Catholic hospital sued for not killing its patients

Not content with one euthanasia death every 40 minutes in Canada, pro-death advocates are using lawfare to purge even the smallest pockets of resistance throughout the country.

Activist organisations, including Dying with Dignity Canada, have announced the intention to file a lawsuit against St Paul’s Catholic hospital in Vancouver because it refuses to provide euthanasia on site.

St Paul’s offers quality care to patients pursuing euthanasia right up until their chosen day of death, but then transfers them out of the hospital for the administration of the lethal drugs because the hospital’s ‘sanctity of life’ ethic that informs patient care also means it cannot allow doctors to kill patients on site.

But this isn’t good enough for activists who want no one to be able to opt out.

The aim of the suit is to bring a test case that would ultimately force St Paul’s and other faith-based hospitals to provide not only euthanasia, but abortion and gender affirmation surgeries as well.

Speaking to the National Review, Daphne Gilbert, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa and vice chairwoman of Dying with Dignity Canada said:

“It would be my hope the case would pave the way for ending the ability of religion to dictate health care.”

She went on to say: 

“Religious institutions would either have to decide to get out of the business of offering medical care — and it could be taken over by the province — or these institutions would have to align their care with the Constitution, even if it opposes their values.”

It is obvious that Gilbert is a professor of law and not of history, given that she pays absolutely no heed to the significant role religious institutions have paid to the provision of health care for millennia.

Gilbert has teamed up with law professor Jocelyn Downie – who was part of the legal team that worked pro bono to see euthanasia legalised in Canada in the first place – to file the suit. 

The lawsuit comes after the death of Sam O’Neill, who was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer at age 34. O’Neill was being treated at St Paul’s and was cared for at the hospital until the day she wanted to be euthanised, at which point she was transferred to another facility. The transfer required sedation, and O’Neill did not regain consciousness before the lethal drugs were administered. Her grieving parents blame St Paul’s for robbing them of the final hours of their daughter’s life and support the attempts to force the hospital to allow euthanasia on site.

No parent should ever have to bury their child, and no doubt the O’Neills are grieving. But if they are looking for someone to blame for the shortened time with their daughter, there is a long list of others more culpable than the hospital that refused to kill her. Ironically, that list includes those – like Dying With Dignity Canada – who worked for the legalisation of euthanasia in the first place.