The Honorable Ed Fast, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford, BC tabled a bill in February of this year. This enactment would amend the Criminal Code to provide that a mental disorder is not a grievous and irremediable medical condition for which a person could receive medical assistance in dying. In short, it would mean that no one would be eligible for MAID for mental illness alone.
The preamble to the bill states that Parliament considers it a priority to ensure that adequate supports are in place for the mental health of Canadians. And that vulnerable Canadians should receive suicide prevention counselling rather than access medical assistance in dying. It also states that Canada’s medical assistance in dying regime risks normalizing assisted dying as a solution for those suffering from a mental disorder.
Mr. Fast says, “The government is quickly moving from a culture of life towards a culture of death in which greater priority is given to suicide assistance than suicide prevention.”
Canadians living with mental issues deserve hope and proper treatment. We cannot as a nation allow them to believe that their lives are not worth living and that they are disposable.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
On May 17th, the bill had it’s second reading. Mr. Fast asked for it to go to committee. As time allotted for this bill ran out, no decisions were made at that time.
We encourage you to send an email or make a phone call to your member of parliament, expressing your support for Bill C-314. Let them know the importance of safeguarding the worth and the welfare of individuals with mental illness.
Our part in this story cannot end here. Of course, we must pray. We need to continue to pray for our government that their eyes would be opened to the truth. We must pray for righteousness to rule in their hearts. We need to pray for MP Fast and others like him who have the courage to take a stand for justice and humanity.
God calls us to actively demonstrate our faith through good works. While it is good to pray for those who are vulnerable or bless them with our words, this cannot be all that we offer. According to Canadian Community Health Survey – Mental Health (CCHS – MH), 2012, 1 in 3 Canadians (about 9.1 million people) will be affected by a mental illness during their lifetime.
As the body of Christ, we must be actively reaching out to those in our spheres to bring hope and love. Jesus tells us we must love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, ...”
Scripture draws a direct link between our prayer lives and our good deeds, especially towards the poor and the vulnerable.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear: then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord
will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.”
We need to be always watching and listening for Holy Spirit to give us marching orders. As the government seems to be moving from a culture of life to a culture of death with Medical Assistance in Dying(MAiD), let us, His church be strong in countering this with My Assistance in Living(MAiL). May we be the ones who will offer that helping hand to the ones who are in need, sharing the hope and the love and the joy that lives in us because the Prince of peace lives in our hearts.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Pray for the church that we would focus less on ourselves and more on the needs of those around us. Pray that our hearts would break for the things that break His heart. Pray that we would not only have eyes to see the emotional and physical needs of those in our community, but that we would extend help from the resources He has given to us.
Pray for Members like MP Fast that they would fearlessly contend for the needs of the vulnerable.