People seek death because of anxiety about climate change

Climate change activists diagnosed with environmental unrest demanded death with medical assistance. Some observers say that since then, the limits of practice have quickly diminished. 2016 legalization..

Howard Breen, a 68-year-old eco-activist from Ladysmith, British Columbia, calls himself an “international movement to convince the government to take legitimate action using nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience.” I am a member of the Action Rebellion Group. About climate and ecological emergencies. “

According to a recent article in Sub-magazineIn 2017, Breen’s doctor diagnosed him with environmental anxiety and biosphere-related depression. He told the vice that his condition was “weak”.

“It’s a big concern for me that I can’t worry about the depression I’m feeling about the condition of things, and especially about the future of my children,” he said.

Breen applied for dying medical assistance (MAiD) in February 2021, but medical evaluators told him that his condition was not an “acceptable, acceptable illness” for MAiD. After that, the federal government passed the revised MAiD Act (Bill C-7) in March 2021. March 17, 2023Breen is reapplying because the only medical condition is mental illness is eligible.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, says that even today, MAiD in people with mental illness is rarely stopped if the right people can approve it.

“Bill C-7 stated that euthanasia could kill someone due to mental illness alone, but the government declared it because there were no rules for this type of killing. Therefore, by March 2023. There is a two-year moratorium, “he said.

“The two-year moratorium isn’t going to stop anyone who is a radical euthanasia doctor or nurse from doing it, because there’s nothing in the law that says you can’t do it. is.”

As evidence, Schadenberg points to the case of a Nova Scotian man with depression and psychic illness who was approved for euthanasia. His wife filed a proceeding with the help of Shadenberg’s organization, but she could not find anything to rely on.

“”[The judge] He said the law did not give us the ability to ask questions. All the law is that you may go as long as the two doctors or practitioners … approve. … and that’s just saying that you have to be in the opinion that you meet the standards, “he explained.

“It’s impossible to prosecute a doctor in that language. In addition, as you know from the euthanasia doctor who currently runs a clinic in Canada, some people are really crazy about the idea. So it will expand. They think it’s a great idea. “

“No consistent moral analysis”

Douglas Farrow, a professor of theology and ethics at McGill University who opposes euthanasia, says he rejected the basic understanding that allows society to resist procedures.

“There is no way to stop this very rapid slip down this slippery slope without much rethinking the question of whether human life is a gift from God. Talking about life as a gift with the Creator. Unless you want to, there’s no way to arrest Slide, “Farrow said in an interview.

Farrow says that the removal of faith in God left a gap in the moral framework of how people interact with each other and with creation.

“When that order collapses, there are irreversible tensions between humans and between humans and the world of other creatures,” he said.

“The lack of consistent moral analysis does not lead to consistent legal analysis, and we only make rules as we go. And unfortunately, these rules are not the protection of human life. , Often tend to favor the exclusion of human life. “

Kiffer Card, a researcher of mental distress at Simon Fraser University (SFU), wants environmental anxiety, which has been recognized as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association and Canadian authorities.

“One of the challenges we face in this area is politics, people are not legally suffering, or they are not in legal mental health.” The card said to the vice.. “So I would be surprised if his proceedings were accepted. There are too many stigmas surrounding both suicide and climate insecurity.”

The Epoch Times asked Breen and Card for comment, but did not respond.


Breen has been actively involved in the protests of Extinction Rebellion, which has received a lot of attention. This included throwing himself into a log boom in Nanaimo, British Columbia last June to disrupt forestry, and in October last year he set foot on the tarmac at Nanaimo Airport, “shut down and shut down the runway. Includes plans to spray paint the word “to do”. The runaway climate disappears at the tarmac. “

Farrow says this context raises a reasonable question as to whether Breen wants to use his death as the ultimate statement to the world about his cause.

Shadenberg says he doesn’t know how much Breen’s request for MAiD is due to and how honest it is. In any case, he is concerned that if the request is approved, environmentally friendly euthanasia could become an epidemic “contagion.”

“Looking at this generation of young people who are told a lot about the universe and who are completely afraid that the world will end in their lifetime, we see that there is a lot of environmental insecurity,” he says. increase. He said.

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.

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