By Jonathon Van Maren
As I noted in First Things last month, on October 7 Dr. Louis Roy of the Quebec College of Physicians stated that in the view of his organization, euthanasia for children younger than age one is appropriate if the child has “grave and severe syndromes” or “severe malformations” or “prospective of survival is null, so to speak.” He was testifying before the Canadian House of Commons’ Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying. Disability advocates—and other Canadians who still possess the minuscule amount of moral courage it takes to oppose infanticide—were horrified.
Many progressives dismissed the backlash as social conservatives exploiting a throwaway comment to induce a moral panic. But as it turns out, there are Canadian politicians willing to defend these comments. Saskatchewan MP Rosemarie Falk put forward a motion on November 16 calling on the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills, and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities to “report to the House that it is of the opinion, that it rejects the Quebec College of Physicians’ assertion…that the Medical Assistance in Dying is appropriate for infants up to the age of one who are born with severe grave syndromes.”
Falk stated that she hoped her motion would be uncontroversial, and that the members of the committee—she is one of the eleven members—would support the message “fully” and assist in reaffirming those with disabilities in “their value, that they are important to society.” Instead, the motion was voted down by seven MPs from the Liberal, NDP, and Bloc parties, gaining support only from the four Conservative MPs. The MPs who voted against condemning the proposal for infanticide were as follows:
- Wayne Long (Saint John—Rothesay), Liberal
- Soraya Martinez Ferrada (Hochelaga), Liberal
- Chad Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek), Liberal
- Michael Coteau (Don Valley East), Liberal
- Tony Van Bynen (Newmarket—Aurora), Liberal
- Louise Chabot (Thérèse-De Blainville), Bloc Québécois
- Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody—Coquitlam), NDP
The Quebec College of Physicians also responded to the backlash, reaffirming their support for euthanizing disabled babies. “MAiD is not a moral, political or religious issue,” they tweeted. “It is a medical one. 0-1 year-olds & people with disabilities are also patients and are entitled to the same care in the case of unbearable suffering.” To summarize: The Quebec College of Physicians is asserting that giving disabled babies incapable of consent a lethal injection is not a moral, political or religious issue. The last barriers in Canada’s killing regime are coming down fast, and we’re watching it happen in real time.
I was speaking with a doctor last week, and he noted that it has been stunning to see just how quickly many of his colleagues went from discomfort with assisted suicide and euthanasia to fully embracing it as the new regime was implemented. Indeed, in Belgium a near total majority of physicians—over 93%–support infanticide in some cases. A couple of years ago an evolution professor publicly argued that only Christianity was preventing the medical establishment from bringing back infanticide—something he fully supported. It appears that he was right. In Canada, survivors of abortion are ignored and left to die. The Netherlands already permits infanticide in some circumstances. And based on the response of Canada’s Liberals and prestigious doctors, we are heading in the same direction.