Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Hugh Scher and I presented to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee this morning concerning Bill C-14, the bill that will regulate euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.
The first presenter in the session was Marvin Bernstein, a lawyer and the chief policy adviser for UNICEF Canada. UNICEF is the United Nations Children's Fund.
In his testimony before the Senate Committee, Bernstein stated that the right to euthanasia should be extended to "mature minors."
Bernstein stated that he endorsed the Provincial-Territorial Expert Advisory report that was stacked with pro-euthanasia "experts" and he endorsed the Special Joint Committee on Physician-AssistedDying that advocated euthanasia for people with dementia, people with psychiatric conditions and "mature minors."
Bernstein argued that court cases and international human rights agreements suggest that denying euthanasia to "mature minors" infringes upon their equality rights.
Senator Don Plett asked Bernstein how his position on euthanasia for children fits within UNICEF's Mission statement?
UNICEF's Mission Statement says:
UNICEF is on a mission to reach every child and ensure their well-being, no matter where they are in this world. There’s no limit to the lengths UNICEF will go, the risks we’ll take or the depth of our commitment to save children’s lives...
We are committed to take action, save, rehabilitate and watch over children, with a special attention to the most vulnerable and excluded groups.
UNICEF utilizes its influence not only to provide safety for children in need, but also to make a noticeable change in their overall outlook on life. UNICEF believes that if we create a safe, nurturing environment, then every child will get a chance in life regardless of circumstances.
As part of the UN, we are active in more countries and have saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization.
Bernstein didn't answer the question.
Bernstein's comments to the Senate Committee are representative of an organization that has forgot its mission statement and lost its way. UNICEF was founded to save life not kill.