An advertisement in the Globe and Mail for Thursday, April 25, disclosed that the Ontario government would entertain requests for oral submissions on Bill 8, the Natural Death Act, and Bill 7, Powers of Attorney Amendment Act (1990), by the following Monday, April 29. Briefs on these subjects were to be deposited with the Clerk of the Committee not later than Wednesday May 1.
In other words, interested parties had exactly four days and six days respectively to make a submission. Subsequently, the deadline for Briefs was moved to May 20.
One may ask: why the rush?
It’s difficult to say.
Both Bill 7 and 8 are the brainchild of Ontario MPP Norman Sterling (PC, Carlton), who put them together in 1990 without input from the medical profession or the general public.
More pertinent, however, is the question: Why does Ontario or any of the provinces need Living Will legislation at all? Every competent Canadian adult already has the right to refuse medical treatment, as does his or her family in the case of incompetence. Why also is the judgment of the physicians being ignored?
One must question the intent of those promoting this bill and ask once more if the emphasis on shortening life as seen in Bill 8 is another step in making the right to die becomes the duty to die.
Similarly we must ask what is the intent of a bill which in its inadequate definition, removes care givers from the realm of alleviating suffering and makes them accessories to what may be seen as homicide or assisted suicide.
A warning should be extracted from the fact that similar legislation in the United States has almost inevitably been promoted by leaders of the euthanasia and pro-abortion movement.
Derek Humphreys, founder of the pro-euthanasia Hemlock Society, told the U.S. National Right to life News: “We have to go stage by stage with the Living Will, with the Power of Attorney. We have to go stage by stage. Your side would call that “the slippery slope.”