A headline from the Canadian Press on my browser today read “Death due to COVID-19 parties could lead to manslaughter charges: experts”.
In short, legal experts in British Columbia explain that manslaughter charges stem from an unlawful act that causes death and a foreseeable activity that causes bodily harm.
The comment was made in reference to a decision that a person had made to disobey a COVID-19 Public Health Order and hold a house party that was attended by 78 people. The provincial judge overseeing the court hearing said that if anyone who attended the party became infected and dies, the individual would be guilty of manslaughter.
That certainly made me think. About what we are seeing and learning as COVID becomes part of our everyday lives, and about the choices and the logic that various people are using. How COVID is restricting their freedom and their right to live their life as they choose.
It’s a complex debate, but to simplify things, maybe we could use alcohol as an analogy. You may choose to drink, and it may not be my right to tell you whether you can drink or not, or to take that beer or glass of alcohol out of your hands, but if you choose to drink and then do something reckless like drinking and driving, knowing full well that it is illegal and could cause harm, and then you in fact cause harm or death, then you will be charged with manslaughter, or worse.
COVID-19 is really no different. If it can be proven that you knowingly chose to disobey lawful orders and, in doing so, infected or caused the infection of another person or persons that caused harm or death, then there could be consequences for that. It’s really no different. It’s like anything in life – yes, you have free choice, but like any choice there are consequences – good and bad – which you have to accept. Choice and consequences go hand in hand. Our society has not evolved into anarchy where you can do whatever you choose.
The choice around COVID vaccinations are no different. We have a choice to get the shot, or not. And you may choose to not get the shot, but a consequence could and should be that you may not have the same freedoms as those who are vaccinated. Having your cake and eating it too is not something you should expect or be entitled to, especially not when it puts other’s lives at risk. And in this grossly over-litigious world we live in, it’s only a matter of time before creative and shrewd lawyers will turn this situation into another opportunity for themselves.
Just wait, it’s coming and B.C. is proving it.