“Medical Assistance in Dying” and the Illusion of Exemption

Exemptions are crucial in some cases, but they do not guarantee protection from immoral laws. 


John Stonestreet

Maria Baer

Since it was legalized in 2016, Canada has increased pressure on doctors and hospitals to offer assisted suicide. Recently, an article in WORLD Magazine reported that Canadian authorities kicked a nonprofit called the Delta Hospice Society out of its rented building because they refused to kill their patients. 

Before they closed, executives with the hospice said they had briefly considered registering as a “faith-based organization” to qualify for a religious exemption under Canadian law. 

This is a cautionary tale that while religious exemptions are important, they do not offer protection from immoral laws. This is especially the case when the state dramatically limits who should be considered “religious” enough for an exemption. Faith cannot be reduced to names or titles or just evangelistic work. More importantly, a religious exemption cannot make an unjust law just.  

So-called “Medical Aid in Dying” is exactly not aid in dying: It is aid to die, and that means it’s not medical. Instead, it is harmful. 


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