May 03, 2016
By Jane Brown
The governing Liberals in Ottawa are working extra long hours to get the doctor assisted death bill passed before the Supreme Court’s extended deadline of June 6th.
MPs have been debating late into the night and committees in both houses of Parliament are hearing from dozens of witnesses in advance to save time.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott faced questions from the all-party committee for more than an hour on Monday. Conservative MPs asked why there are no conscience protections for doctors written into the bill. But Wilson-Raybould defended her bill as complying with the Supreme Court decision as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Liberal government’s Bill C-14 takes a more restrictive approach than the Supreme Court decision, defining a “grievous and irremediable” medical condition as being an incurable illness or disease and adding the provision that a patient’s natural death has become reasonably foreseeable.