The right to die with dignity

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Slumberjack

Slumberjack wrote:
Whether Trudeau supports it or not, didn't the existing federal law compel the intrusion? 

Unionist wrote:
No.

So there are laws, but they're optional?  Hmm...who is being the anarchist now?

Quote:
On the basis that the law offends against the Charter - and that people's constitutional right (as upheld by the Supreme Court) to avoid unbearable suffering in the context of a terminal disease should not have to await lazy federal legislators, when Québec has already worked on this issue for six years and is ready to go.

A law that offends is still a law until it isn't.  It's probably best, starting with the assistant in an assisted suicide, that all the legal check boxes are ticked.  It's not quite the same as when a person decides to break the existing laws around possession of marijuana, by possessing it.

Quote:
Where do you read that every violation of the Criminal Code has to be prosecuted?

Well, you know it might help if they came out with a list of the ones they're not bothering with anymore, because there's a few I'd like to run out and violate right now.

Quote:
And the job of prosecution is up to the provinces, not the federal government.

Yes, and so they're provided with the CCC as alternative reading? 

Quote:
For starters, any law which has been ruled as unconstitutional.

Usually in those situations a time limit is given to re-write or quash the relevant sections of the code.  In the meantime, as with cases involving medicinal marijuana, a person couldn't plant a crop the instant a court ruled the law against planting your own is unconstitutional.  That would make the court the drafter and approver of laws.  That activist label gets thrown around enough already with respect to the courts.

Quote:
How could an "actual assisted suicide" be successfully challenged after the fact? Who would challenge it - some crown counsel somewhere? And if they did, which court would find guilt, knowing that on appeal, the basis of conviction would necessarily still be held to be unconstitutional?

Oh, you know, grieving relatives and what not.  You never know where their grief will take them.  It would be difficult to tell where such a complaint would come from if legal ambiguity was present.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

Unionist wrote:
Where do you read that every violation of the Criminal Code has to be prosecuted?

Well, you know it might help if they came out with a list of the ones they're not bothering with anymore, because there's a few I'd like to run out and violate right now.

Let me start your list with Section 287 of the Criminal Code - yeah, it's still there, intact, and no one has been prosecuted under it for about 30 years now. Notwithstanding the wannabe boyfriends grieving the loss of "their" "child", etc.

Quote:

Abortion

Procuring miscarriage

  • 287. (1) Every one who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a female person, whether or not she is pregnant, uses any means for the purpose of carrying out his intention is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.
  • Woman procuring her own miscarriage

    (2) Every female person who, being pregnant, with intent to procure her own miscarriage, uses any means or permits any means to be used for the purpose of carrying out her intention is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

  • Definition of “means”

    (3) In this section, “means” includes

    • (a) the administration of a drug or other noxious thing;

    • (b) the use of an instrument; and

    • (c) manipulation of any kind.

  • Exceptions

    (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to

    • (a) a qualified medical practitioner, other than a member of a therapeutic abortion committee for any hospital, who in good faith uses in an accredited or approved hospital any means for the purpose of carrying out his intention to procure the miscarriage of a female person, or

    • (b) a female person who, being pregnant, permits a qualified medical practitioner to use in an accredited or approved hospital any means for the purpose of carrying out her intention to procure her own miscarriage,

    if, before the use of those means, the therapeutic abortion committee for that accredited or approved hospital, by a majority of the members of the committee and at a meeting of the committee at which the case of the female person has been reviewed,

    • (c) has by certificate in writing stated that in its opinion the continuation of the pregnancy of the female person would or would be likely to endanger her life or health, and

    • (d) has caused a copy of that certificate to be given to the qualified medical practitioner.

  • Information requirement

    (5) The Minister of Health of a province may by order

    • (a) require a therapeutic abortion committee for any hospital in that province, or any member thereof, to furnish him with a copy of any certificate described in paragraph (4)(c) issued by that committee, together with such other information relating to the circumstances surrounding the issue of that certificate as he may require; or

    • (b) require a medical practitioner who, in that province, has procured the miscarriage of any female person named in a certificate described in paragraph (4)(c), to furnish him with a copy of that certificate, together with such other information relating to the procuring of the miscarriage as he may require.

  • Definitions

    (6) For the purposes of subsections (4) and (5) and this subsection,

    “accredited hospital”

    « hôpital accrédité »

    “accredited hospital” means a hospital accredited by the Canadian Council on Hospital Accreditation in which diagnostic services and medical, surgical and obstetrical treatment are provided;

    “approved hospital”

    « hôpital approuvé »

    “approved hospital” means a hospital in a province approved for the purposes of this section by the Minister of Health of that province;

    “board”

    « conseil »

    “board” means the board of governors, management or directors, or the trustees, commission or other person or group of persons having the control and management of an accredited or approved hospital;

    “Minister of Health”

    « ministre de la Santé »

    “Minister of Health” means

    • (a) in the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, the Minister of Health,

    • (b) in the Provinces of Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, the Minister of Public Health, and

    • (c) in the Province of British Columbia, the Minister of Health Services and Hospital Insurance,

    • (d) in the Province of Alberta, the Minister of Hospitals and Medical Care,

    • (e) in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the Minister of Health;

    “qualified medical practitioner”

    « médecin qualifié »

    “qualified medical practitioner” means a person entitled to engage in the practice of medicine under the laws of the province in which the hospital referred to in subsection (4) is situated;

    “therapeutic abortion committee”

    « comité de l’avortement thérapeutique »

    “therapeutic abortion committee” for any hospital means a committee, comprised of not less than three members each of whom is a qualified medical practitioner, appointed by the board of that hospital for the purpose of considering and determining questions relating to terminations of pregnancy within that hospital.

  • Requirement of consent not affected

    (7) Nothing in subsection (4) shall be construed as making unnecessary the obtaining of any authorization or consent that is or may be required, otherwise than under this Act, before any means are used for the purpose of carrying out an intention to procure the miscarriage of a female person.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 287;
  • 1993, c. 28, s. 78;
  • 1996, c. 8, s. 32;
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 141;
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 48.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Let me start your list with Section 287 of the Criminal Code - yeah, it's still there, intact, and no one has been prosecuted under it for about 30 years now. Notwithstanding the wannabe boyfriends grieving the loss of "their" "child", etc.

Quote:
CCC 287

The passage of time rendered that old law from the 60's irrelevent.  That and several tragic cases in Ontario stemming from C-43, and the fact that Parliament has not seen fit to re-submit legislation that turns a former 'criminal' matter into a purely medical discussion between doctor and patient.  In the Ontario medical marijuana case, R. vs. Parker, the court suspended it's ruling of invalidty of the applicable controlled substance laws because it made no provision for medical use.  The one year suspension was intended to allow government to review and change it's policies by amending the relevant acts.  So there is precedence for a grace period where the court tosses the ball back to the makers and amenders of law.  So we're talking about February 2015 for the Supreme Court ruling on assisted suicide, not quite one year, and there's been a government transition since.  In terms of assisted suicide, to my knowledge there has been no widespread ignoring of the relevant laws in favour of such personal decisions, with which a precedence by way of practice might be established, as was the case with abortion or personal marijuana consumption for medical purposes in several jurisdictions.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

These laws will be used by the State to get rid of people who are too rebellious. First, psychiatric incarceration. Then, uncaring medical bureaucrats can sign the forms and shuffle the patient through. The execution is written up as an 'assisted suicide'. No wonder they are so keen on it in Quebec.

lagatta

Montrealer, have you been smoking something?

Unionist

montrealer58 wrote:

These laws will be used by the State to get rid of people who are too rebellious. First, psychiatric incarceration. Then, uncaring medical bureaucrats can sign the forms and shuffle the patient through. The execution is written up as an 'assisted suicide'. No wonder they are so keen on it in Quebec.

Where is the real montrealer58 being held and how much will it cost us for a speedy release???

Unionist

Court tells opponents of physician-assisted suicide to drop dead... for 8 days! This drama is getting more gripping by the day. Too bad the Trudeau government didn't act courageously and tell Québec to just go ahead:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-s-assisted-dying-law-comes...'s assisted dying law comes into effect today[/url]

Quote:

Starting today, it is legal in Quebec for terminally ill patients to choose to die.

The province's end-of-life care bill, which was adopted in the National Assembly in June 2014, went into effect at midnight.

"People in this province have made the debate. They have concluded. There is a law….the principle of having the choice is something that people want to have," said Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette.

But patients may only have that choice for the next eight days, due to pending legal hearings. [...]

The Quebec Justice Ministry has already instructed Crown prosecutors not to pursue any doctors under the Criminal Code who perform medically assisted death operations.

And that's not all:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/assisted-dying-bloc-quebecois-special-co... Québécois holds up parliamentary committee on assisted dying[/url]

Quote:

The Trudeau government wants a special parliamentary committee to consult broadly on medically assisted dying and report back with recommendations for a new law by the end of February.

But the government's attempt to put a rush on the matter has been obstructed, for now, by the Bloc Québécois.

Bloc MPs are refusing to give unanimous consent to create the committee, protesting the fact that they won't have membership on any parliamentary committees because the party is two short of the dozen MPs required for official party status in the Commons.

And Elizabeth May tweeted

Elizabeth May wrote:
Bloc is blocking unanimous consent on a number of motions. It's a fight for rights of smaller parties. If I was there, I'd do the same. #hw

History in the making!

Slumberjack

What an idiot statement from May.  Its about the rights of the terminally ill, not of her stupid party to use the palliative body as a soapbox.

That aside, this does indeed represent progress for the individuals and/or families.  If buttons the cat can be put down, why not Uncle Bob, or better yet, Uncle Gary.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

What an idiot statement from May.  Its about the rights of the terminally ill, not of her stupid party to use the palliative body as a soapbox.

Re-read her tweet - it's less than 140 characters, shouldn't take long. She's obviously talking about a series of different motions, not the right to die issue.

Quote:
That aside, this does indeed represent progress for the individuals and/or families.  If buttons the cat can be put down, why not Uncle Bob, or better yet, Uncle Gary.

Seems you're trying to say something about assisted dying. Why not formulate your thoughts and write them down, for our benefit?

pookie

Unionist, there are in fact a number of Crim Code provisions that Parl has never gotten around to repealing which are of no force and effect because they have been found unconstitutional.  Section 287 (abortion) is one of those.  It is a huge problem in terms of having fair notice of the law.  But that is not an example of the Crown refusing to prosecute.  The Crown can't prosecute.

I am very disappointed at the federal govt making the argument that it did.  But the SCC specifically said that the criminal law remains in effect until Feb 6.  So the Crown would be within its rights to prosecute.  It is no different from the delayed remedy around the prostitution laws.  Which is why I hate delayed remedies.

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Intentionally left blank

Ah, ok.  The matter at hand involves Quebec and so you're up on your haunches.

Unionist

Very encouraging news:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeau-hails-quebecs-appro... hails Quebec’s approach to assisted dying after talk with Couillard[/url]

Quote:

“I have always congratulated Quebecers and the national assembly for its responsible and rigorous approach to such a delicate and sensitive topic for so many people,” Trudeau said.

“In our submission to the Supreme Court for a six-month extension beyond Feb. 6, we are very open (to the idea) that the (court) consider the fact that Quebec has already established the kind of framework it asked the federal government and the provinces to establish.

“Quebec has shown exactly what the Supreme Court wanted to see.” [...]

Trudeau was asked Friday whether he believes a Quebec doctor who now helps someone die is violating the Criminal Code.

“It’s certainly important we have a Criminal Code that applies across the country,” he replied.

“But we know very well that on many issues, be it the legal age for buying alcohol or sentences for young offenders, there are various solutions proposed by the provinces that don’t violate the Criminal Code.”

lagatta

While I agree with both May and the Bloc caucus about the rights of smaller parties (and that is a matter of democracy, not what I think of either party), I do find it unfortunate that the Bloc was blocking unanimous consent, given Bloc MP Francine Lalonde's long and courageous fight for the right to die with dignity and for the person whose life is at issue to have the say in this matter.

Slumberjack, I really don't see what you are getting at here.

Though I support assisted suicide in other cases as well; as a matter of self-determination. Yes, there have to be safeguards against pressures on "bed-blockers", but most of the hysteria about that has been raised by so-called pro-lifers who have an animus to such choice, and dearly love to meddle in other people's lives.

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

While I agree with both May and the Bloc caucus about the rights of smaller parties (and that is a matter of democracy, not what I think of either party), I do find it unfortunate that the Bloc was blocking unanimous consent, given Bloc MP Francine Lalonde's long and courageous fight for the right to die with dignity and for the person whose life is at issue to have the say in this matter.

Lagatta, I hope you're not under the impression that the Bloc opposes the right to die with dignity. Nothing could be further from the truth. They made their stand extremely clear on this matter, calling on the federal government to get the hell out and allow Québec to implement the legislation, passed with all-party consensus, which it has been working on for 6 years. As far as I can see, it is the only party so far that has taken the precise stand that Francine Lalonde bravely championed. That doesn't mean they have to get down on their knees on every tactical consideration that comes before the House.

Quote:

Though I support assisted suicide in other cases as well; as a matter of self-determination. Yes, there have to be safeguards against pressures on "bed-blockers", but most of the hysteria about that has been raised by so-called pro-lifers who have an animus to such choice, and dearly love to meddle in other people's lives.

And I have to say: I have no clue where SJ stands, and I invited him above to speak to the actual issue if he wanted to (you know, instead of engaging in mockery). But I think it would be very wrong for us to reopen this "debate" - as wrong as re-playing the abortion question. Not only has Québec society made its decision, but the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the ban on physician-assisted dying is unconstitutional. Anyone who disagrees is free to appeal to the next higher court... like maybe the Vatican, or whatever.

lagatta

Yes, I think the Bloc has been more forthright on this issue than the NDP has. They have also tended to take a better stance on Palestine, and have fought for EI to be used for its intended purpose and for an Algonquin group in Témiscamingue, where there was no political capital to be made.

Yes, I think it is a done deal and we don't have to worry about Margaret Somerville and her ilk trying to get their hands on our suffering bodies, come the time.

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

Yes, I think it is a done deal and we don't have to worry about Margaret Somerville and her ilk trying to get their hands on our suffering bodies, come the time.

Just seeing her name has a negative effect on my health.

Funny we haven't heard much from her in the recent public discourse. It's been Paul Saba, coming from a very different angle, that's been carrying the ball for the "anti-euthanasia" team.

 

lagatta

I can't for the life of me understand Paul Saba, whom I remember as a generally progressive figure - here is a short article about his activism back then:

https://voir.ca/societe/2000/05/03/debout-dr-paul-saba/

Unionist

lagatta wrote:

I can't for the life of me understand Paul Saba, whom I remember as a generally progressive figure - here is a short article about his activism back then:

https://voir.ca/societe/2000/05/03/debout-dr-paul-saba/

Same here! Advocating against privatization (particularly crucial in Québec since the Supreme Court Chaoulli decision), for increased funding, etc. - I always saw him as progressive, if a bit of an attention-seeker, but heck, that doesn't have to be bad. When it comes to assisted suicide though, he just seems scared to the depths of his being that it'll be used to euthanize the vulnerable and save money. Not saying that's impossible, but you could make arguments against abortion too along the same lines. And he's right, that far more resources are needed to provide palliative care to those who want and need it. But for him, it's either/or. I don't get it. He's certainly not a closet slave of the Vatican like Somerville... is he? Nah, can't be.

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
I have no clue where SJ stands, and I invited him above to speak to the actual issue if he wanted to (you know, instead of engaging in mockery).

Well that's just too fucking funny coming out of you.  Anyway, I am in favour of assisted suicide if I have your leave to comment on an issue relating in some way to Quebec.  After all, one musn't overstep the well established boundaries that have been set down. Among the agenda items held up by the BQ, deliberations around assisted suicide were included, a procedural action which May seems to feel is a stand in favour of party 'rights.'  Well, I suppose it is, but it does nothing for anyone else's.

Unionist

[url=http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/quebec-in-court-for-full-appeal-of-dying-with... in court for full appeal of Dying with Dignity injunction[/url]

Arguments were heard and the court is considering the QC government's appeal of the Superior Court verdict.

Meanwhile, Québec's law remains in effect, and physician-assisted dying is still lawful since it came into effect Dec. 10.

And this amazing development:

Quote:

On Friday, federal government lawyers sided with Quebec, reversing the position they'd defended under the Harper government.

Good for them!

lagatta

Great!

 

Unionist

The Court of Appeal has overturned Superior Court! Québec continues to be the only province that allows physician-assisted dying. Next good news to watch for - when the Supreme Court rejects Trudeau's request for a six-month extension on criminalizing the human right to die with dignity.

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-assisted-dying-euthanasia-...'s top court rules assisted dying law can go ahead[/url]

Quote:

Quebec's Court of Appeal has maintained the province's right to allow terminally ill patients the choice to die with medical help, the first law of its kind in Canada.

This morning, a three-judge Court of Appeal panel overturned a Dec. 1 Quebec Superior Court judgment aimed at suspending implementation of the province's law, Bill 52, until certain provisions of the Criminal Code were changed.

In the ruling, the Court of Appeal said the Quebec law doesn't contravene sections of the Criminal Code related to assisted dying because they were struck down by Canada's Supreme Court last February.

It said the provincial legislation fills a judicial void by allowing patients to exercise their rights granted to them by Canada's top court.

Unionist

The Canadian Medical Association sheds crocodile tears and asks for death with dignity to remain a criminal offence just a little bit longer, so that it can get its communication materials together.

Thankfully, their concerns will not apply in Québec, which has spent six years preparing its physicians. I wonder what the CMA has been doing in the meantime??

[url=http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/cma-backs-request-for-court-extension-on-do... backs request for court extension on doctor-assisted dying deadline[/url]

Quote:
CMA spokesman Dr. Jeff Blackmer says the doctors group is "acutely sensitive" to concerns that an extension could be seen as prolonging the suffering of some patients.

But the CMA is able to overcome this momentary moral lapse.

 

Unionist

[url=https://ricochet.media/en/879/quebec-leading-the-way-on-dying-with-digni... leading the way on dying with dignity legislation[/url]

Quote:
This past week a historic first quietly took place when a patient in Quebec became the first person to legally die with doctors' assistance in Canada. The news was announced just as the Supreme Court of Canada granted the federal government a four-month extension to form right-to-die legislation.

Physician-assisted death was illegal in Canada until February 2015, when the law was struck down. The province of Quebec asked for and received an exemption from the federal extension, meaning that people who go ahead with doctor-assisted dying in the province will not face criminal charges.

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/assisted-suicide-archdiocese-toron... of Toronto speaks out against assisted dying[/url]

Thomas Collins is the same hatemonger who publicly condemns the right to contraception and abortion, as we have [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/ratzinger-names-another-enemy-wome... previously[/url].

Didn't his God die for our sins? Couldn't Collins follow that example? Without assistance, of course.

 

lagatta

Glad to see Unionist back and in full form!

Unionist

[url=http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/manitoba-patient-wins-right-to-ph... patient wins right to physician-assisted death[/url]

Quote:

A terminally ill Manitoban has won legal authorization to have an immediate doctor-assisted suicide in the province's first case of its kind.

[...]

Court heard the patient in question is actually suffering from two terminal illnesses and likely has less than a month to live. The patient is seeking an immediate end to their life based on the fact they are experiencing "intolerable pain and suffering."

Court heard the patient has undergone rigorous medical and psychological evaluation and has been deemed competent to make the right-to-die decision based on criteria established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

lagatta

Bravo. Obviously the patient would have preferred by far to be alive and well, but it is cruel to inflict intolerable suffering on people.

I wish him or her a peaceful and painless demise, and relief for family and friends.

Unionist

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/03/17/toronto-man-granted-right-to-... man granted right to physician-assisted death[/url]

Quote:

An 81-year-old man with aggressive, advanced stage lymphoma became the first person to be granted a physician-assisted death in Ontario after a ruling Thursday by Toronto Superior Court Justice Paul Perell. [...]

“Having reviewed the evidentiary record, I have concluded that A.B. satisfies the criteria,” for a physician-assisted death, Perell said, becoming emotional at times as he read his ruling.

The judge found that A.B. is an informed and competent adult with an irremediable illness who is suffering from great pain and has doctors willing to assist in his death.

A.B. was not present in court, but in a statement read by his lawyer, Andrew Faith, after Perell’s judgment, he said: “This decision allows me, with support of my caring physicians, to die with dignity.” [...]

A.B.’s request follows that of an Alberta woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, who was recently granted a constitutional exemption by a Calgary judge in order to have an assisted death. She died with the help of physicians in British Columbia soon after the ruling.

An exemption for an assisted death was also recently granted by a Winnipeg judge, Faith said in court Thursday.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think this is a good thing.  I think it's a VERY good thing.

But I'm suddenly wondering whether it might ever impact anyone's life insurance and suchlike.

I certainly wouldn't put it past any insurance company to say "Well, if the insured had just held on a little longer, who's to say we might not find a cure for ALS??".  I hope that part of the bureaucracy keeps pace with everything else.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture
quizzical

thanks magoo.

 

Unionist

So the Liberal government, true to form, decides that human rights and Supreme Court decisions and committee recommendations are a ceiling - not a guideline. I'm sure these folks won't mind if I quote their release in full:

[url=http://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/assisted_dying_bill_tabled]Dying With Dignity Canada responds as assisted dying bill tabled in Parliament[/url]

Quote:

Dying With Dignity Canada is raising serious concerns about the federal government’s newly announced legislation for physician-assisted dying.

Tabled on Thursday, the new legislation ignores keys recommendation’s put forward by the government-appointed Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying and risks depriving Canadians with dementia and other catastrophic chronic conditions of access to their hard-won right to die with the help of a doctor.

“We are deeply disappointed because we would expect this of the former administration, not from a government that came into power vowing to respect Canadians’ Charter rights,” said Shanaaz Gokool, CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada, the leading organization working to help Canadians avoid unwanted and unnecessary suffering at the end of life. “These harsh, discriminatory rules fly in the face of that expectation and will create unfair barriers to access to medical aid in dying. We expected better.”

Gokool condemned the government for apparently proposing to limit access to physician-assisted dying to individuals at end of life, a restriction that may contradict the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter v. Canada. “This rule could force thousands of Canadians with excruciating chronic illnesses to suffer against their will for years or even decades,” she said. “Our hearts go out to these individuals and their families.”

She also spoke out against denying Canadians with dementia or other catastrophic degenerative conditions the option to, while they are still competent, make advance requests for assisted dying, to be honoured once certain strict, pre-stated conditions are met. According to a recent poll commissioned by DWDC and conducted by Ipsos Reid, eight in 10 Canadians support this proposal, which was endorsed by Parliament’s Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying.

“Without the option of advance consent, Canadians with devastating conditions who want to exercise their right to physician-assisted dying may face a bleak choice: end their lives too early, while they are still competent; or risk waiting until it’s too late,” Gokool said.

In addition, DWDC is concerned that the ban on advance requests for assisted dying will effectively exclude most individuals with dementia from their right to die with the help of a physician. For a patient to be eligible for access to assisted dying under the criteria laid out by the Supreme Court, they have to be suffering intolerably as the result of a “grievous and irremediable” medical condition.

In the days ahead, Dying With Dignity Canada will be mobilizing its supporters to push Parliament to ensure that its legislation is compliant with the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter v. Canada and also with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Canadians grappling with horrible diagnoses need to know that their right to a peaceful death will be respected in new legislation,” she said. “We ask for Parliamentarians to hear their call.”

And all three "major" parties will allow a free vote on this truncated bill, because, you know, human rights are a matter of individual conscience - not the human being's conscience, but the "conscience" of the politician.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The CBC headline is "Doctor-assisted dying bill restricted to adults facing 'foreseeable' death".

That's like "Miracle cancer cure only available to those already in remission".

pookie

Isn't death reasonably foreseeable for every living thing?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It's surely an inevitability for everyone except me.

But it seems like the government is saying "if nature will take its course long before your application cuts through the red tape of bureaucracy, then please remember to fill out the form in triplicate with a blue pen and press hard."

pookie

The backgrounder is actually worse than the bill.  By using "reasonable foreseeability" rather than "proximate" or "imminent", the was govt clearly hedging its bets and not wanting the law to be too openly contrary to Carter.  But the explanation makes the intention to apply this narrowly pretty clear.  Of course that doesn't mean it will be interpreted that way.

As a reporter asked the Ministers at a press conference this am, "This law seems to be focussed on avoiding an intolerable death.  What about those who wish to avoid an intolerable life?"

http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/ad-am/glos.html

Unionist

So according to the Liberal government, you will be able to receive medical assistance in dying only if you are dying?

Because I don't believe in capital punishment, I heartily wish the authors of this draft legislation a pleasant, natural, foreseeable death.

Unionist

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/04/16/liberals-have-met-only-bar... C-14 barely meets the threshold of the Supreme Court ruling that prompted its drafting. It falls far short of the recommendations of the majority of senators and MPs of all political stripes who studied the issue.[/url]

 

pookie

Unionist wrote:

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/04/16/liberals-have-met-only-bar... C-14 barely meets the threshold of the Supreme Court ruling that prompted its drafting. It falls far short of the recommendations of the majority of senators and MPs of all political stripes who studied the issue.[/url]

 

Shocking and shameful.

Unionist

[url=http://www.dyingwithdignity.ca/a_great_pity]Dr. David Amies: 'Milquetoast' assisted dying bill is a great pity[/url]

Quote:

Surely, no one was surprised when "nasty" Stephen kicked the issue into the long grass last year. That kind of stuff was not his cup of tea. Came October and White Knight, St. Justin entered the lists on his prancing steed, promising to write new legislation just as quickly as he could. Some Dying With Dignity Canada supporters pricked up our ears and said, “A Daniel has come among us!” In double quick time, a joint Parliamentary committee was set up, extensive hearings undertaken, scores of witnesses with skin in the game, gave evidence both for and against and a long and thoughtful report was issued and delivered to Parliament.

That report raised our hopes considerably. Among other things it suggested that mandatory waiting periods serve no purpose; that consideration should be given to requests from emancipated minors; advanced directives were recommended for acceptance and above all, those with serious mental health issues could be considered as candidates for medical aid in dying.

Comes the draft bill and we see that the joint Parliamentary committee was merely a charade — smoke and mirrors if you prefer. St. Justin turns out to be “all hat and no cattle” as they say in Texas, “no bottle” as they say Down Under or best of all, “… sound and fury signifying nothing.” (Macbeth, Shakespeare)

It very much looks as if the forces of the right wing and the anti-euthanasia brigade have got at him and that he has had an attack of cold feet.

Unionist

From the Canadian Civil Liberties Association:

Quote:

The assisted dying issue is a controversial one and the government’s bill has been met with some well-deserved criticism. As CCLA and others have argued, the legislation risks continued breaches of Charter rights by restricting access to medically assisted dying to those for whom death is “reasonably foreseeable”, by excluding mature minors, and by not permitting individuals to provide advance consent or directives to cover circumstances when they may not be able to express their wishes themselves. There are other supposed “safeguards” in the bill that are also problematic. The Minister’s statement acknowledges the bill’s exclusions may affect the rights of individuals to life, liberty and security of the person, and may also affect equality rights. Unfortunately, the statement does not go very far in actually explaining why or how these impacts are justified. Simply put, the concerns about what the bill includes, and who it excludes, are not meaningfully addressed.

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/oliphant-assisted-dying-1.3577663]Liberal MP Rob Oliphant says he can't support assisted-dying legislation[/url]

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Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, who the government appointed to co-chair a special committee study of medically assisted death, says he cannot support the government's bill to regulate the practice.

"I won't be supporting Bill C-14 as it currently stands, even with the minor amendments," Oliphant says.

The joint committee on physician-assisted dying was struck to consider how Parliament should respond to the Supreme Court's ruling in the Carter case. The court found that a total ban on medical assistance in death was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

The committee, co-chaired by Oliphant, made 21 recommendations, particularly that medically assisted death be made available to "individuals with terminal and non-terminal grievous and irremediable medical conditions that cause enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition," including those suffering from mental illness.

After further consideration, the committee suggested, the practice should be opened to "mature minors." Individuals would also be able to provide "advance requests" before their illnesses became intolerable.

The government took a narrower approach in its legislation, not allowing advance requests and limiting access to those whose death was "reasonably foreseeable." 

Oliphant says he has three reasons for not supporting the bill: the Carter decision, the concerns of constituents and his conscience. He believes the legislation does not meet the thresholds of the court's decision.

 The family of Kay Carter and her lawyer have said they believe she would not have been eligible for medical assistance in dying under the Liberal bill and, having consulted with lawyers, Oliphant similarly believes the legislation fails to meet the thresholds of the court's decision.

He is concerned with the bill's requirements that an individual be dealing with an "incurable" illness and that the death be "reasonably foreseeable." After speaking with doctors he wonders, for instance, whether a prognosis of death within three to five years would be considered to be within the reasonably foreseeable future, referring to the case of Patient No. 2 in Manitoba.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
He is concerned with the bill's requirements that an individual be dealing with an "incurable" illness and that the death be "reasonably foreseeable."

Telling people that they can only end their own life if their death is forseeable is like telling people they can only wash their car today if it's probably going to rain tomorrow.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
He is concerned with the bill's requirements that an individual be dealing with an "incurable" illness and that the death be "reasonably foreseeable."

Telling people that they can only end their own life if their death is forseeable is like telling people they can only wash their car today if it's probably going to rain tomorrow.

Exactly.

Or more specifically: "You can request medical assistance to die only if you're dying."

 

Caissa

My death was forseeable at my birth.

Unionist

No idea how I missed this on Wednesday - this is potentially huge:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/alberta-appeal-court-assisted-dying-c14-... appeal court rules against federal approach to assisted dying[/url]

Quote:

The federal government's rationale for a restrictive approach to medically assisted dying has been shot down in flames by the Alberta Court of Appeal, even before its controversial legislation is put to a vote in the House of Commons.

A panel of three appeal court judges says the government is flouting last year's landmark ruling by the Supreme Court when it argues that assisted dying should apply only to those who are close to death.

It's also not complying with the top court's ruling, known as the Carter decision, when it excludes people suffering solely from psychiatric conditions, the judges say.

 

jjuares

Unionist wrote:

No idea how I missed this on Wednesday - this is potentially huge:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/alberta-appeal-court-assisted-dying-c14-... appeal court rules against federal approach to assisted dying[/url]

Quote:

The federal government's rationale for a restrictive approach to medically assisted dying has been shot down in flames by the Alberta Court of Appeal, even before its controversial legislation is put to a vote in the House of Commons.

A panel of three appeal court judges says the government is flouting last year's landmark ruling by the Supreme Court when it argues that assisted dying should apply only to those who are close to death.

It's also not complying with the top court's ruling, known as the Carter decision, when it excludes people suffering solely from psychiatric conditions, the judges say.

 


I am not sure how this will play out. I assume the new law will be in force until it is challenged in the supreme court and of course the challenge would have to be successful.

Unionist

jjuares wrote:
I am not sure how this will play out. I assume the new law will be in force until it is challenged in the supreme court and of course the challenge would have to be successful.

Maybe.

But in Québec, we don't need to wait for another court challenge and decision. Since December, the courts have decided that the Québec law is in effect. And it does not require "terminal illness", nor does it exclude "psychological pain".

So if the rest of the provinces simply did what Québec spent years doing - just copy and paste our legislation - they can easily bypass the Liberals' draconian and anti-democratic manoeuvres.

I don't expect any province will have the courage to do that any time soon.

 

Rikardo

So palliative care (drugs to ease suffering) is to become an option.  The more people who choose euthanasia (doctor-kill me) the more the STATE will save in medical care.  It will be the responsible choice.  I'm lucky I have some savings to pay for care some day.  Maybe we'll have suicide/euthanasia clinics

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