For the year 2021 in British Columbia, 1 in 20 people who died were killed by the Canadian government. Across Canada over 10,000 died this way. Judging by figures from earlier years, this would make it the seventh-leading cause of death, ahead of both diabetes and the flu. More concerning: It’s rising fast.
A government-funded nurse will inject a lethal mixture of drugs, or hand someone pills to take. It’s given the softer term of “Medical Assistance in Dying”—shortened to the friendly acronym maid. Whatever you call it, horror stories about Canada’s euthanasia program are shockingly common.
Socialized Death Care
Christine Gauthier is a disabled veteran and former Paralympian. She complained to Veteran Affairs Canada about how long it was taking to get a stair lift installed. They replied that if she didn’t want to wait, they could help her die right away. Another veteran tried to get help with ptsd and suicidal thoughts. Veteran Affairs Canada offered to help him die.
Jennyfer Hatch featured in a glamorous video ad by a Canadian clothing chain that wanted to celebrate the beauty of euthanasia. Hatch, who suffered with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, wanted to live, but she despaired because she couldn’t get help from Canada’s socialized health-care system. “If I’m not able to access health care, am I then able to access death care?” she asked before she died. She found the “death care” pretty quick and efficient.
Alan Nichols was helped to die by the state without any of his family being informed. His condition? Hearing loss. His wife said: “I am terrified of my husband or another relative being put in the hospital and somehow getting these (euthanasia) forms in their hand.”
Euthanasia in Canada has slid rapidly down the slippery slope. In 2015, its Supreme Court ruled that banning euthanasia for the terminally ill was unconstitutional. So the next year, Parliament passed a law allowing it, but only for sound-minded adults, with “enduring and intolerable suffering” whose death was “reasonably foreseeable.”
That year, 1,018 died. The next year, it more than doubled. In 2019, the government killed 5,661 this way.
In 2019, the Superior Court of Quebec ruled that the “reasonably foreseeable” clause had to go. So in 2021 a new law was passed dropping the terminal sickness clause and removing other safeguards. Most of those dying cite loss of ability to live a normal life or pain as reasons for killing themselves. Over 17 percent cited “isolation or loneliness” as one reason they wanted to die. For 35.7 percent, it’s financial—they feared they were a “burden on family, friends or caregivers.”
There are signs that euthanasia is being pushed as the cheap alternative to keeping disabled people alive or helping them go about their lives.
Dying for More Cash
In 2017, the Canadian Medical Association Journal estimated that euthanasia could save the Canadian health-care system $35 million to $135 million a year. The report’s author said that, when it comes to euthanasia, “cost has to be a part of that discussion.”
And it is. The Canadian media is full of stories of people choosing death because life was too expensive. Roger Foley told Canada’s Parliament, “I have been coerced into assisted death by abuse, neglect, lack of care and threats.” He described one time when “the hospital ethicist and nurses were trying to coerce me into an assisted death by threatening to charge me $1,800 per day or force-discharge me without the care I needed to live.” When he kept refusing to kill himself, he said that they starved him and denied him water for 20 days. He told lawmakers: “You have turned your backs on the disabled and elderly Canadians.”
The director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship, Tim Stainton, called Canada’s euthanasia law “probably the biggest existential threat to disabled people since the Nazis’ program in Germany in the 1930s.”
And it could get even worse. Restrictions are set to loosen in March, though the government may decide to extend that deadline. Those with mental disorders will be allowed to die. “Mature minors”—which will probably be interpreted as children over 12—will also be eligible. Soon, a teen in Canada could call his doctor and say he’s feeling depressed, only to be asked, “Have you considered killing yourself?”
Perhaps the most shocking part of this story is the lack of shock. Euthanasia has been imposed on Canada by the courts, but opinion polls indicate the public is overwhelmingly in favor. An Ipsos poll of 3,500 Canadian adults found that 86 percent approve of legal euthanasia. Similarly, 82 percent support the loosening of the law so that those without fatal illnesses can choose to die. A Leger poll of 1,501 Canadians around the same time found that a narrow majority—51 percent—supported the change that will allow teens to die, with a scant 23 percent opposing.
How did we reach the situation where a modern, scientific, peaceful country is killing its most vulnerable citizens instead of protecting them?
With all our technology and prosperity, even the richest societies still have many who are sick. Stamping out heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases has proved much tougher than was expected decades ago. Then we put people into unwieldy, bureaucratic health-care systems that often lack compassion and add to the misery of those suffering. We trust this system with our quality of life (or death).
And now most of Canada apparently approves of this system killing people.
Down the Slippery Slope
Euthanasia in Canada is an illustration of the dangers of rejecting the Bible as an absolute for our moral standards and relying on our own reasoning.
The Bible places strict protections on human life. The only command repeated in the first five books of the Bible is that a murderer should be put to death. This applies even to someone who kills an unborn baby (Exodus 21:22-23).
We could use the wisdom of the Bible to guide us. Instead we have leaned on our own ideas. There are very compassionate-sounding arguments for euthanasia. It’s easy to sympathize with someone in so much pain that he would rather just end it all. But the Bible warns that there is great danger in trusting our own human reasoning.
Jeremiah 17:9 warns, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” God outright tells us that straying away from the Bible and listening to our heart will lead us in all kinds of wrong directions; it’s a slippery slope.
That human life must be protected is a basic truth. Once we compromise on that point, the slide begins.
We see this toboggan slide in the abortion movement. Arguments for abortion generally first center on rare cases of rape. Once that is accepted, then people emphasize compassion for mothers in difficult situations. They say that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare”—as the Democratic Party once did in its platform. Now we’ve reached the stage where around 73 million babies are murdered worldwide, unborn babies are dismembered in the womb for profit, doctors kill babies that survive abortions, and voters are apparently OK with that. There are even politicians who advocate for “post-birth” abortions—killing babies outright.
Even on this most fundamental issue—thou shalt not murder—if we even begin to lean to our own understanding, we get pulled in horrible directions.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul warned that “in the last days perilous times shall come.” Society, he said, would have “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof ….” People talk righteously. They have hospitals that employ ethicists. But they deny God and the Bible any authority over their lives. The result is a people “[w]ithout natural affection.” Protecting the vulnerable and caring for babies are natural, normal impulses that require no education. Yet start down this slope and those normal impulses disappear.
This trend should horrify any right-thinking individual. But what about God? The Creator of mankind is deeply horrified. In fact, He loves man enough to not simply sit back and allow this trend to go on indefinitely. He is preparing to step in and stop it.
Are you willing to listen to God’s instruction on this matter? The vast majority of people are not. Many people may agree in principle with the Bible on a major issue like not outright killing people. But God should be real enough to us that we want to avoid departing from the Bible teaching on any issue.
This issue teaches a crucial lesson: Lean to our own understanding and we end in horrific evil. Thousands of years of human “progress” have led us into acts that most of our forebears would abhor.
God has a plan to help those who have died through Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying Program. They’re not eternally lost. And He is using the horrific fruits of our decisions to ignore His laws to show us how important those laws are. Once we have learned the danger of leaning to our own understanding and we look to Him, He will lead mankind into a new world where the horrors of this one are stamped out.