Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… Bill C-14 passed the Senate and received Royal assent on June 17, 2016.
This legislation establishes assisted-suicide and euthanasia in our country. The Biblical amnesia of our Nation continues. Canada has crossed a significant threshold.
On behalf of the Fellowship, our Fellowship National Council and many individuals within the Fellowship family signed a petition opposed to this legislation. But it has passed. We remain fundamentally opposed to these practices and mourn this decision.
The little bit of good news is that the collective efforts of people of faith across Canada fighting this legislation helped to tighten this new legislation as well as minimize its serious effect on people. However, the values inherent in this legislation and the practices it will promote will undermine our societal respect for the sanctity of human life. It will likely place vulnerable people at risk. Quoting an EFC press release (for full article, click HERE):
“This will also shift our health care system from a presumption for life to one in which a patient will feel the need to justify not choosing death.”
I want to commend the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, their Executive Director, Bruce Clemenger and their lawyers for representing all evangelicals during the debate. It is reported that due to their efforts and other convenors, the current legislation is much more restrictive than the language of the Supreme Court’s “Carter decision”. The passed legislation made euthanasia and assisted suicide (government and media are calling this “assisted death”) available only to competent adults with an incurable illness, disease or disability who are in the advanced state of irreversible decline and whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable.
The legislation is also more restrictive than what was proposed by the Joint Committee of the House of Commons and Senate who proposed amendments expanding assisted suicide to persons not terminally ill and young people (minors).
It is certain that the boundaries of this current legislation will be challenged by those wanting access to assisted suicide, for those suffering from non-terminal illnesses, or children. To read more on this, there is a nine-page document from the EFC which discusses the ramifications of this new legislation (click HERE). Only ten days after Bill C-14 was passed (June 27), a challenge from the BC Civil Liberties lobby group was launched on behalf of a 25 year old woman with a degenerative muscular disease.
Let’s continue to pray together for a number of things related to this issue:
- Pray for the vulnerable and at-risk people in our country who may be affected by this legislation.
- Pray for people of faith who are medical practitioners and have not received adequate protection in this legislation. What will occur to these people and institutions that object to providing assisted suicide and euthanasia?
- Pray for the inevitable legal battles this legislation will cause as advocates seek to challenge the boundaries of Bill C-14 and those opposed attempt to fight them in court.
- Pray for the need of greater palliative care for Canadians. I have read that only one third of Canadians have adequate access to palliative care.
It is tragic that our current government is leading us toward assisted suicide without leading the charge for greater provision of palliative care and hospice care systems. A classic “putting the cart before the horse” scenario in my opinion. “O Lord, we need revival in our land!”
Have a blessed week,