Canadian Liberty

Week of Mar 20 / 05   Previous   Next    Update: Mar 26/05

Health Freedom: Bill C-420
Schiavo Case: Government's Role in the Disposal of Disabled Family Members

Health Freedom: Bill C-420

Bill C-420: An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act, First reading, October 21, 2004

In order to protect us from CODEX, according to, Dr. James Lunney introduced Bill C-420, which seeks to widen the definition of "food" in the Food and Drugs Act to include "any ingredient that may be mixed with food for any purpose whatever, including dietary supplements, herbs and other natural health products," and to narrow the definition of the word "drug". Also, it seeks to repeal certain sections of the Act, namely 3(1), 3(2) and Schedule A.

Of course when I start reading the old Food and Drugs Act, I just want to give up! The following section for instance is just a violation our right to free expression, and prevents possibly helpful and truthful information from being conveyed to mature consumers who are able to evaluate it for themselves, and then decide what they put in their own bodies - which belong to them.


3. (1) No person shall advertise any food, drug, cosmetic or device to the general public as a treatment, preventative or cure for any of the diseases, disorders or abnormal physical states referred to in Schedule A.

(2) No person shall sell any food, drug, cosmetic or device

(a) that is represented by label, or

(b) that the person advertises to the general public

as a treatment, preventative or cure for any of the diseases, disorders or abnormal physical states referred to in Schedule A.

In a free society, businesses should be able to make any kind of statement and then take the consequences in the form of fraud charges, or lost business or bad reputation or just scientific correction. People just want solutions that work. They just want to learn more. They want to try things. They know that nobody has all the answers, not even the so-called authorities. If information is suppressed, how do consumers learn anything? Always we have to live with these types of restrictions!

More on Bill C-420 and Codex

EarthSave Canada article: In the Global Village, Who Controls the Herb Garden?

Another site that opposes Codex:

March 10, 2005: Lunney’s Natural Health Product Initiative Goes to Committee

"Dr. James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni, congratulated all Members in the House of Commons for passing the second reading of Private Member’s Bill C-420, which he originally introduced in the last session of Parliament..."

Ongoing problems with Bill C-420

"Bill C-420 made it to Standing Committee in the house on March 9th, but I am afraid that most Members are in favour of creating a 3rd category for our supplements instead of treating them as the Natural Foods that they are derived from ..."

March 12, 2005: C-420 Debate transcript

After reading the comments of the Bloc Quebecois member in the above document, who explains why natural health products should have a third category, I'm beginning to realize that this bill is trying to be a bit too clever in attempting to have them covered by the term "food". It feels to me like this bill may backfire and lead to more regulations. Am I wrong? If it morphs into something more destructive, its supporters need to kill it - if they can.

Codex Alimentarius Commission

"The Codex Alimentarius Commission was created in 1963 by FAO and WHO to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme. The main purposes of this Programme are protecting health of the consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in the food trade, and promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organizations."

Schiavo Case: Government's Role in the Disposal of Disabled Family Members

Read this shocking affidavit, which is just one of many at Affidavit of Carla Sauer Iyer, R.N.

The media's level of ignorance of important news stories always disappoints me. For years now, we've witnessed the media give Bush and Blair the benefit of the doubt with their constant lies concerning Iraq. This week, we were treated to enraging and superficial coverage of the Terri Schiavo case.

All of a sudden, the mainstream media has discovered the concept that the U.S. federal government shouldn't interfere with the states' jurisdiction. And they are right about that. It is sad to see the Republicans in the federal government posture in a way that intrudes on the sovereignty of the states.

But frankly, it's not nearly so sad as the fact that the Florida courts decided that Terri Schiavo's husband has the right to starve his disabled wife to death, and to deprive her of therapy, despite the wishes of her parents.

I don't remember having a debate on euthanasia in which "we" decided that giving a brain-damaged woman food and water was an extreme intervention, and that depriving her of food and water was "okay". I would have just assumed that people would consider killing a woman - who may or may not recover - a totally questionable act, not to mention that starvation and dehydration as a method of death seems very cruel.

As far as I'm concerned, the only legitimate role of government is to protect the basic rights of human beings, and that's what they - the state of Florida - should be doing here. In this case, the Florida courts think it is their job to carry out the husband's wishes rather than protect the life of an innocent person. However, the first responsibility of the law should be to defend the life of the innocent where it is being actively threatened by someone. The assertions that Terri expressed a wish to die if she was in a situation like this are disputed, and even if they are true, does it excuse all that has happened?

Terri's parents are trying to save their daughter's life. To them their daughter is still alive and present, and I bet they tune out others' generalizations and opinions about the value and quality of their daughter's life!

If you want to find out the other side of the story, you can read it here. The media is too lazy to bother with it, so the public has it all wrong. We want to believe in delusions: "Oh, the courts are good, and judges administer justice and all family members always care deeply about their disabled loved ones, and they only have their best interest at heart, they only want to stop their suffering!" And this case - it's supposed to be oh-so "complicated" and "heart-rending" - too complicated and heart-rending to bother investigating! And the media goes on and on like that as if we're all living in fantasy land, and all the pro-eugenics ghosts become emboldened and come out of hiding.

More, including some other points of view Mar 21 - No quick decision in Schiavo case

...her parents insist she could recover with treatment. Schiavo Dilemma: Brain Death vs. Physical Life Disability Activists Call for Moratorium on Starvation and Dehydration Questions about how she sustained her injuries!

Note that the Empire Journal seems to be exclusively devoted to the cause of Terri Schiavo's parents. I don't want to imply any links here are unbiased. Every source has biases. March 23/05: Schiavo Judge Tells DCF, FDLE, Gov. Bush No Protective Custody Mar 26 '05: National News Media Slanted Coverage in Schiavo Case

Chronicles Magazine's Thomas Fleming: Never Say Die

Intelligent discussion of the issue from the point of view of a traditional Catholic. Readers disagreed here, and I disagree with some of what he said also. Too interesting a person for the mainstream.

Terri Schiavo responding to interaction on March 18?! Declaration of Suzanne Vitadamo

Some Libertarian Views

Anthony Gregory

William Anderson

Jeremy Sapienza at

***William L. Anderson: Terri Schiavo, the State, and the Culture of Death***

"Within a few days from now, Terri Schiavo will be dead because the courts have ordered that she be starved to death. Anyone who tries to intervene by giving her even a sip of water is arrested and led off in handcuffs..."

"In the continuing criticism of President George W. Bush and the Republicans in Congress, we forget that this issue has come to this point because the state courts in Florida have held themselves to be above the law."


I don't agree with the U.S. federal government getting involved in this case, but I question what happened in the Florida courts. I question why her husband Michael Schiavo was not removed as guardian. And I even question this alleged "Persistent Vegetative State". I also am not convinced that a feeding tube is an extreme intervention. Depriving her of food and water and treatment for infections seems cruel. Do people know about the history of this case? The media doesn't want to bother covering the other side of the story properly.

The Florida courts should have turned over the guardianship to her parents a long time ago, and any decisions should be made by her parents and they should be free to care for her and feed her normally.

I don't agree with the politicization of these matters, but it isn't just one side that's doing it. Also, courts and judges should be held to account and so should the media. The pro-life movement is mixing with bad company by continuing to court the Republicans, but the pro-death movement is stronger than ever, and people are rightfully concerned. All of this is relevant to ordinary people, because we will run into this again and again.

In the past there might have been some chance of Terri Schiavo recovering, and maybe even now for all I know. Her life has value. We don't know what's going on in her mind for certain. Maybe others think they do, but I don't. Sick people suffer and we try to heal them so that they recover. Treatments can be given to prevent suffering. Of course there are cases where it makes sense to allow people to die, and doctors and family members have to make these decisions. But there should be safeguards, otherwise many people will be terminating their family members only because they don't want them to suffer (without concern for their wishes or for other considerations), or because they are depressed, or because it's convenient, or financially beneficial.

People need to err on the side of life, in order to prevent injustice.

I think this kind of attitude that "I wouldn't want to suffer like that" assumes too much about others, and it could lead to situations where people are too quick to pull the plug, only because they can't stand dealing with their loved one dying or being disabled, or because they imagine being in that situation themselves and projecting their sensibilities onto that sick person.

Life involves suffering. There are other values besides avoiding suffering, and a person might need more time to deal with things before they die, or they might have to go through suffering before they recover. It should be up to them ultimately, but not without safeguards. We should be careful about applying our own feelings to others and the assumptions we make about others and about generalizing our ideas to other people.

To raise a different sort of situation, for example: any time a person wants to die, should we just go along with that or encourage it? Of course not! That's not done! Not yet! In Canada, there is typically active intervention in preventing suicide and treating mental illness. There should be non-violent persuasion and intervention by loved ones and doctors and paramedics, and yes, the police too. When a person is suicidal with depression, do you want doctors or the government to automatically just go along with their request to die - or even worse to force it and not allow family intervention - or to go along with the permission of one family member called the "guardian"? I hope we never get to that situation in Canada or the U.S., but are we almost there yet?

Also, I should address the financial side of this. In Canada, families should be free to help pay for the care of their loved ones, so that the socialized medical system is not motivated to cut corners and let people die in order to save money.