Rory Leishman

Moral dimension of poverty

National Affairs Rory Leishman While the Trudeau Liberal government deserves credit for a substantial decline in child poverty over the past few years, there is still much that both the federal and the provincial governments should do to safeguard the lives and enhance the well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable of our fellow Canadians –starting, of course, with babies in the womb. As it is, the Trudeau ... (Continue reading)

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Religion, sexual morality, and tolerance

National Affairs Rory Leishman In recent years, theologically orthodox Christians have come under sustained attack throughout Europe and North America. The Netherlands, once renowned for its tolerance, is no exception. Some 250 Dutch Calvinists are now undergoing a hate-crime investigation for publicly reaffirming the traditional teaching of the Christian Church on the sinfulness of sexual intercourse outside the bond of marriage between a man and a woman. The focus ... (Continue reading)

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Diverse views in expert panel report on expanding euthanasia

National Affairs Rory Leishman In a remarkable report released in December, the Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) which was convened by the Canadian Council of Academies at the request of the Trudeau government concluded that there is no consensus among academic authorities on the wisdom of amending Canada’s euthanasia law to include MAiD for mature minors, advance directives for MAiD, or MAiD for mentally ill, ... (Continue reading)

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Brave new world of CRISPR babies

National Affairs Rory Leishman Despite the intense controversy over the birth last November of the world’s first gene-altered designer babies in China, numerous leading biologists around the world are proceeding with similar, potentially catastrophic experiments. The crisis has been brought on by the invention of CRISPR Cas9, a revolutionary new technology for editing genes that was hailed four years ago by MIT Technology Reviewas “the biggest biotech discovery of ... (Continue reading)

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Churches backsliding on morality

National Affairs Rory Leishman That is the best, most reliable and time-tested means of determining the difference between good and evil? According to the Book of Proverbs, King Solomon had the right answer: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own ... (Continue reading)

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Politicized courts

National Affairs Rory Leishman New York Senator Charles E. Schumer, Minority Leader of the Democrats in the United States Senate, has aptly described the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States as “one of the saddest, most sordid chapters in the long history of the federal judiciary.” Is it conceivable that judicial nominees to the Supreme Court of Canada could ever ... (Continue reading)

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How the courts allowed pornography

How the courts allowed pornography

For the past 30 years, Canadians have been increasingly inundated with the most disgusting exhibitions of pornography on television, in the movies, and on-line. How can that be? Throughout this period, the Criminal Code of Canada has clearly stated that everyone commits an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment who (a) makes, prints, publishes or circulates any “obscene” thing whatever or (b) publicly exhibits “an indecent show.” As ... (Continue reading)

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Dutch experience provides cautionary tale on euthanasia

National Affairs Rory Leishman Less than a year after the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously legalized euthanasia for mentally competent patients in the 2015 Carter ruling, Liberals and New Democrats on the Special Joint Committee of Parliament on Physician-Assisted Dying unanimously recommended that the law on euthanasia should extend to mentally incompetent patients as well. Everyone who supports this so-called progressive reform, should contemplate the shocking case of a 74-year old dementia patient ... (Continue reading)

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U.S. Supreme Court affirms religious rights

U.S. Supreme Court affirms religious rights

National Affairs Rory Leishman In a significant seven-to-two ruling in Masterpiece Cake Shop Ltd. v. Colorado on June 4, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a ruling by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that a Christian baker had no right in law to refuse on grounds of sincere religious conviction to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. That baker can count himself lucky to live in ... (Continue reading)

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The difficult case of Alfie Evans

National Affairs Rory Leishman On April 23, Alfie Evans, an infant afflicted with a devastating neurodegenerative brain disease, was removed from a life-sustaining ventilator in Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital over the strenuous objections of his parents. Five days later, he died aged 23 months. Notwithstanding all the rumours and misinformation beclouding this intensely controversial case, there is general agreement that Alfie was severely handicapped. On Feb. 20, ... (Continue reading)

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What’s wrong with psychiatry?

National Affairs Rory Leishman Paul McHugh, University Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry in the John Hopkins School of Medicine, relates in Try to Remember: Psychiatry’s Clash Over Meaning, Memory and Mind, that he has often put this question to himself and others over the past few decades, having “repeatedly witnessed how faddish misdirections of thought and therapeutic practice sweep across the field to dominate opinion and action for years, only ... (Continue reading)

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The courts vs. conscience rights

National Affairs Rory Leishman On Jan. 31, the Ontario Divisional Court held in The Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, that pro-life physicians have no constitutional right to refuse to collaborate in killing or assisting in the death of a suicidal patient upon request. Who bears primary responsibility for this appalling decision? In this case, as in so many ... (Continue reading)

Euthanizing psychiatric and dementia patients

Euthanizing psychiatric and dementia patients

National Affairs Rory Leishman Following a much-publicized campaign to obtain medical assistance in dying, Aurelia Brouwers, a 29-year-old, Dutch psychiatric patient, killed herself on Jan. 26, by drinking a lethal potion served up by a physician affiliated with a roving Dutch death squad, the Levenseindekliniek (an end-of-life clinic) in The Hague, the Netherlands. Brouwers was not terminally ill. Neither was she afflicted with any physical illness. Under the ... (Continue reading)

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Right and wrong

  National Affairs Rory Leishman Over the past few decades, most people in Canada, the United States, Europe, and elsewhere have chosen to rely on their own unaided reason as a guide to morality with the result that they now condone everything from legalized abortion to assisted-suicide, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage. John Calvin, the founder of Presbyterianism, would have been appalled, but not surprised by such moral degradation. He ... (Continue reading)

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Meet Sheilah Martin, the newest judicial activist

National Affairs Rory Leishman Madam Justice Sheilah Martin, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest pick for the Supreme Court of Canada, will probably be just as bad as – if not worse than – former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and all the other judicial activists on the Court who have treated the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a mandate for unelected judges to dictate public ... (Continue reading)

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