Canada Is Not Only Euthanizing Persons but Personhood Itself

Much work must be done to restore the proper understanding of personhood—what it means to be human—in societies that permit euthanasia. This work will take not just years, but decades and possibly even longer than that.
Moral and ethical reflection, making normative sense of the world and striving to live accordingly, is an essential part of being human. Public leaders need to better grasp the role that conscience rights play in a free and democratic society. If they do not, freedom of conscience and the kind of society we cherish will eventually disappear.
It seems particularly disturbing to imagine legalizing euthanasia in this moment, let alone expanding access to euthanasia if it is already legal. Even so, this is precisely what is underway in Canada.
Debates over judicial review and constitutional interpretation only stand to benefit from deeper reflection on the type of political community the Constitution established. The Political Constitution invites us to take the word republic, and its vision of self-government, seriously.