“Don’t let up! The lines for the next attempt to legalize euthanasia are being drawn right now!”

That’s the current battle call of pro-life groups and other concerned parties. Due to political divisions, the Gomery report and other factors, an election was called and as a result, Bill C-407, the bill to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada, died a natural death on the order paper, coming to an end none too soon.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Campaign Life Coalition and many other concerned partners fought effectively against Bill C-407. An assessment of the bill composed by the EPC was used by members of Parliament, groups and people from across Canada to oppose the bill .

Instead of Bill C-407, we now have a federal election as our playing field. This new challenge is, however, no less urgent in demanding our attention and efforts! We must work now to elect members of Parliament who oppose euthanasia, before a new euthanasia bill is introduced in the House of Commons.

We have every reason to believe that another bill to legalize euthanasia and/or assisted suicide will raise its ugly head in the newly elected Parliament. Justice Minister Irwin Cotler is committed to raising the issue and is calling for a renewed debate in Canada and in Parliament on this subject.

When opposing Bill C-407, Cotler made it clear that he, and others, support the legalization of assisted suicide for terminally ill people or people experiencing chronic physical pain. Cotler did, however, oppose the concept of euthanasia for reasons of mental pain. We can count on a bill being presented in Parliament to legalize euthanasia and/or assisted suicide under more moderate conditions than in Bill C-407 within the next parliamentary session.

We must all be concerned about vulnerable people, people with disabilities and people with chronic physical and mental conditions. A caring society protects its most vulnerable citizens. It doesn’t kill them.

We must also change the way society views the question of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

We must redefine end-of-life issues so Canadians will understand that living with dignity is the right of every Canadian. Vulnerable people need to be given the support to enable them to live and not assistance to die. The meaning of “dying with dignity” is a euphemism for euthanasia, but true dying with dignity should be seen as providing good, compassionate palliative care.

We are increasingly concerned about the legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide in 2006. The time is NOW. If we wait until a new bill is presented in Parliament to attempt to change the hearts and minds of Canadians, then we will lose the battle.

When voting, you must consider your candidate’s position on euthanasia and assisted suicide. If you ignore the issue of euthanasia, it will be at the peril of the vulnerable – the sick, the elderly and the disabled.