8 thoughts on ““It’s Time to End Religious Privilege in Healthcare”

  1. AtheistsMeow

    Religious privilege needs to be abolished big time!

    They are like a creeping invasive disease that spreads into every part of life, whether it be within places of worship, the courtroom, school rooms, hospitals, & daily life.

    I have no respect for any of it.

  2. Bruce Van Dietein

    First, I heartily agree that the patient should have complete control over their lives and the right to doctor assisted death. But I hope there will be a vigorous debate over this issue and that we will not assume that all disagreements with the “right-to-die” are simply religious based. We must be extremely cautious of how this law is crafted. For example, is your legal authority over me via some living will or competency document the same as exercising my own private self-determination? Does the right to die exist only with the person or will it also reside with their guardians? Can we bring the slippery slope argument into play for the disabled, elderly or simply unloved and, in this age of surplus labour, unwanted people? Should counseling be required, especially where someone’s unbearable pain is psychological (say from depression brought on by PTSD or grief of loss)? How much? For how long? Should we be concerned that instead of putting enough money into counseling and therapy, we will not need to divert resources into those areas because we can count on some percentage of people asking for the final “relief”? I think there is a lot below the surface here that needs a good airing.

  3. Bruce Van Dietein

    Sorry, one last thing, I’m not usually one for referenda but I think that I can safely say that this one case is truly life or death. This should not be whipped in parliament, but neither should it be left to the individual members to vote their conscience. This is the one piece of legislation that all Canadians should have a direct say in.

    1. Mel

      Why? My rights as an individual should not be subject to the tyranny of the majority. I expect the law to be crafted carefully but no need for a plebiscite.

  4. Bruce Van Dietein

    Since this will come to a vote, whether by a whipped caucus, or by a vote of a conscience, the law, crafted well or not, will pass or fail by majority. We live under a tyranny of the majority anyway, where group rights sometimes over-ride personal rights. But I do hope there is a way to craft this bill that leaves each individual with the right to choose. I would like to have a national discussion on this and individual input (vote) though I am not going to jump up and down on the idea of a referendum. The important thing is that we have a deep enough discussion to hopefully consider unintended consequences. I have disabled friends who are very concerned, for obvious reasons.

  5. Joe

    “We live under a tyranny of the majority anyway”

    No, we really don’t. We have separation of powers, and a constitution, which is the very opposite of tyranny of the majority.

  6. Bruce Van Dietein

    I don’t now if it’s articulated in the constitution, but I recognize that the Bill of Rights enshrines just that idea, so perhaps I’ve been a bit too loose with my jargon. Still, there are times when group rights trump individual rights, such as property rights through expropriation but whatever. Parliament may or may not recognize the right to die and than the Supreme Court will likely have to face a challenge, whichever way the law goes. So we’ll see how the majority votes and what happens next. I think an individual’s right to die will be fully enshrined but that doesn’t mean the issue is fully resolved and I hope we don’t have to revisit this in 5 years while having to hear a bunch of religious nutters screaming “we told you so” because the law was poorly constructed.

  7. Joe

    “there are times when group rights trump individual right”

    It’s not about “group rights”, a tyrant can be one person, or a group. TotM is about ‘one group’ in a democracy, dominating through shear numbers.

    An example of TotM is a binding 50+1% referendum, like the one the PQ tried to use to separate from Canada. Native peoples, a distinct minority in Quebec, could have challenged a 51% win, since they could claim they were essentially being hijacked by the dominant group, by TotM.

    Glad we didn’t have to see that play out. That sort of thing tends to end badly.

    Constitutions, generally, and laws and legislation, geographic based representation, a separate judicial branch, even the use of super-majorities, prevent majority ‘groups’ from dominating the minority groups in a society.

    Group rights vs individual rights, within a society, is a separate issue.


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