missed.
Lewis said this means:

Euthanasia is no longer considered a crime. Indeed, assisted suicide now carries the same status as any other medical procedure.
The present situation has put many Catholics and other anti-euthanasia activists in a quandary. The vast majority of the House of Commons and Senate, the two chambers of parliament, are enthusiastic supporters of assisted suicide, which means that petitions, writing letters and demonstrations likely will have little impact.

Lewis’s article quotes Douglas Farrow, a professor of Christian thought in the faculty of religious studies at Montreal’s McGill University, as saying:

Let us set aside the fact that this transforms the concept of medicine, which is no longer the art of healing and/or accompanying, but only the instrument for eliminating suffering.
I continue to marvel at the claim of the court: that one is unjustly deprived of life, if one is resolved to kill oneself at some future point and finds that one must do so sooner rather than later, because one fears that later one may not have the strength, indeed, the autonomy, to follow through on one’s own.

Lewis then pointed out:

An embarrassing statistic – according to a 2015 poll, the latest available, which asked about religious identity – that roughly 70 percent of Catholics either strongly or moderately support euthanasia.

And  he added:

Most observers believe that Canadian Parliament eventually will pass a bill closer to what the national Supreme Court demanded, putting Canada on par with Belgium and the Netherlands where thousands of people, young and old, dying and not dying, are put to death every year.

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  • L.Long

    The suicide thing is just like the abortion crap!! “This is religious persecution because you are not letting us interfere with another persons personal decisions!!!! Don’t you know you are ALL suppose to SUFFER needlessly for some dick ahole gawd you don’t believe in!!!!”
    STUPID!! It all about control & power! They could give a crap about you or anyone else!! When You made laws or stone divorced couples or if a man shaves, or wears mixed fabrics, I will believe you are serious about your BS beliefs!

  • H3r3tic

    The fallacy of Lewis’ article is totally exposed when he says “assisted suicide now carries the same status as any other medical procedure.” To suggest that equal weight would be given to the consideration of an appendectomy as to the assisted death of a person is, quite frankly, ridiculous. His problem lies purely in accepting that each individual has the right to primacy over how they should live, and indeed end, their own life.

  • Stuart H.

    “Let us set aside the fact that this transforms the concept of medicine, which is no longer the art of healing and/or accompanying, but only the instrument for eliminating suffering. ”
    The professor of Christian thought (now there’s a contradiction in terms!) seems to be making a very basic mistake, one I wouldn’t expect in a 1st year university student, never mind a full blown windbag with the title “professor”
    I’d have said that medicine has always been “an instrument for eliminating suffering”. The idea that medicine revolves around doctors miraculously saving people from death and demanding god-like respect from us plebs in return only crops up in the last 50 years or so.
    Oddly enough, the person whose writing put me onto this was the 60’s radical Ivan Illich, who, if I recall, was also a Catholic priest.

  • Angela_K

    This is another example of the religious trying to impose their bizarre beliefs on everybody else. There is a freedom of choice with euthanasia and abortion, nobody is going to force a religious person to prematurely end their lives. The religious do like to prolong suffering as evidenced by that vile Teresa.

  • barriejohn

    H3r3tic: You’re right. The religious need simple, straightforward rules to cover every human activity, otherwise they have no idea how they should behave. Trevor Blake has made this point several times.
    Canadian MPs have also voted to amend their national anthem:
    We await fire, storm and pestilence in the wake of such progressive behaviour!

  • Vanity Unfair

    To barriejohn:
    “Canadian MPs have also voted to amend their national anthem:”
    But only a few words:”God keep our land glorious and free!” is still there.
    The French words (neither version is a translation of the other) will not be altered. These include:
    Il sait porter la croix! ([Your arm] can carry the cross)
    Et ta valeur, de foi trempée, (And your faith-drenched bravery [unspecified faith])
    Personally, I would have gone for complete change and used “Maple Leaf Rag.”
    It’s not anti-Canadian: I have similar views on “God save the Queen.”

  • Vanity Unfair

    To Barry:
    “After she died, her daughter, Lee, above, took up the battle – and won. The Supreme Court of America ruled in her favour, saying:”
    It has been said that Canadians know they are famous when everybody thinks they are (US) Americans but this does not extend to the legal system.

  • Peterat

    The professor of Christian thought seems to conveniently forget that the Good Samaritan was obviously not a Christian and did what he did out of, I am going to assume, good will and innate human solidarity. Something Lewis might consider practicing.
    And Vanity Unfair, I would much prefer the “Hockey Song”by Stompin’ Tom Connors over both!

  • Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. — John 10:17-18
    Suicide is bad unless it’s good.

  • Broga

    If I decide that I want to die because life is too distressing then that is my decision. I certainly don’t want the decision influenced by people, like priests, whose beliefs and values I abhor.
    My old dog was treated better than many people left in mental, emotional and physical agony as they drag on till the die. My 11 year old, and much loved, yellow Labrador had become ill and no longer wanted to go for his usual walks.
    We took him to the vet and he said his heart was not functioning properly and he had problems with his liver. He said he could keep him alive for a while on drugs. I asked if he could recover to any extent. They vet said, “If you keep him alive then it will be for you, not the dog. He will be incapacitated and distressed.”
    We decided to have him put to sleep. And that is a fair description. I told the dog to lie down which he did obediently as usual. And the extreme distress for us of what then happened will only be understood by those who love dogs.
    While we stroked the dog the vet shaved a small area of the dog’s inside leg and injected him. Soon the dog seemed to be sleeping. The vet listened for a heartbeat and said, “He is gone. You have done the right thing.” We left weeping but the dog had an enviable death and one that is denied terminally ill people.
    To end on a cheerful note, we are looking at a litter of Labradors next week who are from the same stock as our faithful old friend who has recently died.

  • Barry Duke

    @BarrieJohn. Aaargh! Thanks for pointing out that typo. The last thing I want is angry Canadians banging at my door, threatening to dunk me a a vatful of maple syrup, much as I adore the stuff.

  • barriejohn

    Barry: Not guilty. It was Vanity Unfair!

  • Vanity Unfair

    To Peterat:
    Yes, I can see that it would make a very good sing-along anthem.
    This site is great for extending my knowledge to things I never knew I needed to know.
    However, I stick to Maple Leaf Rag on the grounds that it is impossible to stand to attention while it is being played. Although a military band could, conceivably, de-jollify it.
    To Trevor Blake:
    “Suicide is bad unless it’s good.”
    Suicide is painless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gO7uemm6Yo
    Do you think Dignitas has that as their telephone hold music?

  • 1859

    Mr. Lewis reveals the true state of his opinions when he says at the very end that thousands are now being ‘put to death’. These three words evoke abattoirs, executions, gas chambers, etc., etc. People should decide how to end their life as this life belongs to them and no one else. This sort of religious thinking is stuck far, far in the past. The medical breakthroughs of the next fifty years are going – I hope -to destroy much of the pernicious influence of religion in people’s lives. What will their religion say about people kept alive with human organs grown in pigs?

  • Laura Roberts

    “Entered a frightening world in which several thousand years based on Judeo-Christian morality have been rejected.”
    Several thousand years of sectarian violence, rape, slavery, misogyny, witch hunts, racism, fraud and corruption. Can’t imagine how we could live without that.

  • Broga

    @Laura Roberts : I am currently reading the excellent “The Victorians” by A.N.Wilson. In Victorian times, in thrall to Christianity, women were treated no better than slaves. A man could beat his wife, take her money when they married, deny her access to their children, women’s education was blocked and the efforts of women to become doctors lead to shameful opposition including by the Lancet.
    Women were blamed for venereal disease which was rife. They were denied the few painkilling remedies in childbirth as the church said women must suffer all the agonies to help expiate the sins of Eve. Judeo-Christian morality caused suffered and blocked progress. Cardinal Newman, en route to sainthood, defended the torture of Galileo. And much else but that will do for now.

  • barriejohn
  • barriejohn

    Vanity Unfair: You posted The Hockey Song twice! Here’s Maple Leaf Rag played by my favourite pianist, the inimitable Winifred Atwell:
    Thank the devil for that wonderful syncopation!

  • barriejohn

    Laura: It’s a frightening world for HIM. He might be forced to think for himself!
    But well said.

  • barriejohn

    Here’s another great sporting anthem – sadly not available for the Canadians, but very appropriate at the current time:
    “I was there.” (Shame they lost!)

  • Vanity Unfair

    To barriejohn:
    Sorry about that; The first time I heard it (on Thursday) I thought it was worth listening to again.
    It’s one of the “Why have I never heard this before?” experiences.
    The Maple Leaf Rag version I chose is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAtL7n_-rc and is a piano roll recorded by Scott Joplin.

  • barriejohn

    Vanity Unfair: Toe-tapping stuff!