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The Hypocritic Oath?


Elizabeth Drocholl, PPC Candidate Applicant for Chilliwack-Hope

Chilliwack BC January 31, 2023


A disturbing trend has been in relation to the appalling treatment of our veterans who have fought and died for our country. In August 2022, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces who is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a traumatic brain injury was offered Medical Assistance in Dying (“MAiD”) by an employee of Veterans Affairs Canada. In November 2022, this was addressed by Veterans Affairs Minister, Lawrence MacAulay and it was determined that up to five Canadian Armed Force members were offered “MAiD”[1],[2]. I personally find this treatment of our veterans to be appalling. It was initially thought this was an isolated incident, but it was not. I am wondering if there are more cases where inappropriate treatment was offered, but the veterans have chosen not to come forward.


If this was not shocking enough, a thirty-two year old disabled Toronto woman states she is in the final stages of requesting “MAiD”[3] due to not being able to find affordable housing after searching for seven years. How does this even meet the criteria to be considered for “MAiD?”


And yes, now they are coming for your children. In 2021, the Special Joint Committee on “MAiD” reviewed requests to include “mature minors”. What is a “mature minor” you ask? It is determined to be someone who is the age of sixteen. It has also been requested to have this age reduced to children as young as twelve[4]. I am astounded that we would allow children and teens to make a life ending decision on their own, since the brain does not fully develop until the age of twenty-five. Additionally, the parents would not be part of making this decision with their children.


One of the many concerning issues (and there are many to choose from) is that of “MAiD – Medical Assistance in Dying”. Even the word “MAiD” seems to imply cleaning up society. In my opinion, it should be called “MAD – Medically Assisted Death” or better yet, “MAM – Medically Assisted Murder”, which is more like it. This is a very emotional topic and is one that warrants discussion, with a move away from such decisions that were really only meant to be divine in nature.


The History

This issue became popular with Jack Kevorkian, who was an American pathologist and supporter of euthanasia. He believed strongly in a patient’s right to die and stated, “Dying is not a crime[5].” However, assisting someone with this decision that is not ours to make, is a crime. It is reported that Kevorkian stated he “assisted” at least 130 terminally ill patients with dying[6a]. However, there was criticism since it is alleged that 60% of his patients were not terminally ill[7]. In 1999, he was convicted of murder and served eight years of a 10-25 year sentence.


The only beneficial legacy of Kevorkian is that he opened up the dialogue and development of Hospice care and a number of doctors became more sympathetic to patients dealing with severe pain. Medications were given to alleviate pain, instead of offering assisted suicide[8]. Palliative Care is meant to improve the quality of end of life for terminally ill patients, without hastening it[9].


How We Got Here

In hindsight, I wonder how we ended up where we are in 2023, where killing someone is normalized. It just isn’t about whether someone has terminal illness anymore. Sadly, people who are viewed as being a burden on the health care system are being presented with this as an alternative.


Bill C-14, was first introduced in May 2016, tabled by Jody Wilson-Raybould and was passed in September 2019[9]. Even in 2016, I personally, along with many others, felt this was a very slippery slope and time has proven this to be true. Bill C-7 followed and was introduced in February 2020 and included the federal response to a Superior Court of Quebec decision. At that time, it was determined that individuals with mental illness, disease or disability were not eligible for “MAiD”. In February 2021, Bill C-7 was adopted by the Senate[10]. The new bill removed the requirement of the person’s death being in the foreseeable future. The criteria for MAiD was set to expand to include mental health issues in March 2023 and is now being re-examined.


Looking to the Future

I would never have imagined living in a world where one could passively take their own life, with assistance from a medical professional. Doctors take a Hippocratic Oath, in which they swear to uphold ethical standards and to “do no harm”. In my opinion, this Oath has been breached with MAiD. While the process is described as “assisted” death, in reality the doctor is actively part of euthanizing the person.


Instead of offering viable solutions like affordable housing, ethical palliative care and additional resources and treatment for PTSD and other Mental Health issues, the government sees euthanasia as a reasonable and cost effective option to reduce health care costs. To quote Diane Coleman, the President and CEO of Not Dead yet, which is a national disability rights group in the United States, “It’s the ultimate form of discrimination to offer people with disabilities help to die without having offered real options to live”[6b].


If this legislation remains, I am concerned the criteria will lessen to the point where it would be used on those who have become a “burden” on the health care system, those who are in nursing homes and the physically and mentally disabled. I can also foresee a time when this will not be voluntary. This is why I feel the necessity to change this legislation.


I believe there is much more work to be done on this issue. I am thankful for Maxime Bernier, who is one of the few party leaders who is vehemently opposed to medically assisted death. Please familiarize yourself with the party policies, and take a stand on this issue. The more informed we are, the more we are able to speak up and have changes made to policies that are disturbing, unethical and immoral. It is due to people like Maxime and other Canadians who have taken a stand, that changes are being made. I personally feel very strongly about assisted suicide, due to the impact it has on loved ones, our community and society. The consequences are far reaching and unchangeable.


- - - Footnotes - - -

1. Lee, Michael (August 22, 2022). “Canadian Soldier Suffering with PTSD Offered Euthanasian by Veterans Affairs”. Fox News.

2. Passifiume, Bryan (November 25, 2022). “Canadian Veterans Were Offered Assisted Suicide in Five Instances, Committee Hears”. National Post.

3. Alberga, Hannah (November 15, 2022). “Toronto Woman in Final Stages of MAiD Application After Nearly a Decade-Long Search for Housing.” CTV News.


4. Dominique, Nicole (October 11, 2022). “Canada to Review Eligibility Requirements For Assisted Suicide, Which Could Allow Minors To Seek Death Without Parental Consent”. Evie Magazine.


5. Wells, Samuel; Quash, Ben (2010). Introducing Christian Ethics. John Wiley and Sons. p. 329. ISBN 978-1-4051-5276-1.


6. a) Roberts J, Kjellstrand C (June 8, 1996). “Jack Kevorkian: A Medical Hero”. BMJ. 312 (7044): 1434. doi:10.1136/bmj.312.7044.1434


7. Cheyfitz, Kirk (March 3, 1997). "Suicide Machine, Part 1: Kevorkian rushes to fulfill his clients' desire to die" Archived June 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Detroit Free Press. Archived May 26, 2007.

8. Twycross, Robert (Jul 27, 199). “Jack Kevorkian: A Medical Hero?” PubMed Central. Oxford University.


9. Hune-Brown, Nicholas (May 23,2017). “How to End a Life”. Toronto Life.


10. Openparliament.can/bills/42-1/C-14/

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