Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Conservative and Liberal Canadian Senators bring assisted dying bill on the way

Conservative Ontario Senator Nancy Ruth and Liberal British Columbia Senator Larry Campbell have introduced today an assisted dying bill in the Canadian Senate. They hope to have it voted on during the spring session of the House. From there it would proceed to the House of Commons for further deliberation and eventual vote.

You might recall that Conservative MP Stephen Fletcher introduced such a bill in the House of Commons, but it was killed there by procedural means by a government determined not to be associated with legislation that's broadly in sync with what more than 80% of Canadians want to see happen in the country.

We will see how this pans out. With a bit of luck it adds further momentum to the currently ongoing Supreme Court of Canada case. Certainly anything helping the momentum toward the decriminalization of assisted dying in the country is to be applauded.

Given that we are going into a federal election in 2015, I can't wait to see how the parties' head honchos and election strategists will try to wriggle their way out of this one. It's a topic that political parties and their parliamentary voting drones try to avoid as much as the plague, despite overwhelming societal support for such a change. - It goes without saying, the honourable exception was Bill 52 in Quebec, there introduced with cross-party support.

The Senate bill reportedly differs from MP Fletcher's bill in three respects:

  • It clarifies the roles of the assisting physician, the consulting physician, and who can be official witnesses.
  • It requires doctors to report to their provincial ministry that they have assisted with a death and provide a certificate with all relevant details
  • It requires a 14-day waiting period after a patient's first request to a physician for help with dying, followed by a second conversation to confirm the patient's wishes

1 comment:

  1. I don't think this bill should pass. if is does Canada become like Nederland and Belgium, where older people are scared to go to doctor in fear that they might be eliminated. I have worked on Palliative unit for over 20 years and rarely any patient with terminal cancer say: ;I want to be dead. they cherished every day and focus on living. I cannot imagine all those doctors assisting with suicides they will become mentally unstable or become insensitive monsters after, as is against humanity to murder . Who will then care for the Patients ? This is the question for all those who will vote . I wouldn't want to be treated by those doctors of death


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