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The Price of Progressivism: MAID Expansion and the Erosion of Charter Rights in Canada
In the political sphere of Canada, the debate surrounding Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) is troubling, unearthing not just legal but ethical and moral problems. At the core of this debate lies the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically Section 7, which guarantees everyone the right to life, liberty, and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except by the principles of fundamental justice; albeit not in absolute terms. The Charter, a revered document, is a sentinel of fundamental Canadian rights and freedoms, yet its interpretative nature leaves room for legal gymnastics.
How does the government reconcile the expansiveness of MAID with the Charter-guaranteed right to life? The legal landscape isn’t a monolith but a fluid arena where legislation, judicial interpretation, and societal values continuously shape and reshape the contours of rights and freedoms. The expansion of MAID to include individuals suffering from mental health issues, minors, and those grappling with drug addiction ventures into strange legal and ethical territory. The spectre of the dark days of Nazi-era practices looms as critics draw parallels, underscoring the unnecessarily complex path of determining life’s worthiness based on perceived quality or the lack thereof. It’s inappropriate for a government to simultaneously engage in the dispensation of substances while offering people with an addiction a route to essentially end their struggles through legalized suicide, as this stance is flawed on multiple fronts.
The Liberals, under the banner of progressivism, forge ahead with MAID law expansions, potentially at loggerheads with the Charter’s enshrinement of the right to life. The legal scaffolding surrounding MAID and its proposed expansions is far from watertight, with critics arguing that the government’s approach is akin to a dangerous foray into deciding who lives and who dies based on subjective determinations and, perhaps eventually, governmental conveniences.
The essence of governance is to uphold and protect individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms, a duty enshrined in the Charter and legally binding. Yet, the unfolding push for MAID expansion casts a large shadow on this holy duty, eliciting a discourse that transcends the legal realm and ventures into society’s moral and ethical core.
The government’s obligation to uphold the right to life as guaranteed by the Charter, coupled with the essence of governance, calls for a profound debate. It invites a reflection rooted in the core values of Canadian society rather than a dictation of those values.
Remind me again: who holds the reins — the people or the government? And when a government ceases to echo the will of the people, what title does it then assume?