License to Kill?

Chris Battle Articles 1 Comment

There’s an episode of The Office where they have to conduct a work safety seminar. They are discussing dangers in the warehouse and the scenario that ensues is hilarious. Here is an excerpt:

 

Darryl: Now, this is the forklift. You need— [Michael rattles it] You need a license to operate this machine. That means the upstairs office workers can’t drive it. … Quiz! Mike.

Michael: Hmm.

Darryl: Should you drive the forklift?

Michael: I can, and I have.

Darryl: No! No, no, no, no, no! I said should you. You should not drive it. You should not drive the forklift, you understand?

Lonny: You’re not allowed to drive the forklift.

Darryl: It’s not safe, you don’t have a license.

Michael: Guys, I’m not the only one who’s driven the forklift. [points] Pudge has driven the forklift.

Madge: Madge.

Michael: I thought your name was Pudge?

Madge: No, it’s always been Madge.

Michael: Okay. Um, her.

Darryl: Her. Yes, “her” is qualified to work a dangerous machine. You are not. Okay?

Michael: Ah, fine.

Darryl: Do you understand that?

Michael: Yeeesh.[1]

 

Other than providing a little fun, what can we learn from this scene? How about this: Certain people are qualified to perform certain duties and others aren’t; moreover, there are usually rules in place that prevent just anybody from participating in dangerous activities, especially those that involve the lives of others.

 

As many of you know, Canada has passed Bill C-14 (the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act). As far as I’m concerned, there are numerous things that could be singled out that concern me about this bill. However, I want to highlight one right now: Bill C-14 appears to leave room for anyone to assist another person to end their life. Observe the language of the Bill:

 

  • Bill C-14 – Section 227(2) states: No person is a party to culpable homicide if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2.
  • Bill C-14 – Section 241(3) states: No person is a party to an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2.
  • Bill C-14 – Section 241(5) states: No person commits an offence under paragraph (1)‍(b) if they do anything, at another person’s explicit request, for the purpose of aiding that other person to self-administer a substance that has been prescribed for that other person as part of the provision of medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.‍2.
  • Bill C-14 – Section 241(6) states: For greater certainty, the exemption set out in any of subsections (2) to (5) applies even if the person invoking the exemption has a reasonable but mistaken belief about any fact that is an element of the exemption.[2]

 

Okay, just to be crystal clear, I think that physician-assisted dying is wrong. Period. However, for the purposes of this post, let’s just grant that assisted dying is ethical. Should anybody be qualified to do the assisting? The possibility of people misusing this new law, like Michael misusing the forklift, seems inevitable. For example, if you were paying attention to subsection 6 above, you would have noticed that someone can essentially get away with murder by invoking this subsection. They could “assist” someone’s dying and then respond with, “But I thought they did have permission to die!”

 

Look, I may have totally misunderstood this (I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV). But as it stands now, and as it appears to me, people may have just been given a license to kill.

 

For more on Bill C-14, make sure to catch the Apologetics Canada Podcast this week as Andy and Chris are joined by Dr. Ewan C. Goligher. You can find it here.

 

[1]http://www.officequotes.net/no3-19.php

[2]http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=8309978

Comments 1

  1. Pingback: License to Kill? An Interview with a Canadian Physician on Euthanasia - Apologetics Canada

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