Posted at 16:18h
Important Update: After publishing this article, the authors regretted what was written and penned the following letter to the editor: Dear Editor, In our recent article explaining the Carter Supreme Court decision on euthanasia and assisted suicide, we too quickly suggested that the use of Section 33 of the Charter (the notwithstanding clause) was not a long-term or realistic solution for this government to use. By adding specific ideas for what a new law could look like (a law which would allow for assisted suicide in limited circumstances, as required by the Supreme Court), we also created the impression that such a law is justifiable for this government to pursue. We apologize for the lack of principle and clarity. The reality is that Parliament has the means to uphold the current law which bans all assisted suicide and euthanasia, as long as it has the courage to make use of Section 33 of the Charter. This is the very reason why such a section was added to our constitution – to give authority to Parliament to make law in spite of what the Supreme Court determines to be appropriate. As such, it should do so. Lives are at stake. The fact that this particular option - use of the notwithstanding clause - has to be renewed by future governments every five years does make defending life more challenging, but it does not make it impossible. If a future government choses to not renew the use of Section 33 to uphold life, that would be its responsibility, not the current government’s. The same could be said of any legislation. This government has the ability to prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide, and it should do so. If it is intent on crossing the sacred line of an absolute prohibition on allowing some people to kill other people, we can share our concerns but also legitimately suggest ideas for how to restrict the evil as much as possible. Suggestions for how to reduce the number of deaths are not inappropriate. And if we are living in a land where euthanasia is already legal, helping the government restrict it is laudable (similar to abortion today). But we aren’t there yet. We can encourage this government to do the right thing and uphold the sixth commandment. We have since published a policy report on this matter, available at . We encourage Clarion readers to pray for our federal government as they wrestle with what to do about this issue. Mark Penninga and André Schutten ARPA Canada The following article was written for the Clarion magazine in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling in Carter v. Canada. By Mark Penninga & André Schutten On February 6, Canada’s Supreme Court released a decision which struck down Canada’s laws against physician-assisted suicide. It required that physician-assisted suicide be permitted for competent adults who clearly consent to their own death and have an irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering. That may sound like strict parameters, but the reality is that these qualifications are subjective and tens of thousands of people could qualify today. Parliament has been given just one year to come up with a law to regulate this new paradigm before the judgment takes effect. We have every reason to be concerned about this decision and the growing idolatry of self in Canada. At the same time, we find our enduring strength in God, the Foundation that does not crumble when times become difficult. God calls His children to faithfully uphold His Word and Truth regardless of how much our society spurns it. More than ever, the light of the Gospel will stand out in a land that is increasingly darkening. The following questions and answers are meant to offer guidance, direction, and even some hope in response to this latest legal development on this issue. We welcome interaction and further questions, either directly to us or via letters to the editor.