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Life as Performance Art

    For a number of years, we have been seeing news reports about our southern borders.  Unfortunately, we have overlooked the fact that we also have a northern border with Canada.  It’s easy to forget about it because, with the exception of a handful of  under-rated hockey players, laid off curlers, comedians,  and lumberjacks not too many people want to leave the Great White North. Complacency about our borders can be a dangerous thing.
    There is something evil lurking in Canada, and it has been coming our way. It is worse than Alberta Clippers and Saskatchewan Screamers during the winter. It is far more dangerous.  It is a new national law which created MAID. MAID is not someone who will clean and cook for you. It is an acronym for Medical Assistance In Dying.  In short, it is the legalization of suicide for almost any, even slightly plausible, reason.  Two members of Dying with Dignity Canada have accounted for some seven hundred assisted suicides since MAID came into existence.  There are many others who raise that total even higher.  A physician who turned down a patient for suicide, referred him to another doctor who later did assist the patient. Another physician, Dr. Ellen Wiebe gushed, “It’s the rewarding work we have ever done.”
    All it takes is for a Canadian citizen to get in contact with MAID, preferably via the internet, to order the paper work.  Then, two physicians must sign off on it. A potential patient can ‘shop around’ until they find two doctors.
    Rewarding, Dr Wiebe?   More like spooky from my way of thinking.
   Suicide has always been with us.  In the Bible we read of King Saul falling on his own sword, and Judas hanging himself.  In ancient Rome, one of the bad emperors pushed the Senate to write a new law that mandated that if someone committed suicide, they forfeited their estate to the emperor. As always, just follow the money.  If an emperor needed some spending money, he sent his soldiers to tell the fellow with wealth to either commit suicide or he would be killed and his family sold into slavery. Those are not great choices, so many chose suicide to protect their loved ones.
    And yes, suicide for someone in great pain near the end of life, has always been with us. It has been said that when King George VI was in the final stages of cancer in 1952, his physician was persuade to go extra-heavy on the morphine so that his death could be announced in The Times the next morning, rather than the afternoon tabloids.
     The Canadians seem to have taken the idea of assisted suicide to a new level, steadily making it into an acceptable business.  Those working in this profession are pushing the idea that suicide for almost any reason, not just terminal illness, is justified.  Depressed?  Short of the basic necessities of life? Lonely after the passing of a spouse? Outlived your savings and pension?  All of those conditions and many more are acceptable to the MAID people.  What’s next – bored because there are too many re-runs on television?
    Those of us, including non-Catholics who believe that suicide is the ultimate mortal sin, have real problems with this. The way things are going, we might turn out to be a minority.
    The first problem with this casual acceptance of suicide is that it cheapens the value of life. People around the world were horrified that the Bavarian corporal and is ilk went into facilities for those with mental illness and arbitrarily euthanized them. When “Dr Jack” promoted and used his homemade suicide machine he was arrested and soon became a guest of the state.  Rightfully so.  Caring for the most vulnerable has always been the hallmark of civilized people.
     When people choose self-inflicted death is preferable to being bullied, ridiculed or something else traumatic, society swings into action to correct the problems and reduce the number of suicides. At least, we should, but I am not certain.  We seem to become increasingly blasé about mass shootings and gun violence.
     As I just wrote follow the money.  Dying with Dignity Canada and the whole MAID system gets money to help people end their lives.  The same government that paid for Covid-19 injections to keep people alive, now helps underwrite the cost of an injection to kill.  One bureaucrat even said the welfare programs would be bolstered up if they could convince more people to end their life.
     That is just one step away from some bureaucrat in the third sub-basement of a government building hatching up the idea that it would be cost beneficial to knock off people rather than pay for medical care in the final months of life.  Insurance companies would probably go along with the idea, too.   
    They already have, just not in this country – yet.  The social caseworker for a former Canadian military veteran and now partially paralyzed, offered to help the patient sign in with the MAID program rather than spring for a handicap-accessible apartment. Well, that’s one way to reduce paperwork and reports:  Kill them off.
    There’s a double-whammy.  MAID gets more financial support the more they help commit suicide, so obviously it is in their best interests to recruit volunteers.  The government can save money, so the next step is to make it socially acceptable and even patriotic.
     We can put up walls and fences to keep people out of this or any other country, but there is no way to stop an idea from spreading around the globe.  Already, to a much lesser degree, this idea of legalized suicide has spread to several states in this country.
    I keep remembering what Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote in OLDTOWN FOLKS,  “when you get in a tight place and you feel you can’t hold on a minute longer, never give up, because that is the place and time the tide will turn.”    She was on to something a lot better than MAID and their ilk.

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