Assisted death panel won’t dictate government response: MacKay
Justice Minister Peter MacKay says panellists tasked with reviewing the highly-controversial issue of doctor-assisted death will not dictate the final outcome of the government’s response to the Supreme Court’s decision.
While speaking in Halifax today, MacKay responded to criticism about the make-up of the panel that will consult medical authorities and other interested parties as Canadians participate in an online dialogue.
The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says it is concerned two of the three panellists were federal witnesses opposed to the issue when the case went to Canada’s top court.
MacKay says the group will hear from a “broad array of participants” and will make recommendations following a process.
But the minister, who is not seeking re-election, said it is important to keep in mind that the executive branch of the country will make “important decisions” on how to respond to the court’s ruling.
MacKay says it is his view legislation is necessary to fill what is “quite a gap now in our Criminal Code” as result of the court’s February ruling.