Jun 09, 2016
By Jane Brown
Senators have voted to scrap the near-death requirement in the Trudeau government’s assisted dying legislation.
Last night, they voted 41-30 in favour of amending Bill C-14 to allow suffering Canadians who are not near death to seek medical help to end their lives.
The proposed amendment deletes the requirement that a person’s natural death must be reasonably foreseeable.
Independent Liberal Senator Serge Joyal says the idea is to keep the bill in line with the Supreme Court ruling.
“It will allow Canadians who are competent adults, who suffer from grievous and irremediable conditions, who are enduring intolerable suffering, will be able to have access to medical assistance in dying in the same way that the Supreme Court has said for any other category of patients who are at the end of their life or terminally ill,” Joyal explained.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has already signaled that the government is unlikely to accept such an amendment.
In anticipation of that reaction, another tweak to be proposed today by Conservative Senate leader Claude Carignan would require a judge to sign off on an application for assisted dying by anyone not close to death.