March 6, 2018 (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) – In what may be a world first, a prisoner in Canada has been 'helped to die'.
CBC News reports that to date, three inmates of Canadian prisons have been approved for "medical assistance in dying (MAID)" and that the first documented case of a federal inmate receiving MAID occurred recently, with two correctional officers helping to escort the inmate to the hospital where the procedure took place.
Parole or death?
The cases emerged in a letter from Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger to acting Correctional Service Canada Commissioner Anne Kelly, in which he urged for more "compassionate" parole options and a ban on medically assisted death in prisons.
He said that new guidelines brought in on November 29, 2017 allow the prison system to act as a "facilitator or enabler" of death, breaching the system's legal and ethical obligations. Mr Zinger condemned the policy, arguing that terminally ill inmates should be given conditional release on "humanitarian and compassionate" grounds.
Targeting the vulnerable
Writing in MercatorNet, Michael Cook pointed out that prisoners must be the amongst most vulnerable people of all possible candidates for euthanasia. "Their surroundings seem purpose-made to inspire despair and promote groupthink. Their custodians benefit from their deaths by cutting costs. They are already being punished by restricting the exercise of their autonomy."
Bringing back capital punishment?
Dr Anthony McCarthy of SPUC commented, "Anyone concerned to uphold the inherent human dignity of prisoners cannot fail to be concerned that the CSC deems it acceptable to send prisoners to voluntarily kill themselves with the assistance of medics. 'Assisted Dying' legislation has, in places like Belgium and the Netherlands, quickly expanded to encompass depressed and mentally ill people. Prisons have no shortage of such people. Already we have seen in Belgium prisoners killed by euthanasia having their organs taken. At a time when governments such as Canada's have trumpeted their compassion and opposition to capital punishment it is telling that there is so little concern for prisoners' dignity in this area."
Published with permission from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.
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Capital Punishment in Canada Essay
2901 Words12 Pages
Capital punishment is crime's most dreaded consequence, death. Hanging was Canada's form of capital punishment up until 1976 when it was abolished. Webster's Dictionary defines capital punishments as: "The penalty of death for the commission of a crime." (Webster's, 1994, 43). The chance of capital punishment being reinstated in Canada has been very slim up until now. Recently the Canadian Alliance Party has put forth efforts to reinstate it, which has put the controversial topic back up for debate. This has divided many Canadians concerning their beliefs. Capital punishment should never be reinstated in Canada as it is a barbaric practice that is unjust. This essay will clearly demonstrate that reinstating capital punishment…show more content…
In addition, capital punishment vetos section 12 of the Charter which protects everyone from cruel and unusual punishment. Capital punishment is unusual because it isn't exercised for many crimes in the criminal code, as it was only used for murders of police and prison guards. Capital punishment is also cruel. The United Nations believes Capital Punishment is a "form of cruelty and inhumanity unworthy of a civilization which claims to be humane; doctors report that even the most efficient methods do not result in instantaneous and painless death." (UN-Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 1962, 61). Capital punishment is both cruel and unusual and thus violates section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which states: "Everyone has the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment." (Gibson and Murphy, 1990, 55).
By taking the life of a criminal, the Bill of Rights would be unlawfully vetoed as well, and therefore the Bill would be useless if it has no validity. The Bill guarantees everyone the right to life from the moment they are born and at no circumstances can this right be taken away. If Canada were to reinstate capital punishment it would result in the