The Canadian government has proposed a bill to make medically assisted death available to people who are not seriously ill.
Bill opens the door to allow Canada to degenerative diseases such as cerebral palsy to seek medically assisted death.
Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the proposal would protect people who are vulnerable while giving autonomy to Canada.
It was introduced in parliament on Monday and has cross-party support.
The law was triggered by the decision of the Court of Quebec in 2019 which affected the requirements for the patient to prove their natural death was “reasonably foreseeable” in order to seek to end their lives.
Christine Baldwin says Justice violated the requirements of “life, liberty, and security of person” and thus unconstitutional.
He sided with the plaintiffs, Nicole Gladu, 74, and Jean Truchon, 51, in the high-profile case last fall.
Both the claimant has a degenerative disease that has deteriorated to the point that they have lost all their autonomy. They suffer persistent and irremediable, their lawyer Jean-Pierre Ménard argued.
Mr. Truchon has cerebral palsy, and Ms. Gladu had the post-polio syndrome, and both want medical help to end their lives.
However, support for the disabled, including the Canadian Council of Persons with Disabilities, said the court’s decision sends a message that “having a disability is a fate worse than death”.
They urge the government to appeal the Quebec court ruling, which refused to do.
On Monday, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought forward this bill assisted death.
This will create a two-track system for determining the eligibility of a person. One line for people who are terminally ill, and one line for those who do not.
Patients in both tracks must prove that they face “intolerable” suffering.
The bill explicitly excludes eligibility for individuals who suffer solely from mental illness.
A minority government will need the support of MPs from other parties to pass the bill. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh had previously been signaled support for expanding assisted dying.
Canada medically assisted death made law in September 2016, becoming one of the few places in the world where it is legal to help the sick die.
More than 13,000 Canadians have been given a medically assisted death, according to the data provided by the Department of Justice. Two-thirds of patients receiving assisted death cited as the reason underlying cancer, followed by neurological conditions and cardiovascular or respiratory conditions.
Medically assisted death counted for 1.89% of all deaths in Canada in 2019.
The proposed changes to the draft also reduce some of the protections previously put in place for people who are terminally ill, such as enabling advanced approval for people who are dying but may lose the capacity to consent.
Under Canadian law, patients with diseases such as dementia who qualify medically to death, but had to have given before they lose their capacity to legally give their consent.
The government says this criterion causes people to end their lives before, “robbing them of time”.
To advertise with Brampton-News, please contact our advertising team here: Advertise with us.