The Superior Court of Quebec ruled that federal legislation that restricts euthanasia to those for whom a patient’s natural death was “reasonably foreseeable” was unconstitutional. Justice Christine Baudouin agreed with arguments that the restriction caused needless suffering for those who had pain but was not going to die imminently. Denying such patients assisted dying, Baudouin wrote, is “forcing them to endure harsh physical and psychological suffering” and therefore “the court has no hesitation in concluding that the requirement that their death has to be reasonably foreseeable is violating the rights of liberty and security.” Dying with Dignity praised the decision. But Michel Ricicot of le Collectif des medecins contre l’euthanasia(Collective of Physicians Against Euthanasia) said the decision will lead to “death on demand for people who are suffering, but who may still have a long life ahead of them.” Michael Cook of MercatorNet wrote that the decision does not augur well for maintaining other restrictions such as not allowing euthanasia for minors or people with mental illness.
In August, a Powell River, B.C., man, Sean Tagert, 41, was euthanized after losing a battle with the Vancouver Coastal Health regional authority which refused to pay for full-day care. Tagert had Lou Gehrig’s disease and required help moving and eating and doctors recommended 24-hour home-care. He was denied full-time institutional care at the George Pearson Center in Vancouver, but was initially offered 15.5 hours of daily home-care; eventually Tagert was provided with 20 hours of care daily. Tagert was forced to pay $263.50 daily out-of-pocket for the remaining four hours. In July, he posted on Facebook that “I’m just done, worn out.” The health authority would not pay for the care he required to continue living and never responded to his request to appeal their decision. But it did act quickly to okay his request for assisted-suicide. Tagert received a “medically assisted death” and died on August 6. Fr. Larry Lynn, pro-life chaplain for the Archdiocese of Vancouver said “many things went wrong in this case but when a secular bureaucracy puts the value of someone’s life at something less than $263.50 per day, we know we had better start challenging the legitimacy of that bureaucracy, that government, that society that tolerates it.” Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition predicted when euthanasia was legalized in 2016 that cost considerations would eventually incentivize euthanasia, either by cost-cutting bureaucrats or desperate patients who have difficulty dealing with substandard care.
In 2017, Ellen Weibe entered the Louis Brier Home and Hospital in Vancouver and killed a cancer patient in violation of home’s policies against assisted-suicide and euthanasia. The Jewish care center filed a complaint against Weibe with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia. The College ruled that Weibe understood the home’s policies, as did the family of the man she euthanized, but that she did nothing wrong in secretly entering the facility after hours to serendipitously kill the man. Barry Bussey, director of legal affairs for the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, said the College’s decision endangered the right of religious organizations to determine their own culture and practices. “When you have a physician who knows the policy of a nursing home, as well as the family knowing the policies,” and an outside doctor acts “in violation of the policies, and then she goes ahead and commits the act of MAiD (medical aid in dying), it shows an absolute disregard for the greater religious community.” Louis Brier chief executive David Keselman said the home does not plan on appealing the College’s decision because “we have no faith or hope it would go anywhere, or the outcome would be any different.” When killing patients is accepted as legitimate care, it is impossible to erect “safeguards” to protect vulnerable people or the rights of dissenting individuals or institutions.
Vancouver Sunprovincial writer Rob Shaw wrote an analysis of the performance of the opposition Liberal Party of British Columbia on Sept. 3, and he used the opportunity to go after two socially conservative MLAs. Of the four MLAs he said should leave politics, two were pro-life: Rich Coleman (Langley East) and Laurie Throness (Chilliwack-Kent). Throness is also the critic for children and youth issues. Coleman, Shaw complained, spoke to “an anti-abortion rally” earlier this year. That apparently means he should retire from politics. Throness, Shaw wrote, “has not been a bad critic … but that’s been vastly overshadowed by his insistence to pursue his religious pro-life, anti-transgender, and anti-same-sex marriage positions.” He said that while such views might represent his constituents, it is an impediment to the provincial Liberal Party’s attempts to “appeal to socially moderate Metro Vancouver urban voters.” Never mind that many of the immigrant and visible minority voters that inhabit Metro Vancouver share his socially conservative views.
Chick-fil-A opened its second Canadian outlet in Toronto on Sept. 6, in the downtown near Bloor and Yonge. (The first has long operated at the Calgary airport.) For the first few weeks, the lineup was often a block long for lunch and dinner. But Chick-fil-A is not just any fast food chain; it is a focus of the culture wars as LGBQT activists have targeted the restaurant because its owner, Dan T. Cathy, supports the traditional definition of marriage. In 2012, a boycott was launched against the chain, with numerous American municipalities opposing new franchises opening within their city borders. Since the boycott started, Chick-fil-A revenues have doubled and it has become the third largest restaurant chain in the United States. LGBQT activists demonstrated on opening day in Toronto, but it did not deter consumers, with Brian Lilley reporting that he couldn’t even see the end of the line that snaked around two city blocks. Transgender activists held a “die-in” by laying on the ground in front of the entrance to highlight the harm the politically charged restaurant fare presents to self-identified sexual minorities. The Toronto Starran a column by Andrew Wheeler, a self-identified queer, who claimed Chick-fil-A “is ideologically opposed to my existence.” The Canadian franchise owner released a statement: “We are a restaurant company focused on food, service, and hospitality” and “our intent is to leave policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” The Interimeditor can attest that the food, service, and hospitality was worth waiting in line for.
A majority-female city council in Omaha, Texas, has passed an ordinance to outlaw all abortions in the city’s limits. It followed on the heels of a similar ordinance in Waskom, Texas, and was followed by another in the City of Naples, Texas, to protect unborn babies. The Omaha text states that “unborn babies are the most innocent among us and deserve equal protection under the law as any other member of our American posterity as defined by the United States Constitution.” Both Omaha and Naples are in Morris County in northeast Texas and constituents voted overwhelmingly in a state Proposition 7 in 2018 in favour of the statement: “I believe abortion should be abolished in Texas.” There is, however a legislative catch. The ordinance cannot go into effect “unless and until the Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and permits states and municipalities to once again enforce abortion prohibitions.” But, the director of Right to Life of East Texas has issued a warning that there is no statute of limitations on the act: “This allows for those who break the law to be subject to these penalties (in the ordinance) at a later date—which is no laughing matter.”
Climate activists are scaring people into becoming eco-warriors, and a large number of those affected psychologically are children. When they repeatedly hear that our civilization is ending in 10 years, children tend to believe it. In 2017, the American Psychological Association released a report on the impact of eco-anxiety and called for “further research into the mental health consequences of climate change.” Apocalyptic warnings of “environmental doom” by eco-activists, such as teenager Greta Thunberg have created an avalanche of young people seeking help with their anxiety. Responsible adults such as the Democrats running for leadership of their party have inflamed the fires of anxiety. Cities such as Berkeley, California, issued a resolution declaring a worldwide “climate emergency,” calling it the “greatest crisis of history.” Social and traditional media like Britain’s Guardiannewspaper and Canada’s state broadcaster, the CBC, have officially changed the rhetoric from “climate change” to “climate emergency” or “climate crisis” and “global heating” over “global warming.” The Guardian’s editor-in-chief defended her newspaper’s change in terms to the fact that “climate change sounds passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.” Even Pope Francis is adopting an alarmist rhetoric. In his recent message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the Pope employed apocalyptic language such as human beings have caused “a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself” urging “drastic measures to fight global warming.” Psychotherapist Caroline Hickman cautions parents to use gentle language in talking to their children about global warming: “what you don’t want is that child to collapse in a well of depression saying ‘what’s the point in going to university,’ or ‘what’s the point of doing my exams’.” We need to get back to instilling in children the wonders of nature: caterpillars and butterflies; trees, flowers and bees; ocean tides and bubbling brooks; babies and love. Yes, there are environmental catastrophes but there are also wonderful mysteries of nature waiting to be discovered.
Another sign of climate panic was the global #NoFuture, NoChildren campaign online. The idea is that young people will vow to eschew having children until governments act to battle climate change. In Canada, the CBC talked to Emma Lim, an 18-year-old McGill University student, who took the pledge. She said, “our government is not doing enough … nowhere near the action needed.” On the first day the online pledge – which states, “I pledge not to have children until I am sure my government will ensure a safe future for them” – was launched in Canada, 300 youth signed up for a childless future.
On Sept. 16, Hungary’s Justice Minister, Judit Varga, met with her European Union counterparts and was, according to Breitbart, “grilled on the state of Hungary’s judicial system, freedom of expression and corruption allegations.” In other words, the European Union is determined to take powerful measures against member countries that breach its fundamental values, and Hungary was caught in the spotlight. A Hungarian Member of the European Parliament explained that, “There is a new regulation on a law which is going to apply from 2021 which says that rule of law and democracy is a precondition for European funds. If Viktor Orban will not change his politics,” – read Hungary’s immigration and family policies – “then it means that EU funds can be suspended for Hungary.” Varga explained to the press that “I came here to defend Hungary. And I expect member states to stand on the basis of law when scrutinising Hungary. I expect them to avoid double standards, I expect them to prove that this procedure is not a political witch hunt. At the heart of the conflict with possible sanctions against Hungary is the EU’s Article 7 which links the EU budget and the rule of law. The European Court of Justice has confirmed that EU aid invested in the member states must meet the criteria of stability, transparency and anti-corruption. The ruling which needs unanimous consent to pass is expected to fail: Poland has said that it will side with Hungary and the other Visegrad countries are also expected to do so. It might be laughable if not so serious that the EU views rule of law as the dictate of unelected EU officials in Brussels who push for the admittance of millions of illegal migrants into EU countries. And, those same officials in Brussels are battling serious corruption allegations of their own. Of course, there is also the irony that EU officials and various European leader justify massive immigration by claiming it is necessary because of low fertility rates on the continent while at the same time promoting abortion and contraception both in Europe and abroad.