In this postmodern world of ours, with its tendency at times toward a certain kind of what some might call libertarian relativism, we must continue to believe and affirm that there exist values that we can all agree are objectively good and worth protecting and promoting, values that should inform, motivate, and guide us both individually and collectively. Namely, we must subscribe to the imperative that we as human beings have a duty to support each other in our struggle in this fight for life, as some colleagues have put it, this struggle against the undeniable reality of our finite existence, our mortality. Every moment of life has value. This truth is to be asserted and upheld. This is the prevailing consensus, one that has become deeply rooted and entrenched in society over the course of history. It is also our best instinct. Many of my constituents fear that Bill C-14 would undermine this consensus, this instinct. I understand this fear.
We cannot allow ourselves to fall into indifference, to be quietly seduced by the facile notion found in the well-worn phrase “to each his own”, whereby we agree on everyone’s right to choose, but beyond that we do not think it our business to provide reinforcement for the desirable and good choice. When I hear anyone appear to frame the debate on medical assistance in dying as one of pure libertarian choice, I must admit that a little part of me shudders.