Gibson correct on MAID
Congratulations to April J. Gibson for her excellent letter of May 7 responding to the issue of the Hamlets and MAID. Frankly, however, I thought that we had finished with the entire issue. Section 2a of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms clearly states that everyone has the right to freedom of religion and conscience. The exact quote, under the section entitled “Fundamental Freedoms” is “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (a) freedom of conscience and religion; (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression etc.” That means, of course, that the Hamlets has the same right not to have to contravene their most cherished beliefs in order to stay in business as a care facility.
As Gibson stated, if a person wants the services of MAID they can go to the hospital just a few minutes away. And again, as Gibson stated, people need a place where they can have their values affirmed and do so in safety. The desire to force a place with deeply held beliefs to institute a practice like MAID is repugnant and reminiscent of president Obama’s attempt to force the Little Sisters of the Poor in New York to knuckle under to his value system.
The wishes of the majority can easily morph into something truly dangerous and reprehensible as Gibson has pointed out. History shows us this. If we do not uphold the rights of the individual under the law, as expressed in the Charter and our constitution, then we are potentially going down a truly dangerous path. Once again, a great letter Ms. Gibson.