Canada offers suicide to disabled people, election integrity (and other stories)

A roundup of news and commentary from around the interwebs.

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In Maclean’s, Gabrielle Peters excoriates Liberal plans to expand access to assisted suicide even further. An excerpt:

Dr. Corinna Iampen said she was surprised when the physician standing by her bedside asked if she wanted to speak to the MAiD (medical assistance in dying) team as she recovered from a permanently disabling but non life-threatening injury.

Iampens voice cracks with emotion as she remembers the moment, “I was not expecting MAiD to be raised with me. It wasn’t something I was thinking about.” Iampen says her interaction does not seem to have been an attempt to induce or coerce her into considering MAiD, but rather a physician confused about what the legislation requires her to do…

Disability advocates, activists and organizations, along with over a thousand Canadian physicians, bioethicists, legal and other scholars have presented a unified front against this bill. Last week a team of UN experts including the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities declared such legislation to be in violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Canada has ratified.

“Disability should never be a ground or justification to end someone’s life directly or indirectly,” wrote a group of UN experts in a statement. “Such legislative provisions would institutionalize and legally authorize ableism, and directly violate Article 10 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires States to ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others.”

Last November Iampen was at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in Vancouver while recovering from a spinal cord injury. She was just beginning the process of healing and adjusting to the idea of her life as a paraplegic after sustaining an injury around  a month prior. She said she requested a DNR be put on her file in case anything further happened. (Iampen later changed her mind and had the DNR removed.)

While discussing this with her physician, who she describes as very pleasant, she was asked if this meant she would also like to apply for MAiD. Iampen said the question shocked her since in her mind the two are very different things; a DNR means limiting the intervention her medical team uses if and when she is in danger of dying (which she was not nor was it part of her prognosis), whereas MAiD would have doctors taking action to cause her death.

Trudo Lemmens, a professor and Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Toronto sees what happened as a reflection of the way MAiD has, in a very short time period, moved from the confines of an option for those who are dying, to a medical ‘treatment’ for disability. “The fact that physicians are even thinking about offering MAID in response to spinal cord injury is a troubling reflection of how MAID has been transformed in Canada from an exceptional procedure to ease the dying process into a therapy for serious injury and disability.”

Read the whole thing. It’s a sobering analysis.

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According to The Gospel Coalition, the number of Christians in Iran has been steadily growing:

While official reports still claim that 99.4 percent of Iranians practice Islam, a 2020 survey found that just 40 percent actually identify as Muslim. An even larger number—about 47 percent—said they were “nones,” atheists, spiritual, agnostic, or humanist. Another 8 percent claim Zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian religion. And a small sliver—1.5 percent—said they were Christians.

“About 20 years ago, the number of Christian converts from a Muslim background was between 5,000 and 10,000 people,” Crabtree said. “Today that’s between 800,000 to 1 million people. That’s massive growth.” According to Operation World, Iran has the fastest-growing evangelical movement in the world.

None of this is good for a regime that depends on a belief in Islam to stay in power. Crackdowns have been increasingly harsh, especially over the past five years. But evangelism hasn’t slowed. Despite the pandemic, ministries have reported growth in engagement and interest in the gospel via social media outreach or personal evangelism among Christians inside Iran.

Read the whole thing.

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This New York Post summary of a gargantuan 6,000-word essay in TIME on how a massive coalition worked behind the scenes to swing the election to Biden is very good. Excerpt:

[W]hat Time did uncover is disturbing enough, even if most of those involved are proud of what they did to help elect President Biden: underhanded methods made all the more galling by the preening self-righteousness of those who deployed them.

As the magazine reports, a secret alliance of left-wing activists, union leaders and corporate CEOs worked together to help craft unprecedented changes in the rules governing the way America votes. They did their best to encourage and facilitate mail-in voting on an unprecedented scale.

That wasn’t cheating or illegal, but it was enormously consequential.

With funding from federal sources as well as private moguls like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, this cabal of anti-Trump forces mobilized an enormous number of first-time voters who despised Trump

Using pandemic fears about voting in person — less dangerous, in fact, than a trip to the supermarket — and without a national debate or any meaningful oversight by legislators or the courts, the anti-Trump alliance managed to make it easy for people who don’t normally bother to vote.

That this also involved discarding rules intended to safeguard the integrity of elections was a side benefit.

That the cabal operated successfully in plain sight highlights the impotence of Republicans, who, though they saw the threat coming and in some cases sued to prevent the changes, ultimately failed to prevent the shift. But there’s more here than just a case of the Democrats out-organizing the GOP.

This also involved getting Americans used to the idea that in a country with the most advanced technology in the world, the vote count would last days, rather than being settled in one night.

What Time also documents is a campaign to pressure internet and social media companies as well as press outlets to censor “disinformation” about the election, especially with respect to fraud allegations. While some of the material that was targeted was false, the tech bros also blocked the dissemination of legitimate reporting and commentary that could have undermined Biden.

Read the whole thing.

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More soon.

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