Canada legalized euthanasia in June 2016, and the country is now beginning to see the first fruits of the law. A new report, covering only a portion of the country, shows that Canadian doctors are already killing human beings at an alarming rate — approximately 8 patients a day.
The Fourth Interim Report on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada, released this month by Health Canada, showed that from January to October of 2018, a total of 2,613 people in Canada received “medical aid in dying,” amounting to 1.12% of all deaths… [in which] the patient died following a deliberately administered lethal dosage by a doctor or a nurse at the request of the patient – effectively medicinal homicide.
If the United States were to implement a similar federal law, the 1.12% medically-prescribed death rate that Canada is experiencing in the initial implementation if its 2016 law would equal approximately 30,000 people killed annually at the hands of doctors. The average age of the patients euthanized was 72, disposing of the elderly at their most vulnerable stage of life.
While Canada is a much smaller country than the United States, it’s unclear what will prevent that 1.12% death-rate from climbing steadily upwards. It is similarly unclear whether Americans who support legalizing euthanasia realize how quickly laws such as these set nations on a cultural trajectory which is self-destructive.
National cultures which have hope for the future do not make laws which systematically kill their weakest members. Canada has done so for 50 years at the beginning of life, and now has made a law for killing people at the end of life. Just as the progressives have pushed abortion towards infanticide, so will euthanasia be pushed from the margins.
Next week, on May 9th, will be the 22nd Annual National March for Life in Ottawa. I encourage Canadians to push back.
C.C. Pecknold is an Associate Professor of Theology and Fellow of the Institute of Human Ecology at The Catholic University of America
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