The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled in 2015 that the Canadian ban on physician-assisted suicide would no longer be upheld, making physician-assisted euthanasia legal.
Before that, the penal code stated that a person could not consent to be put to death and recognised that life begins at birth. A doctor carrying out euthanasia could be charged with murder if the patient did not give prior instruction or consent.
A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision on euthanasia may be overturned by the Supreme Court, but this will only delay the inevitable legalisation of euthanasia in Canada. The Supreme Court is likely to rule that assisted suicide is indeed constitutional, given its tendency towards greater freedom for individuals and Canada's tendency to decriminalise suicide. However, the court could also decide that assisted suicide is unconstitutional, which would be a setback for proponents of euthanasia.
Laws have always been vigorously and almost unhindered in Canada. The constitution is the most respected thing for Canadians. Remember at least how gambling was legalized back in 1999, and now it's the most common business in Canada. And now many classic casinos have moved online, such as Fresh Casino. And how many people are using them now! Who would have thought that in 1999?
The legalisation of euthanasia has adequate safeguards to protect the patient and doctor and prevent abuse. One of these should include provisions for what stage a terminal illness must be at in order for physician-assisted suicide to be possible.
Also, physician-assisted death cannot be introduced without the explicit consent of the Canadian people, and of course it must go through Parliament. The issue of euthanasia is costly: how can we know whether public money would not be better spent on improving palliative care than on euthanasia?
Canada is not alone in addressing this issue. Euthanasia has been legalised in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries. However, because these countries are so culturally different from Canada, it makes sense that the rules regarding euthanasia are also very different. In the Netherlands, for example, euthanasia was only legalised after a long debate about euthanasia, and it was thought to be reserved for patients who were "tired of living", not the terminally ill.
People have strong opinions on both sides of the issue, including doctors themselves. Nevertheless, it is necessary to consider which would do more good overall: encouraging euthanasia or stopping it.
There are many arguments for and against euthanasia. From an ethical point of view, it is not difficult to understand why people oppose the idea. They believe that all life should be respected and sanctified, even if the patient no longer wants to live. In addition, there is a general concern that legalising euthanasia will increase suffering rather than reduce it. Doctors who oppose euthanasia say that they would be forced to kill their patients against their will and that it would break the trust between doctor and patient.
Pros of euthanasia
On the other hand, there are many arguments in favour of euthanasia. One is that we must respect the patient's wishes, if these wishes are clear and understandable. If a patient asks for euthanasia because he no longer wants to suffer, it should be his right to die with dignity. Furthermore, there is no evidence that prescribing legal euthanasia will result in more deaths than the number of lives saved by people who might otherwise choose suicide.
Finally, if euthanasia is banned and a very sick patient is allowed to suffer and die without the possibility of euthanasia, it can be said that this law is contrary to human rights. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms gives all Canadians certain inalienable rights. These include life, liberty and security of the person. If a patient is in unbearable pain, it would be unreasonable to deny them the right to die when they want to.
Euthanasia may be legal in Canada. Legalizing euthanasia in Canada would do more good than harm. If done correctly and carefully, more lives could be saved through a dignified death.