Sunday, September 12, 2021

PPC's view on abortion, euthanasia and conscience rights

UPDATED Sept 18, 2021

I asked the People's Party of Canada's Ottawa-Vanier's candidate Jean-Jacques Desgranges, his views on social conservative issues. I received the following responses.

From a PPC Spokesperson: 

There is no mention of some of these issues in our platform. Maxime has always clearly stated that the party would not take any official position on issues of conscience such as abortion, euthanasia etc, and would let PPC candidates and eventual MPs defend their own personal positions.

During the last election campaign for example, candidates Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson and Paul Mitchell in Alberta put forward a proposal for a private bill that they would table if elected that would make third-semester abortion illegal. They received support from some other candidates across the country. The Party has no problem with such initiatives, nor with candidates who would express a different viewpoint.

Maxime has himself stated publicly that he would personally support such a ban on third-semester abortion, as well as sex-selective abortions.

The Party would allow free votes on conscience issues as well as on other issues where it hasn’t taken any official position and as long as a specific position doesn’t contradict the Party’s fundamental principles. 

From Ottawa-Vanier PPC candidate Jean-Jacques Desgranges:

In essence, my view on social conservative issues like abortion, euthanasia and doctor's conscience rights remain, well, conservative. But conservative in the true sense and not that of the Party that now calls itself the Conservative Party of Canada.

With respect to abortion my view (and I trust the view of almost all Canadians) is that abortion is wrong. Abortion, like euthanasia goes against our ingrained purely human values of the protection of life from conception to natural death. Though I cannot call myself pro-choice from a conscience perspective, I do respect a person's choice to undergo (or not undergo) the procedures they feel is necessary for them. This is a personal choice as is the decision to get a flu vaccine or to be injected with the so-called COVID19 vaccine.

However, as the PPC's four pillars state, the individual freedom allowed by a collectivity is coupled with personal responsibility, which is to say that a person's choices are bound by the responsibilities that may ensue. For example, a woman who chooses to obtain an abortion must understand that this may give rise to future health complications including infertility and mental health problems. I believe there are data to support this assertion. In my view, governments must limit its involvement in solving these problems, in particular in situations where the person was clearly apprised of the risks. Sadly, our institutions (of provincial jurisdiction - health and education) have been highjacked by ideologists that choose NOT to inform our youth of likely consequences of certain choices...

...given that life is sacred, I have the same view as it applies to euthanasia, euthanasia, defined as being an act of a doctor that causes the death of an incurable person to stop suffering an agony implies the participation in cessation of life. As such, it cannot inscribe itself as being correct in our society. That said, I can understand why a doctor may choose to assist patients towards death when those who are under long term suffering and agony choose to put an end to their life. Note that I impose the responsibility of opting out of life on the patient and not the health professionals. There must be very clear guidelines as to what is "long-term" suffering and agony. Abuses will (and probably have) otherwise become common place. Governments should strive to avoid this at all costs.

Given the above, you will have understood that I am in total support of doctors' conscience rights to refuse to perform abortions or euthanasia. It is difficult for me to fathom how a doctor whose conscience opposes abortion and/or euthanasia, can continue to properly administer medical care. Having been forced to carry out the procedure, he/she may thereafter suffer mental trauma to the extent that he can no longer effectively practice medicine feeling that he/she has abandoned his/her hippocratic oath. Or, he/she has become totally desensitized to the sacredness of life and thus stops exercising restraint and due diligence in carrying out either procedure.

Frankly, it is my view that under circumstances where a government allows either of the above life cessation procedures and that proper and strict guidelines are elaborated and implemented, the job should be left to those doctors of the utilitarian mindset. The choice of any doctor who, by reason of conscience, chooses not to abort or euthanize (including assist suicide) must be respected.

The above is said, of course, with due consideration that health matters (as they have been defined by the Supreme Court of Canada) are a provincial matter, and that the federal government can only act marginally on these issues. On this aspect, I refer you to the PPC's policy on Health Care which speaks specifically to the blind distribution of your tax dollars to provinces under the guise of "health transfers" but are not necessarily used for that.

I trust this allows you to understand where I stand on those issues...

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