It is no secret that breaking the law is the easiest and quickest way to radically change Canadian society. Get a high-profile figure, flout the law, stack the jury and make sure the media is on your side. Then stand back and watch the action.
Henry Morgentaler did it and achieved his dream of abortion on demand all over Canada. Now Svend Robinson comes along and with his “love and compassion” he hopes to get his dream of state –sanctioned killing of the old, the infirm and the marginalized. The difference in this case is that Robinson might be able to skip one step of the process. There’s a good chance he will never be charged.
The NDP MP from Burnaby/Kingsway says he comforted and held Sue Rodriguez as she “peacefully lapsed into unconsciousness and stopped breathing approximately two hours later.” Robinson also claims that a doctor was in attendance but he refuses to say how Rodriguez died or even whether the doctor killed her. It seems obvious to us that if the unknown doctor did willingly break a law (recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada), and Robinson collaborated, then the MP and the doctor should be charged.
The law is clear and provides for up to 14 years’ imprisonment for anyone assisting a suicide. The courts have decided that assisted suicide should not be an option in a civilized society. Just because Svend doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court, doesn’t make him immune from its decisions.
As the population ages it becomes increasingly common for Canadians to be caring for relatives who have become more or less unable to care for themselves. Euthanasia, therefore, has become more of an issue and it will come up in this session of parliament. It is essential that politicians and the Canadian public not give into emotionalism or grandstanding. As anyone who has ever taken care of the sick or dying knows, there is a fundamental difference between letting someone die peacefully and naturally and actually killing that person.
Cheryl Eckstein, of the Compassionate Healthcare Network, the entire pro-life movement, and those involved in palliative care believe that quality medical care together with personal love and support will keep people who are sick and dying from asking to be killed. “True compassion,” Eckstein says “literally means ‘to suffer along with.”’ The suffering which is a fact of our existence should never be solved through the direct taking of a human life.
For once, the courts have decided human life is sacred and should be valued above all else. Politicians would do well not to meddle with this wise decision.