Whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath?

Dear editor,

If a nation or society can be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens Canada may no longer be  the just and compassionate country it is imagined to be.

What is particularly disturbing is that our top court like the proverbial pied piper is merrily  leading the way down the slippery slope of the culture of death. The Supreme Court last year struck down the  Criminal Code prohibitions on doctor-assisted death in a ruling with ambiguous wording that opens the door for a minority of activists to interpret the Court’s mandate in a way that promotes death as opposed to life.

A parliamentary committee under pressure from the court and with a surprising lack of compassion and sobriety has come up with recommendations that if accepted would make Canada by far the most radical country in the world for medically assisted dying.

Shockingly they want doctor-assisted death made available to people with mental illness and depression and eventually this “service” would include “mature minors.”

Reasonable alternatives to dying such as palliative care, nursing homes or mental health services seems to have been forgotten.

The Supreme Court and parliamentary committee now seems quite prepared to run roughshod over the consciences of doctors, Christians and all people of faith and morality with a misguided assault on the elderly and marginalized.

The recommendations by the parliamentary committee violate our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantee rights of freedom of conscience and religion. Compassion and comfort are being replaced with fear and mistrust which is a profound  tragedy.

Recent figures reveal that the number of mentally-ill patients killed in Holland, which long ago opened up the door to assisted suicide, has tripled in one year.

Canada needs to follow the example of Britain, where MPs last year overwhelmingly rejected assisted suicide.

The vast majority of doctors to this day adhere to the Hippocratic Oath as an expression of ideal conduct for physicians in preserving human life. Assisted suicide in no way fits this ideal.

Gerald Hall

Nanoose Bay

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