Saturday, February 07, 2015

Take a Breath and Use the Not Withstanding Clause

The Supreme Court Ruling striking down Canada's laws against assisted suicide is an extreme example of judicial overreach. Major social change like this should always come from elected representatives.

The ruling includes a demand that Canada pass a new law within 1 year. This is an unreasonable timeline given the major social implications on our society and the consultation that's required for good law making. In this case the not withstanding clause of the constitution is absolutely the right tool to use in order to provide a 5 year window to allow reasoned and democratic debate that would allow for good law making.

This is a terrible ruling. There are no real safeguards presented, in fact, the phrase "enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual" is so terribly vague it could include anything from arthritis to depression to indigestion. Even if the safeguards were valid they will have no standing the first time someone challenges them saying they have another compelling reason to take their life such as poverty or a desire not to be a burden to their children.

The 9 - 0 ruling completely shatters my faith in our Supreme court justices. The Supreme Court previously ruled that the laws were constitutional in 1993. Surely there were aspects of the previous ruling that could have at least shown up in a dissenting opinion. It makes a mockery of our justice system that a ruling with such a profound impact on our society would overturn our laws and a previous supreme court ruling without a vigorous debate among the justices.

There are many valid reasons to oppose assisted suicide beginning with basic principles like, "killing is wrong," "every life is valuable," and "we have an obligation to protect the vulnerable." The giant legal vacuum that is being created will leave no protection in place for vulnerable people who may feel forced into suicide or for doctors who cannot in good conscience take an active part in killing their patients.

There is no conscience legislation to protect the right of doctors, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to refuse to prescribe lethal drugs. In fact, the college of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is currently seeking to take away doctor's rights to refuse to provide treatments they find immoral stating, the "physician's responsibility is to place the needs of the patient first, [so] there will be times when it may be necessary for physicians to set aside their personal beliefs in order to ensure that patients or potential patients are provided with the medical services they require."

I understand that it is even harder to watch someone suffer than to suffer yourself, and that many of the people in favour of this ruling are motivated by compassion. But the facts remain that aggressive pain medication and proper care for the dying can alleviate a great deal of the suffering that exists.

There's no doubt that this ruling will tear families apart and will sow deep divisions within our country. It's time to use the not withstanding clause of the constitution to allow for related laws protecting patient and doctors' rights to be developed and for a fair and respectful national conversation to begin.

Just for fun here's a not very exhaustive list of conditions that may cause enduring suffering that is intolerable:

Kidney Disease,
Opiate addiction,
Respiratory Illness,
Yellow Fever,


Pissedoff said...

SCoC = Stupid Court of Canada

Anonymous said...

Take a breath for sure. Give me a break. The 1993 decision split the court in half: 5-4. And that was over 20 years ago. It was clear then that the courts would eventually catch up with society. Since then many more jurisdictions have allowed assisted suicides, leaving the court out of touch with the public. Go ahead, use the notwithstanding clause to override disabled people's right to life and liberty. Socially conservative causes are BIG losers, and Harper has been smart enough to cut this government off from these issues and their supporters

Anonymous said...

"Not Withstanding Clause"! Seriously? Gimmie a break! What about justice for the unborn? What about the traditional definition of marriage? The "Not Withstanding Clause" could b implemented here also bit isn't. Why? The spineless bleeding heart government in Ottawa that shamelessly call themselves conservatives. Time to come out of the political closet Mr. Harper and admit your a covert liberal.

Anonymous said...

This ruling only concerns me so far as it relates to government run health care.

Where as a free market system has its incentives in keeping the customers alive and well.

While government systems are focused on cost savings and "efficiency", whatever they may choose for that to mean.

Even still, it is small issue compared to the 5-2 in against back to work legislation for essential services, which is completely backwards logic. And could place us in a situation not unlike what happened to France some years ago. Or Greece during the "May Day" riots. Just ahead of is shaping up as another world war in slow motion.

It is the last thing anyone needs.
I'm pretty sure ex soviet defectors are feeling as uneasy about this as I am.
If anyone is still not sure, it helps to know why:

There is plenty more where that came from:

follow that up with:

^"On 26 September 1960, 70 million U.S. viewers tuned in to watch Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts and Vice President Richard Nixon in the first-ever televised presidential debate. It was the first of four televised "Great Debates" between Kennedy and Nixon."

They even bring up soviet subversion. JFK(a master of double speak as displayed throughout the debate) who is viewed as a "staunch anti communist" to many, belts out platitudes to reassure us that the threat is external...

It's no wonder that after Nixon lost to that mythological creature that he gave up arguing for free markets in favor of unicons, since that is what won.

It didn't help that Nixon fumbled his reply only to barely squeak out what he had meant to say in the vaguest of terms. He did at least allude to it, poorly. It was stunning that it was the one question he was utterly unprepared for. He was always better with facts than slogans, though being VP your not going to want to spill the beans on such a sensitive topic.

Watching that debate in retrospect will entirely change your worldview on both Candidates.

Anonymous said...

Free markets have an interest in keeping people alive and well? Oh please. The free market health care system in the US has been famous for cutting people off their health insurance because it is in their interest to do so rather than pay $100,000s dollar to 'fix' someone. And than goodness we have Harper to keep the wacko conservatives in line. I voted for him last time and hadn't voted Conservative since Joe Clark!

Anonymous said...

Harper isn't a covert Liberal just for not being full on the gas of whatever political policies you happen to favor.

Context matters. I would easily prefer him to Ron or Rand Paul who constantly fall on their sword on any given hill in the name of Libertarianism, yet fail to achieve any lasting goals toward that purpose.

Do notice the difference? that is how you spot the real frauds.

Paulians worry more about the ever "elusive shadowy banker cartels out to control us all",(which clearly fits the M.O. of any given bankers) while totally ignoring the clear and present threat of soviet subversion. Which has its ideological fingers in any given pie. Which was its stated goal from the start.

So in light of what I pointed out before with the supreme court, pulling a Ron Paul on domestic policy would pit the pendulum of public opinion against the course of liberty.
Sometimes these matters require subtle yet irreversible motion.

Anonymous said...

"The free market health care system in the US has been famous for cutting people off their health insurance because it is in their interest to do so rather than pay $100,000s dollar to 'fix' someone."

Nice scareman argument, only they didn't have a fully free market system. Neither was their any cross state competition amongst insurance companies.

You would be hard pressed to find actual examples of what you speak, but please try. You'll notice upon further examination that at some point in that chain you will find government rules that lead to that result.

You know zero about free markets.
And the disgraced Joe Clark was never a conservative, just a progressive. And you've made yourself apparent that you aren't or ever were. Simply voting blue flavor of socialism lite doesn't make you a conservative of classical liberty.

Joe Clack sides himself with whom these days? Exactly. Against the individual and with the collectivist.

Anonymous said...

Since you do not know me and the only ideas of mine that you do know are the little bit I have written here, it is absolutely impossible for you to know that I know "zero" about free markets. Perhaps little, perhaps not as much as you, but your inclination for unfounded exaggeration in this case does not speak well of you. Others may judge the rest of your dubious logic with that in mind. LMFAO

Anonymous said...

Hardly, you run off on the word "zero" which was a clear exaggeration but essentially true given that you are in the minus category with regard to it, since you forsake the entire purpose of free markets.

So that is the correction, not that I was wrong, but that you are spreading misinformation which is worse than ignorance.

I neglected to mention that the U.S.A hasn't had free market capitalism since 1920's under Coolidge. The states were allowed to individually experiment with different government run programs that could be tailored to the the constituents that payed for them. They weren't meant to interfere with other states.

So free markets aren't your area of expertise. Neither is the U.S. Healthcare system or Joe Clark.

I would say you are not doing well given the tally so far.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

wow... ahh thanks shrill.

Harper has explained why he won't, for anyone who bothers to look into these things.

Canada has no laws regarding abortion. It is a completely avoidable( barbaric practice but not something you can easily legislate since it is up to the populace to inform themselves.

He left "Gay Marriage" to a free vote as a matter of conscience, rather than rock the stability of government for essentially a non issue that shouldn't have much to do with any of us.

Nice try throwing that in, given that most politically active CPC supporters understand this. Yet another fake comment by a left wing activist.

Anonymous said...

Who's the nutcase?

Anonymous said...

old white guy says.........the supreme court is stacked with a bunch of liberal socialist hacks who are at heart political ideologues. Canada would be better off without such an august body of far left thinkers.

Anonymous said...

2/3 of them were appointed by Harper.

Anonymous said...

While the unelected unaccountable courts demands are disturbing, undemocratic and abusive it is not surprising and merely a symptom of a much more dangerous disease, the imposed Trudeau Charter. The imposition of the Trudeau Charter is the real disease as it is the document that perverts our historic way of governance and hands immense powers to an unaccountable elitist star chamber to reek havoc on the citizenry without recourse. Canadians have to take the dictatorial powers handed to the unaccountable and unelected courts by Trudeau and return it to the people and the Parliament which represents them. The Trudeau Charter was never accepted by Canadians because Canadians were never consulted as to whether they desired to change the historic way the country is governed. It is a perversion of Canada's democratic institutions that assures Canadians will have social policy dictated to them by a political body that is neither elected or accountable to the people. The imposed Trudeau Charter is the disease that needs curing, the supremes dictatorial process is merely a symptom of the disease. Make the Trudeau Charter a statutory document like Diefs Bill of Rights and the perverse vandalism of the unelected unaccountable will be stopped and a return to democratic rule will reign once again, just like before 1982.

Anonymous said...

Geesh, just invoke the notwithstanding clause if you want parliamentary supremacy on this recent SCC case. Oh wait, Canadians wouldn't support that. And you don't really want what Canadians want you want what YOU want. Attacking Canadian institutions is just your way of diverting attention from this fact.

Anonymous said...

@anon 2:08,

I agree. The Trudeau Charter is a farce. thanks for bringing it up.

@anon 4:24,

I would assuming you were referring to the guy calling people "wackos", given that I can substantiate everything I say.

Though I had meant to say strawman, not scareman argument.
This is probably the third time I've made that mistake over the years.
For clarification, Ihad meant that Coolidge was good, and they hadn't had Capitalism since pro union Hoover made a mess of things. He also brought in a $0.25 minimum wage. Which had a major role in causing The Great Depression. (A little known aspect few know about).
I have the mutli sourced documents that explain the why and how in great detail.

Anonymous said...

What I should of referenced:

"Since the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, the findings that confirm the secret Soviet penetration of U.S. institutions have uneasily co-existed with the old legacy of Soviet-fanned disinformation that tells us the “Red scare” was just a “Red-baiter’s” fantasy. It is this consensus that conditions us, for example, to sentence Sen. Joe McCarthy to burn in hellfire forever for Senate investigations into Communist penetration, but views a portrait of Chairman Mao by Warhol as just the thing for the chic mantelpiece. Never mind the 30 to 40 million people the Communist dictator killed.

Such mental conditioning may have ruptured our moral and logic processes. But it left the field wide open for some serious new revision.

Once-secret sources–among them, the Mitrokhin archive, the Venona archive, the Vassiliev archive, and declassified FBI files–reveal the Moscow-directed maneuvers of a strategically-placed intelligence army of American traitors fighting to advance Soviet interests. That’s not one Aldrich Ames or five Cambridge spies. Hundreds of American traitors operated surreptitiously in the public square, many of them entering government positions under FDR in the 1930s. Some, including the now-infamous White House aide Lauchlin Currie, Treasury official Harry Dexter White, and the State Department’s Alger Hiss, advanced within grasp of the levers of power. Under their shadowy hands, for example, Red China, the global monetary system, and the United Nations (among other “un-American” programs) took shape, hallmarks of our contemporary world. "


As for the accusing left wing activist of posing as "right wing commentators", thats happened and they were caught by bloggers. My own sister who is still a leftwing moonbat, unwittingly sent me the Craigslist link offering money to pose as right wing commentators by a liberal party member/campaigner(I don't recall, and I think it was provincial but don't remember). I posted about it with the link in comments of at least one blog.

Anyway, I don't have the bookmarks handy from over 6-8 years ago on an older comp.

It would take some time to dig that up. I would likely find more glaring examples from others during that search.