As the British Broadcasting Corporation reported in 2003, the debate over euthanasia is “sweeping the world” in the early twenty-first century, and no country has been more affected than Canada. On June 15, 2005, Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde introduced Private Member’s Bill C-407, calling for the decriminalization of assisted suicide and the legalization of physician-assisted suicide (pas). The fall of Paul Martin’s Liberal government on November 28, 2005, meant that a vote on C-407 never materialized, but indications are that similar legislation will be proposed in an upcoming Parliament.
In all likelihood, PAS will prove to be one of the most contentious and important policy debates in Canadian history. The stakes could not be higher. Western civilization’s two-thousand-year-old belief in the sacredness of individual human life hangs precariously in the balance. The history of euthanasia demonstrates that legalizing PAS would be a fateful step toward the erosion of medical ethics and the devaluing of human lives.
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