Share your opinion with editor@langleyadvancetimes.com

LETTER: Individual rights should trump collective laws in most cases, Langley man argues

The debate about collective social beliefs and individual rights has hit a nerve with readers

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the letter: Walnut Grove letter writer lays out personal beliefs on killing submitted by David Nielsen and published in the Langley Advance Times, Nov 11.

David takes issue with the term “beliefs of the majority” versus the inalienable/unalterable rights and rules within our democracy as they pertain to the issue of medically assisted death and medical abortion. He sees societal beliefs and societal rules as different and distinct, but in my mind they are a bit like the “chicken and the egg.”

Where do our democratic rights and rules came from, if not from shared beliefs? The Canadian public have made their wishes known regarding medically assisted dying (MAiD) and medical abortions and this is democracy at work. It is the fundamental basis to democracy that “the majority rules.”

As well, I feel it was in poor taste that David used the examples of historical racism against African Americans and German Jews as analogies to support his claim that majority opinions are always wrong. Really? I can’t see how racist beliefs can be used to compare beliefs about increased individual freedoms and the right to choose.

We should be thankful that we live in a country where majority opinion is able to force progressive changes to rules and laws that increase individual choice and freedoms. That is not to say that these changes should be made lightly, but after much discussion and examination. That is how we develop as a society. To continue to be guided by out-dated and irrelevant rules and laws leads to societal mutiny. I believe that the ability to make the ultimate choices regarding our own bodies is “rights and freedoms” at the most basic level.

Of all David’s opinions, I am in agreement with one; that we should not impose our beliefs on others. We differ however on how we interpret “imposing.” Letting the majority decide, is the expectation of a democratic system. This is not imposing, but an attempt at the opposite. David is misguided in feeling an obligation to inform and educate the “majority progressive left” (his words) that they are wrong. It seems to me that “abdicating collective responsibility” (his words) and letting the individual decide is exactly the same as not imposing our beliefs on others.

While I respect David’s right to state his opinion, majority beliefs have and will again, become tomorrow’s rules and laws. There is no point reopening what has in the past been a bitter polarizing argument. MAiD and medical abortions are not murder. They are an individual choice and a right in Canadian society, as determined by the beliefs of the majority.

Roy McLure, Fort Langley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Theatre students tackle mental health in stage production

Langley actor Brayden Meehan stars in Capilano University production of 7 Stories, Feb. 4 to 8

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

VIDEO: House fire on Old Yale Road draws multiple fire units

No immediate reports of serious injuries

Rising jazz stars welcome to apply for Fort Langley festival award

Winner will receive a scholarship of $1,000 and a main stage performance opportunity

Population growth slows in Langley Township

The community is still growing, however

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read