Bill C-384 was introduced at first-reading on May 13, 2009. It had its first-hour of debate on October 2, 2009 and it was scheduled for its second-hour of debate for November 16, 2009. Lalonde then traded-backwards in the order of precedence three times to delay the second-hour of debate and vote on Bill C-384. Then Prime-Minister Harper prorogued parliament. Since C-384 had not been voted-on at second reading, therefore prorogation returned C-384 to requiring a first and second-hour of debate before it could be voted-on at Second Reading.
Lalonde’s strategy: Create confusion concerning Bill C-384, euthanasia and assisted suicide and pressure Members of Parliament (MP) to pass the bill at second reading and amendment it in committee.
Lalonde began her speech in parliament by annunciating her strategy to pressure MP’s to support Bill C-384 at second-reading and to amend it in committee. Lalonde stated:
“I think that studying my bill in committee and passing it after consideration and amendments would at last rid us of the criminal nature of physician-assisted dying by euthanasia or assisted suicide.”
Bill C-384 is fatally flawed. There is nothing redeeming or worth amending in the bill.
*Bill C-384 legalizes lethal injection for people who suffer chronic physical and mental pain even when the condition is treatable.
*Bill C-384 is not limited to competent people. It legalizes lethal injection for people who “appear to be lucid”. You are not required to be lucid only to appear to be lucid.
Lalonde then begins her second strategy which is to create confusion about what euthanasia and assisted suicide is and what Bill C-384 does. Lalonde states:
“In a context where any act aimed at shortening life is considered murder punishable by criminal sanctions, it is rather difficult to have an open and frank discussion on all the care that would be appropriate at the end of life.”
“The Canadian legal framework, the Criminal Code, stipulates that any action to end another person’s life constitutes murder and is therefore subject to criminal sanctions.”
Lalonde’s comments are false and misleading.
Euthanasia is when a person (usually a physician) directly and intentionally causes the death of another person, based on suffering. Euthanasia is usually done by lethal injection.
Assisted Suicide is when a person aids, abets or counsels a person to commit suicide. Assisted suicide is usually done by writing a prescription for a lethal dose.
Lalonde's statements relate to the false comments by the Quebec College of Physicians who argue that euthanasia needs to be legalized to protect doctors who use sedation techniques and large doses of morphine, acts that they claim are the same as euthanasia.
The proper use of morphine and other analgesics is not euthanasia. The proper use of analgesics will relieve a person of pain and if the rare and unintended consequence is the death of the person, then it is clearly not euthanasia but rather the reality that death is a natural end for the human person. The abuse of the use of analgesics may be euthanasia and should never be confused with the effective and proper use of morphine.
The proper use of sedation techniques are not euthanasia, but rather a good form of palliative care. When a person is properly sedated to relieve them of pain, this is not euthanasia, but the abuse of the use of sedation techniques may be euthanasia.
I am concerned that false and misleading comments concerning the proper use of sedation and analgesics to effectively control pain may lead some physicians to hesitate from using large doses of analgesics or hesitate from sedating a person who is experiencing painful symptoms. This would be a tragic.
Lalonde also asked the question: “What will the parliament of Canada do?” if the Quebec government commission that is seeking information on euthanasia and assisted suicide, introduces a motion in the Quebec legislature to legalize euthanasia?
Lalonde promotes the myth that her bill is strict and limited. She stated:
“My bill has a specific objective. It deals only with people capable of making decisions for themselves who are living in conditions of suffering that cannot be alleviated.“
“My bill is specific and limited”
Bill C-384 is wide open and uncontrollable.
It allows euthanasia (lethal injection) and assisted suicide (lethal prescription) for people who are experiencing physical or mental pain or terminally ill, who have accepted or rejected effective treatments, and who appear to be lucid.
Bill C-384 is not limited to terminally ill people. It allows euthanasia for someone who is experiencing chronic physical or mental pain, who have rejected effective treatment, even if that effective treatment was for chronic depression, and who appear to be lucid.
Bill C-384 would allow someone who lives with treatable chronic depression to be killed by lethal injection.
This is a bill that specifically targets people with disabilities who live with chronic conditions.
C-384 is a recipe for elder abuse. A person only needs to appear to be lucid and the bill does not require a witness at the time of death to ensure that the person who died, actually consented.
Lalonde is creating confusion about what euthanasia and assisted suicide is and what Bill C-384 does. She is pressuring MP’s to vote for Bill C-384 at second reading, even if they don’t actually support the bill, to allow the bill to be debated and amended in the justice committee.
Lalonde is constantly repeating a lie with the hope that the lie becomes accepted as a fact.
Bill C-384 needs to be defeated at second reading. Tell your MP to vote against Bill C-384.