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Canada’s Trudeau Government to Approve Medically Assisted Suicide

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Canada's Trudeau Government Approves Euthanizing the Mentally ill

Canada will soon be offering assisted suicide for the mentally ill, alongside the already established medical assistance in dying for people with incurable illnesses.

The Trudeau government in Canada provided the latest ministerial update on the extension of the medical assistance in dying (MAID) statute to cover people with mental problems with all the amplification of a tin whistle.

The Trudeau government’s response to the February report by the special MAID joint committee of MPs was smuggled out in mid-June, when no one was looking, with the kind of fanfare generally reserved for unfulfilled electoral promises.

That should come as no surprise given that its authors — Liberal Justice Minister David Lametti and Liberal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos — do not appear to be supporters of Justin Trudeau’s decision to expand MAID eligibility to include persons whose only underlying ailment is a mental disorder.

When the law was revised in 2020 in response to a Quebec Superior Court judgement that limiting assisted dying to persons with “a reasonable foreseeability of a natural death” was unconstitutional, David Lametti was on record as opposing extending MAID to people with mental problems.

He opposed at the time on the grounds that it would endanger the life of someone whose health may have improved – an argument with which Jean-Yves Duclos, that most rational of philosophers, would undoubtedly agree.

Both have agreed to support a law that has been broadened to encompass mental diseases, due to an 11th-hour change from the Liberal-dominated Senate that the administration has opted to adopt without question.

But the Trudeau government’s statement reads like it was crafted by two guys who are embarrassed, if not ashamed, by the law.

Despite the seeming lack of enthusiasm among its supporters, it appears that Canada will begin state-assisted killing of persons who cannot be diagnosed by any medical as suffering from an incurable disease as of next March.

MAID CANADA

A few months ago, Parliament gave itself an extra year to develop a plan for implementing the next stage of MAID, and much of Lametti and Duclos’ response was devoted to a progress report on the actions being taken to standardise MAID eligibility evaluations.

There is no indication that the Trudeau government intends to reverse course.

The MAID joint committee will issue its final proposal on extending euthanasia to persons with mental problems this autumn, but skeptics should not expect much support from that group given its eagerness to broaden the eligibility criteria.

According to the National Post, Lametti and Duclos appear to be the best chance that a request for medical aid in dying does not always imply that the eligibility conditions will be met.

Last April, veteran Conservative MP Ed Fast filed a private member’s bill to reverse the government’s decision to extend MAID to the mentally ill while keeping the original euthanasia statute in place for individuals with incurable diseases.

According to Fast, the government’s extension “encourages death as a’treatment option’ for those struggling with the difficult challenge of mental illness.”

However, with the Bloc Québécois and the NDP backing the government, his efforts are likely to be in vain.

In that event, Lametti’s vow of “caution and prudence” while the MAID law reform was before the House of Commons becomes critical.

His and Duclos’ reaction to the special committee’s report suggests that any future development of MAID will be cautious.

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Two of the committee’s suggestions in its February report — that MAID be expanded to cover “mature minors” and made available to those suffering from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s who provide advance consent — were ignored by the government’s response.

Minors “deemed to have the requisite decision-making capacity,” according to the committee, should be eligible for MAID, however “for the time being,” it should be limited to those whose death is realistically foreseeable.

In response, the government provided little more than tea and sympathy. “(We) need to better understand the voice of youth on this matter, including Indigenous youth,” the letter stated, a reaction criticised by organisations such as Dying with Dignity, which wants MAID to be open to adolescents as early as 12.

Lametti and Duclos voiced worry about circumstances where people are unable to reconfirm their intention for MAID before it is administered.

While the initial euthanasia law was widely supported by Canadians as a means of reducing end-of-life suffering, the government recognises that expanding it to those with mental illness, let alone going farther, puts it on difficult ground.

According to US bioethicist Scott Kim, who spoke before a UK parliamentary committee investigating MAID, Canada currently combines “very open eligibility” with a “very aggressive medical delivery system.” In Canada alone, 10,000 people will die from MAIDS in 2021.

Trudo Lemmens, a bioethicist at the University of Toronto, said he initially supported MAID but now sees it as a sort of “harm reduction,” with the Canadian medical system embracing the idea of delivering medically assisted death “when people don’t have adequate access to social support and care.”

In medical circles, the concept of “incurability” for people with mental problems is still strongly debated. Sharon Kirkey of Postmedia recently reported on the example of a 68-year-old woman who had lived with severe depression and considered suicide for 15 years, twice seeking MAID.

Doctors then gave her ketamine, a medicine used to treat pain and treatment-resistant depression, and her depression was gone in two weeks.

Expert witnesses who testified before the special committee admitted that there is no medical data that can predict which people suffering from mental illnesses will recover.

In that event, Canada will soon offer assisted suicide, in addition to the already existing medical aid in dying for patients with chronic diseases.

It’s no surprise that Lametti and Duclos are uneasy about being the public faces of this new killing regime.

Canada to Send Asylum Seekers Back to United States

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Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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UK Heatwave: 30C Temperatures Expected This Week

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UK Heatwave 30C Temperatures Expected This Week

Following an abnormally damp start to July, parts of the UK could experience a burst of 30 degrees Celsius by the end of this week.

The warm blast is predicted to hit the South-East of England on Friday. Temperatures could set a new record for the warmest day of the year, with 30.5C recorded in Wisley, Surrey, on June 26th.

Areas that have already suffered a July downpour are expected to become significantly drier and warmer, albeit only momentarily.

But we shouldn’t put away our umbrellas just yet; the dry weather will be even shorter-lived in the northwest, and the entire UK might be unsettled as early as Saturday evening.

Most of us have had a damp and chilly start to the month, with temperatures falling below or near the seasonal normal. Some areas of the country, like Loftus in North Yorkshire and Northolt in London, have already received more than double the usual July rainfall.

On Monday, the Met Office issued a yellow rain warning, with some places receiving 15-20mm in less than an hour and 30-40mm over many hours.

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The warning was issued on St. Swithin’s Day, which may indicate rain for the next 40 days.

The cold and damp July was caused by the jet stream – a fast-moving wind high in the atmosphere – passing primarily over or to the south of the United Kingdom.

However, it has not been a washout everywhere. Some northern and western places, such as Castlederg in Northern Ireland and Machrihanish in western Scotland, have been relatively dry, receiving only 20 to 25% of their usual July rainfall.

Northern Ireland is far drier than last July, the wettest on record.

The jet stream, a fast-moving band of air high in the atmosphere that propels low-pressure storms in from the Atlantic, has angled towards the south of the UK, allowing frigid arctic air to flow in from the north.

It will now move farther north, deflecting rain to the north and west while enabling warmer air to slip in from the south.

High pressure will begin to develop from the Azores, indicating that the entire United Kingdom will be relatively dry on Wednesday.

Temperatures will be close to the seasonal norm, with 17-21C in Scotland and Northern Ireland, 18-23C in Wales, and low-to-mid-twenties in England. Of course, it will feel warmer in the bright July sunshine, something we have been lacking of late.

Rain will fall on Thursday and Friday throughout Northern Ireland and western Scotland, ushering in a return to dreary, damp conditions.

However, the dry weather may persist across much of England and Wales, with temperatures rising somewhat, particularly in south-east England.

By Friday, temperatures in London might reach 30 degrees Celsius before dropping again over the weekend.

Probably not; according to the Met Office, a heatwave is three or more consecutive days of temperatures above a certain threshold, which varies depending on where you are in the UK.

In the London area, the threshold is 28 degrees Celsius. The temperature in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and most of northern and western England is 25 degrees Celsius.

If temperatures exceed 25 degrees Celsius in July, it will be the first time this has happened in the UK.

The heat is not expected to stay long; a thunderstorm in the east on Saturday night will bring temperatures back to normal.

Next week, we can expect westerly winds with dry spells and occasional sunshine, as well as showers and prolonged spells of rain, particularly in the north and west.

Source: BBC

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Biden Set to Announce Support for Major Supreme Court changes

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Biden Set to Announce Support for Major Supreme Court changes

(CTN News) – According to two persons briefed on the preparations, US President Joe Biden is preparing to support dramatic reforms to the Supreme Court, including term limits and an enforced ethics code.

According to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose private conversations, he is also considering proposing a constitutional amendment to eliminate extensive immunity for presidents and other constitutional officeholders.

This declaration is a significant shift from Joe Biden, who, as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has long opposed progressive judicial reform efforts.

The potential revisions are in response to growing outrage over recent ethical issues involving Supreme Court Justice Thomas Clearance and judgments made by an interim majority that overturned traditional law on issues such as abortion and the federal government’s capacity to regulate.

Joe Biden mentioned this move briefly in his Zoom meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Saturday. In an off-camera remark cited in a transcript obtained by the Washington Post, Biden stated, “I am going to need your help in the Supreme Court because shortly, very shortly, I will be coming out with a major initiative, reducing the Supreme Court.” He did not want to advance this news.

Getting term limits and an ethics code through Congress would be practically impossible for two reasons: the Republican-controlled House and the Senate’s razor-thin Democratic majority. Adopting such a bill would require a 60-vote majority in the Senate.

To repeal an amendment, two-thirds of both chambers must approve it, or a convention must be called by two-thirds of the states, followed by three-fourths of the state legislature.

Following the Washington Post’s publication, former President Donald Trump criticized the action on Truth Social.

“They seek to annul the Presidential Election, and hence the Justice System, by threatening their political rival, me, and the Honorable Supreme Court. We must safeguard OUR Fair and Independent Courts and our Country by granting Abbygail the God-given right to sue.”

Source: Washington Post

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Will The Seine Be Clean Enough By The Olympics? Not Even The Experts Know Yet

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seine
Seine | AP

PARIS — A concern remains with the Paris Olympics, which are less than two weeks away: Will the Seine River be clean enough for athletes to swim in?

Triathlon and marathon swimming are set to occur in the Seine, where swimming has been prohibited for over a century. Despite the city’s efforts to clean up the long-polluted river, the water has tested dangerous for humans in recent weeks while remaining clean on other days. The Games run from July 26 to August 11.

To clean up the river, Paris spent 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) on equipment to collect more stormwater when it rains — the same water that carries bacteria-laden wastewater that enters the river after heavy rains and makes swimming dangerous.

In May, Paris officials opened a massive underground water storage basin near the Austerlitz train station to catch excess rains and prevent effluent from entering the Seine. The basin can hold the equivalent of 20 Olympic swimming pools of polluted water, which will now be cleansed, and it is the focal point of huge infrastructure improvements that the city has hastened to complete not only in time for the Games but also to ensure that Parisians have a cleaner Seine in the years ahead.

Will The Seine Be Clean Enough By The Olympics? Not Even The Experts Know Yet

However, a few periods of heavy rain could send E. coli levels above the World Triathlon Federation’s safe competition limit of 900 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters.

“The Seine is not a special case,” said Metin Duran, a Villanova University civil and environmental engineering professor and stormwater management researcher. “It really is a complicated and very costly problem.”

Like many other old cities around the world, Paris has a combined sewer system, meaning that wastewater and stormwater are routed through the same pipes. With severe or sustained rain, the pipes’ capacity is surpassed, and untreated wastewater flows into the river rather than a treatment plant.

The monitoring group Eau de Paris tests the river water daily. In recent weeks, findings showed hazardous E. coli levels, followed by results that showed improvement in early July.

According to Paris Olympic organizers, if significant rain disrupts the flow of the Seine during the Games, the triathlon will be canceled, and the marathon swimming competition will be moved to the Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium in the greater Paris region.

“It’s not very common, but it has happened a few times,” said Ollala Cernuda, head of communications at World Triathlon, the sport’s international governing body, on the potential of canceling the swim phase.

“And it’s always linked with water quality issues,” Cernuda said.

However, organizers are optimistic that drier, sunnier weather than what the French capital saw in June will allow the activities to proceed as scheduled despite the infrastructure modifications. The sun’s UV rays kill germs such as E. coli in water.

According to an Associated Press examination of weather data, Paris will have the second-most rainy days since 1950 in 2024, trailing only 2016.

Importantly for the Seine’s water quality, there have been only a few days without rain.

According to the data, Paris experienced only one weeklong dry spell this year — in early June — but between 1950 and 2020, the city was expected to have at least three such spells by the end of June.

“Predictions of rainfall have become much more accurate up to a week in advance,” said Jennifer Francis, a researcher at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Massachusetts. “But the seasonal patterns of past decades no longer provide reliable guidance in our warmer world.”

As the Games approach, the heated discussion over the cleanliness of the Seine River has become a cause of frustration for certain athletes, like Léonie Périault, a French triathlete who earned a bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“Every time I meet someone, they worry that I’m going to swim in the Seine,” Périault recalled. “But I have been swimming in this river for numerous years. In youth contests, we swam routinely in the Seine and never had any concerns.”

Last year, Périault participated in a test event on the Seine.

Will The Seine Be Clean Enough By The Olympics? Not Even The Experts Know Yet

“The setting was incredible with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop and the water conditions were not worse than anywhere else in the world,” she told me.

On Saturday, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the French Sports Minister, took a dip to demonstrate that the renowned river is clean enough. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has also announced that she will swim in the Seine this week.

Dan Angelescu, founder and CEO of Fluidion, a water-monitoring tech startup based in Paris and Los Angeles, said the river has improved since the city’s new infrastructure went online, but the Seine’s water quality remains vulnerable. His organization has been measuring the Seine’s pollution levels for numerous years.

Angelescu said it’s difficult to forecast what will happen later this month based on data from prior years because the water storage basin and other facilities did not operational until a few months ago.

“It’s difficult to tell,” Angelescu remarked in early July after the water in the Seine tested clearer than it had in previous weeks.

“To see such a drastic improvement and so rapidly could be a sign that something is working,” added the physician.

SOURCE | AP

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