The Quebec Supreme Court has ruled that Canadians have the right to purchase health care privately.
Like the man who brought the case, my own mother has been waiting since last summer for a hip replacement. It will be at least a year. Meanwhile, in addition to the pain, she cannot walk. Kind of puts a crimp in your lifestyle. Making it illegal to get medical care is an obvious violation of human rights; the court ruled correctly. All other Western nations with universal health care seem to have so-called “two-tier” care, which allows people to opt out of the public system if they are prepared to pay for a private plan.
Predictably, though, the left is alarmed. In the Toronto Star, Ian Urquhart has called for use of the “notwithstanding” clause to override the Charter of Rights. Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton agrees: “This is exactly the circumstance when the notwithstanding clause should be used,” he said. “At the end of the day, the people should make the decisions on these kinds of issues.”
“In its ruling yesterday,” Urquhart writes, outlining the problem, “the Supreme Court has, in effect, placed an individual's right to buy private medical insurance above the collective preference for universal and public medicare.”
God forbid. But that is exactly what the doctrine of human rights is supposed to be about: the rights of the individual against the collective.
And what spectacular hypocrisy, from those who embraced the courts’ recent interventions on homosexual rights.