New assisted suicide legislation pushes the boundaries too far

New assisted suicide legislation pushes the boundaries too far

“Is nothing sacred?”

Remember that expression? It was a favourite of 1970s sitcom fathers, railing against whatever new social norms were part of that week’s plot.

You don’t hear it much anymore. The word “sacred” — the sense that there are things that must be revered and lines that shouldn’t be crossed — has fallen into disuse. That doesn’t mean we still don’t have sacred things.

Think of veterans and the outcry over a grocery store trying to prevent employees from wearing poppies.

What about front-line medical workers? No one would ever dare criticize our doctors, nurses or personal support workers during this pandemic. Anti-racism? Careers and reputations have been destroyed by a public comment or tweet deemed even marginally racist.

What about suicide prevention? We seem to believe that taking your own life is a tragedy. We are deeply troubled by any incidents of suicide, particularly among youth from Indigenous and other marginalized communities.

Yet, we changed the law in 2016 and allowed medical professionals to help people whose death was reasonably foreseeable take their lives earlier. It didn’t necessarily seem contradictory. Wasn’t it simply relieving the suffering of someone already on death’s door?

Although the law was broader than people think, its focus was on cases of imminent death. But not much longer. A bill making its way through Parliament will allow individuals in certain circumstances to seek assistance in ending their own lives even if their death isn’t reasonably foreseeable.

Perhaps even more disturbing, the federal government has made it clear that they are open to further changes and the voices for more radical measures are growing louder.

Read more at The Hamilton Spectator…