… for now:
The Trudeau government is insisting that medical assistance in dying should only be available to Canadians near death, showing no inclination to accept a Senate amendment to expand the right to those suffering from non-terminal conditions.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says the Senate amendment upsets the delicate balance the government has struck in Bill C-14 between respecting personal autonomy and protecting the vulnerable.
The amendment, passed late Wednesday, knocks out the central pillar underpinning the government’s proposed new law as assisted dying.
It deletes the requirement that only those whose natural death is “reasonably foreseeable” should be eligible to seek medical help to end their lives. And it replaces the bill’s restrictive eligibility standard with the more permissive criteria set out in last year’s landmark Supreme Court ruling, which struck down the ban on medically assisted dying.
“The amendment that was passed last night is a significant one,” Wilson-Raybould said Thursday.
“It will broaden the regime of medical assistance in dying in this country and we have sought to ensure that we, at every step, find the right balance that is required for such a turn in direction.”
Health Minister Jane Philpott said she’s personally concerned the amendment would mean people suffering strictly from mental illnesses would be eligible for assisted dying — a group specifically excluded in Bill C-14.
“We stand by the cohesiveness, the integrity of the piece of legislation that we put forward, that strikes that balance that we believe is necessary, that has had broad public support, that has been supported in a vote in the House of Commons,” Philpott said.
You see – one builds up to killing just anyone.