Ottawa urged to craft stand-alone as­sisted sui­cide law for all

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

OTTAWA — A prom­i­nent con­sti­tu­tional scholar says Par­lia­ment needs to de­sign a stand-alone law on doc­tor-as­sisted death. Peter Hogg tells a joint Com­mons-Se­nate com­mit­tee that Par­lia­ment should de­velop a set of safe­guards that would ap­ply even where provinces have not pur­sued a leg­isla­tive path. Oth­er­wise, says Hogg, some Cana­di­ans could end up be­ing un­fairly de­nied the right to a physi­cian-as­sisted death. Last Fe­bru­ary, the Supreme Court rec­og­nized the right of con­sent­ing adults en­dur­ing in­tol­er­a­ble phys­i­cal or men­tal suf­fer­ing to end their lives with a doc­tor’s help. The court re­cently gave the fed­eral govern­ment four ad­di­tional months to pro­duce a new law, but also al­lowed an ex­emp­tion for any­one who wants to ask a judge to end their life sooner. MPs and sen­a­tors on the com­mit­tee are ex­pected to hear from the pub­lic, ex­perts and stake­hold­ers be­fore re­port­ing back with leg­isla­tive sug­ges­tions by Feb. 26.

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