physician assisted death
On June 6, parliament missed the deadline to create new legislation on assisted death. Some say this was because the Canadian government's proposed legislation, Bill C-14, is not broad enough to comply with the Supreme Court's Carter decision. It seems to me, however, that the missed deadline is the result of a seemingly widespread indifference to the rule of law.
My friend Chuck wants to kill himself. He is hoping if Bill C-14 does not pass in the Senate by June 6th, he will be able to legally commit suicide with the help of a doctor, thereby ending his constant, debilitating and painful battle with mental illness. Chuck is part of a group of patients who, despite being included in the Supreme Court of Canada's ground-breaking decision in Carter vs. Canada, have been cut out of the Liberal's Bill C-14. Here's why.
Mrs. S. spent decades working in Calgary's health care system.
Coroners and medical examiners are central to monitoring PAD. As experts in accurate death reporting, they routinely engage in relevant oversight activities: they decide when a death requires further investigation, they report aggregate data concerning death and they make public matters of interest and concern regarding trends.
Talking about the end of your life must be part of your diagnosis.
Canadian opinion on the question of whether physicians should be allowed, by law, to help end the lives of people who no longer wish to live is intricately nuanced. The Trudeau government must demonstrate a grasp of how complex the issue is, and how the individual moral codes of Canadians impact their thinking.
Last month, Ottawa's expert panel on PAD -- physician-assisted death -- launched its website so that we could provide our views, not on if it should be legal (the Supreme Court decided that in February), but how it should happen.
Much of the debate surrounding Physician Assisted Death (PAD) was between those who believe in personal autonomy and the right to avoid unwanted suffering, and those who believe life is sacred and suffering is redemptive. Those same two groups are now trying to influence the creation of detailed legislation and regulations.
British Columbia Supreme Court Judge, Madam Justice Lynn Smith has released her reasons for judgment in the ground-breaking physician-assisted suicide case. In her view, a complete ban on physician-assisted suicide was a disproportionate response and a more appropriate response would be to maintain an almost-absolute prohibition but with a stringently limited and carefully monitored system of exceptions.