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It's Monday, May 1 2022. I'm Joshua Claycamp. And this is the observer, a reflection on the news from a biblical perspective in order to help Christians understand how we need to think and feel about current events.
Some articles catch your eye and you just have to read them in their entirety. This past weekend, I came across an article in the spectator which is a magazine out of the United Kingdom, an article entitled Why is Canada euthanizing the poor? The article begins, quote, there is an endlessly repeated witticism by the poet Anatoly France, that the law in its majestic equality forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread. What France certainly did not foresee is that an entire country and an ostentatiously progressive one at that has decided to take his sarcasm at face value and to its natural conclusion. Since last year, Canadian law in all its majesty has allowed both the rich as well as the poor to kill themselves if they are too poor, to continue living with dignity. In fact, the ever generous Canadian state will even pay for their deaths. What it will not do is spend money to allow them to live instead of killing themselves.
Because I read that opening paragraph in this article in the spectator entitled Why is Canada euthanizing the poor, I was stunned. This article was clearly written by somebody who is from Canada. And so I began to research who it is that had written these words, so critical of the current medical assistance in dying laws that are taking root in Canada. It's written by an individual who goes by the name one GIS you. And as I began to dig in into research who this individual was, I discovered that he is a Doctorate of Philosophy candidate in international relations at Nuffield College, which is a college over the across the pond at the University of Oxford. I went on to dig a little bit deeper. And one of the things that I discovered about Mr. Zhu is that before coming to Oxford, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. And there you have it, he is from Canada. He is very well accomplished in the field of international law. He has a law degree. And he is studied as a fellow and a moist scholar. And he has a Master's of philosophy from the University of Cambridge where he has been a bacon scholar. This is an individual who knows a thing or two about the law. His specialty is in international law.
And one of the things that really is of interest to him, according to the biography I was able to find on him at the Oxford University page was that he's interested in the influence of non western powers, such as China, on the development of the legal understandings of sovereignty. And that makes sense, Mr. Xu is clearly of Chinese descent, Chinese heritage, and he's curious to understand the differences in which China will understand its national sovereignty, especially when compared alongside of the Canadian perspective on national sovereignty. However, you might frame Mr Joos research and his current interests in international law, one thing becomes explicitly clear. He writes with a biting wit, and with an incredibly pointed sarcasm at the so called progressivism of Canada, especially as regards Canada's recent laws passed to allow for suicide and to allow for physicians and doctors in Canada to provide medical assistance in dying or made as it's called,
The article goes on quote, as with most slippery slopes, it all began with a strongly worded denial that a slope existed. In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed over 22 years of its own jurisprudence by striking down the country's ban on assisted suicide as unconstitutional. blindly, blindly dismissing fears that the ruling would initiate a descent down a slippery slope into homicide against the vulnerable as founded on anecdotal examples. The next year, Parliament duly enacted legislation allowing for euthanasia, but only for those who suffer from a terminal illness whose natural death was reasonably foreseeable. And here Mr. Xu begins to document the so called slippery slope, which everybody suggested was a pure logical fallacy and starts off with an allowing for individuals whose quality of life is clearly deteriorating and who have been diagnosed with a terminal condition and whose outlook on life is clearly not positive. And as a result of the inevitable Mies which they are facing, they asked and sought for permission from the Canadian government to begin pursuing medical assistance in suicide, the idea being that they wanted to go out on their own terms.
Critics at that time said this is a slippery slope. If we opened the door for this, where does it end? To which all the Critics responded that is a pure fallacy that is just you're making leaps of logic just because we allow for medical assistance in dying in this particular area, it does not mean that there will be other forms of medical assistance in dying. Mr. Xu points this out in his article and then he goes on. Soon enough Canadians from across the country discovered that although they would otherwise prefer to live, they were too poor to improve their conditions to a degree which they would have found acceptable. Not coincidentally, Canada has become Canada has some of the lowest social care spending of any industrialized country. Palliative care is only accessible to a minority and waiting times in the public health care sector can be unbearable to the point where that same Supreme Court which legalized euthanasia, declared those waiting times to be a violation of the right to life all the way back in 2005.
Many in health in the health care sector came to the same conclusion. Even before Bill C-7 was enacted, reports of abuse were rife, a man with a neurodegenerative disease testified to Parliament, the nurses and medical ethicist at a hospital tried to coerce him into killing himself by threatening to bankrupt him with extra costs, or by kicking them out of the hospital all together, and by withholding water from him for 20 days. Here you have an individual and I recall this event Well, this is about four years ago, an individual with severe debilitating neurodegenerative disease. And essentially, they were telling him that his best hope was to commit suicide an option which he did not want and expressed quite clearly that he did not want to which their response was, Well, if you will not commit suicide, then we're going to just charge you endlessly, the medical bills are going to pile up. And to add insult to injury, they wouldn't allow him to have water in the belief in the hope that he would just leave their hospital altogether and Quit bothering them.
This is the incident in which Mr. Xu is touching on but it's not the only one he touches on. He documents a number of cases, including the family of a 35 year old disabled man who resorted to euthanasia. And he resorted to euthanasia at this care home where he lived because he was not able to even be assisted to using the bathroom when his family came to visit him. Before he committed suicide with medical assistants. His family testified that they quote encountered urine on the floor spots where there was feces on the floor spots where your feet were just sticking like if you stood at his bedside. And when you went to walk away your foot was literally stuck and quote, according to the game, Canadian government, the assisted suicide law is about quote, prioritizing the individual autonomy of Canadians and quote, now when we encounter these types of anecdotal so called anecdotal stories, where you have an individual who is being told he needs to commit suicide, otherwise, his medical bills are just going to pile up and they'll even threaten him. By withholding water from him. You have another individual whose care is so poor, that he cannot even receive the assistance necessary to using the washroom.
One begins to wonder if this whole thing about providing the autonomy that is proper and dignified to a Canadian, if that's really the issue, or if the issue is something more along the lines of we just want to cut expenses. And indeed Mr. G in his article goes on to nail that hit that exact point. He goes on to say according to the Canadian government, the assisted suicide law isn't about is about prioritizing the individual autonomy of Canadians. But despite the government's insistence that assisted suicide is all about individual autonomy.
The government has also kept its eye on the fiscal advantages of medical assistance in suicide. Even before Bill C seven entered into force, the country's parliamentary budget officer published a report about the cost savings it would create, whereas the old maid regime saved $86.9 million per year, a net cost reduction in the sterile words of the report. The new bill that is being passed, Bill C seven would create an additional net savings on top of that 86 million of an additional C 62 million. So if you're doing the math here, the first iteration of made, which allowed for individuals to beak to be helped along and committing suicide, these individuals had to have some sort of diagnosed terminal disease. If we could help individuals who have a terminal disease and whose prognosis for recovery is not good. If we could help them to commit suicide, the government's parliamentary budget officer reported, it would save the government of Canada approximately $87 million dollars a year in expenses, the new version of May Bill C seven, it's going to be allowed, it's going to allow for all kinds of additional individuals to seek out medical assistance in dying, this new made will be opened up not only to individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal disease, but individuals who are simply depressed who are there's nothing wrong with them physically, they just no longer desire to continue living. And of course, the PBO the parliamentary budget officer notes that if if Bill C seven is enacted, which it is enacted, that it will create an additional net savings of 62 million on top of the 87 that the original made created.
Mr. Xu goes on in his article to say health care, particularly for those suffering from chronic conditions is expensive. But assisted suicide only costs the government $2,000 per case. And of course, those who have to rely wholly on government provided Medicare pose a far greater burden on the Treasury than those who have savings or private insurance. All of this to point out the fact that there is indeed a financial incentive in our medical institutions now, with the authorization of made to give counsel and indeed encouragement to those individuals who are struggling, encouraging them to consider assistance in suicide. Canada's Minister she goes on to criticize the media, he says, and yet Canada's lavishly subsidized media, with some honorable exceptions, has expressed remarkably little curiosity about the Open Social murder of citizens in one of the world's wealthiest countries. And that is that is the line that just grabbed my heart Canada's government funded media, this would be the CBC. With some he meant he mentioned some honorable exceptions. I would point out that those individuals who are questioning made are not government funded journalists.
But Mr. Xu goes on Canada's lavishly subsidized media has expressed remarkably little curiosity about the Open Social murder of its citizens. Perhaps like many doctors, journalists are afraid of being accused of being unprogressive for questioning this new culture of death of fatal accusation in polite circles, Canada's public broadcaster the CBC, which in 2020, reassured Canadians that there was no link whatsoever between poverty. And those individuals who would choose medically assisted death has had little to say about any of these subsequent developments. Mr. Xu goes on to talk about the progress, the progress that is being made and expanding and enlarging upon these laws which allow for medical assistance and suicide and dying.
And then he concludes the article, quote, next year, the floodgates will open even further, when those suffering from mental illness which is another disproportionately poor group, become eligible for assisted suicide. Although enthusiastic doctors and nurses have already preempted the law, there is already talk of allowing now mature minors access to euthanasia to just think of all of the lifetime savings that the government will accrue when they no longer have to care for these individuals who are teenagers and at the very beginning of their lives, but remember now, the slippery slope argument is always a fallacy. And indeed, it is not the case that we are headed back towards a sanctity of life, it is clear that the culture of death is arguing for an expansion in suicide and in murder, and this opens the murkier door to other issues, such as when is the ending of a life morally justified? When is it possible that we've made mistakes and we've terminated a life of an individual who may have otherwise changed his mind once you commit suicide? It's over. There are no other alternatives. There is no going back there is no second guessing this.
And of course, as Christians when we look at the scriptures, one of the things that we recognize is that the Bible has always condemned murder. The Hebrew verb translated as murder is rot sock, which means murder or slaying the This verb is used in the Old Testament to refer to the unlawful taking of a human life, what you and I would call murder today as in a in a criminal sense such as first degree murder. The same verb is used in a different form, to speak of a murderer and the book of Numbers for example, but the verb can also be used to speak of, quote, causing human death through carelessness or negligence. This comes from a dictionary of Old Testament theology, rot sock is not the ordinary word for judicial execution, and it's never used to refer to killing in war. Therefore, the sixth commandment which says Thou shalt not murder shouldn't be used as an argument against capital punishment for that's not the sense in which the original readers would have understood it. This commandment is a part of the Mosaic Covenant. It's repeated several times in the New Testament, Jesus teaches about not not speaking against your brother in a fit of anger and says that if you do so you're guilty of murder, the implication being that murder is still wrong. The New Testament authors frequently affirm the continuing moral validity of this commandment in the New Covenant age. And from this, we recognize that our God is the creator and the sustainer of human life, human beings are the pinnacle of his creation, for it is only human beings who are said to be created in the image of God. Because the sixth commandment is concerned with the protection of life, we need to reconsider these questions of capital punishment from time to time, as in when is capital punishment justified for upholding the sanctity of life, we need to look at issues such as abortion, we need to argue against abortion as the taking of innocent human lives in the womb. And it also means we need to look carefully at the issue of euthanasia or as we have a euphemized, here in Canada, medical assistance in dying, made, it is no longer assistance in dying.
That is, this law no longer is addressing individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal disease, with the enactment of Bill C seven, which has already passed and comes into force. At the end of this year. We're talking about actual suicide individuals who would otherwise live, but desire not to lay desire to commit suicide in response to all this, the Christian Needs to offer hope. Listen, if you are struggling with depression, and if you find life less than satisfying, like government's response to you, and enacting this law is simply to reaffirm notions that are false. When you look at the world around you, you find that it is unsatisfying. You're operating out of a materialistic worldview, you believe that all that there is is what you can see with your eyes and what you can empirically measure with your hands. And indeed, this is the worldview the religious system, which our government seeks to enforce. And because you are not satisfied with this materialistic and secular division, you also obviously are experiencing depression, there is a sickness in your soul, and the government, the government has no answers for you. And so if you find that you're not satisfied in this world, the best the government can do. And as has been noted, by Mr. Xu, that best that the government can do, which happens to be of some financial interest to them, is to help you commit suicide.
In response to all of this, I'd like to offer to you the good news of Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that God loves you says in John 316, for he so loves the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life and deed. Later in that same Gospel, Jesus says, I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly in John 1010. From these two passages, we recognize that God has a love for you, that moves him to send his son to the cross in order to pay the penalty for your sins. And Jesus and speaking of his own ministry and his own atoning death on the Cross says that his existence the reason he comes, the reason he lives, the reason he dies, is not merely so that your sins will be atoned for, although that is the primary issue for why you experience heartache and sadness and depression. His concern is not only to atone for your sins, although that is his primary concern. Jesus says He comes to you may have life have it now, enjoy it now have all the blessings and all the happiness that God desires for you to have to have that right now, and to have that for all of eternity. Of course, as Christians, we recognize that our happiness and our joy cannot be known. Apart from having a personal relationship with God.
That's really what Jesus is doing. He's opening the door for us to be reconciled with the Heavenly Father. And so as we look at this act, that the government is engaged in Bill C seven, and obviously the fiscal savings that they look to accrue as a result of discontinuing Healthcare for certain types of individuals, we must be abhorred. This goes against the heart of everything that Jesus stands for, and therefore it goes against everything that Christians are called to believe the culture of death advances, but it will not be victorious because the King of kings and the Lord of lords has already conquered. And we can say this with absolute certainty, life will prevail.
But in speaking of the culture of death, and in speaking of medical assistants in suicide, I was also struck by this article in The Globe and Mail which was published on Saturday. The article details the difficulties that Ukrainian refugees are having as they flee from Ukraine and enter into Poland. It speaking of the difficulty that they have in pursuing abortion or birth control under the laws of Poland. The article begins every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening, Dr. Miriam Marchenko sits by her phone and Krakow and spends four hours fielding questions from Ukrainian women about one topic and that topic is this birth control. The women are all refugees from the war in Ukraine. And they're almost always uneasy when they call Marchenko. Sometimes speaking in hushed tones or giving one word answers, they're not sure who they can trust or where they can turn if they need emergency contraception, or an abortion. Both of which the article tells us are readily available in Ukraine, but are almost completely illegal in Poland.
And here is the hook which the author of this particular article in The Globe and Mail wants to establish for us with the invasion of Ukraine and the unbelievable slaughter of untold 1000s at the hands of Russian soldiers. The real bad guy here is not Vladimir Putin and the advancing Russian Army. No, no, the real bad guy here, as far as the Globe and Mail article is concerned, is yes, you got it, Poland, taking in all these refugees, but denying them the opportunity to murder their unborn children. The article goes on to talk about the fact that Poland has some of the strictest anti abortion laws in Europe. And it mentions the fact that new restrictions came into force last year that banned terminations except in cases of sexual assault, incest, or if the women's life is at risk. But even under these exemptions, the article details access to abortion can be difficult.
And so the article goes on to talk about the fact that you have 1000s upon 1000s of Ukrainian women fleeing into Poland, as they are fleeing from the violence and the bloodshed, and the murder and the trauma that awaits for them back in Ukraine with the invasion of the Russian army and into the eastern regions of Ukraine. And so they have fled into the open and waiting arms of Poland, and the Polish people who have taken them in who have fed them and who have closed them and who have provided security and shelter for them. And interestingly enough, are providing arms. Yes, sending munitions and other aid back to the soldiers, the the Ukrainian soldiers who are fighting against the Russian invaders. And yet despite all of this, Poland is here portrayed as a bad guy, a bad guy, because after all, they will not allow these women who are fleeing for their lives the privilege of murdering their unborn children. The article goes on to say that Dr. Marchenko receives about 10 calls every shift, and at least three involve questions about abortion. She goes on to say that these women want to terminate their pregnancies because of medical reasons. But they had no time to secure this abortion while they were still living in Ukraine. And now that they've gotten to Poland, she goes on to say they are in a terrible condition because they cannot solve this dilemma. So she says they are going to the Czech Republic. In other words, they're just jumping across the border. And they're having to go to a different European country with more relaxed laws pertaining to abortion.
And in all of this, the author of this particular Globe and Mail article, and Lima wits wants to point out to us that even though it is possible for these women who are fleeing from Ukraine to pursue and secure abortions in other countries besides Poland, she wants us to know that Poland is a bad country. And they are bad because they uphold the culture of death. And they have passed restrictive laws that do not allow women to come to access abortion in Poland. And as we look at all of this, we just can't help but scratch our heads. Mr. Xu writing from the spectator in the United Kingdom is critical of our country and the culture of death that is here. And if we are tempted to think for a second that Mr. Zhu is overstating his case, well just read our own articles in our own newspapers, and it's quite clear that rather than wasting ink decrying the atrocities and the barbaric already of Vladimir Putin in the invading Russian Army. We will spend ink in our newspapers criticizing those countries which offer aid and relief just because they don't share our culture of death there.
Thanks for listening to the observer. I'm Joshua Claycamp. And you can follow me on Twitter by going to twitter.com/joshua Claycamp. The observer is a ministry of First Baptist Church where Christians seek to discern the news differently. For more information on First Baptist Church of Kamloops, just go to first Baptist kamloops.org or for more information on first Baptist classical Academy, a private school where students are educated according to official worldview, just go to first Baptist classical.org and I'll meet you again tomorrow for more of the observer.