Weigh in on physician-assisted dying

By: Korie Marshall

The federal government is looking for input on implementing new rules and safeguards for physician-assisted dying in Canada.

On Feb. 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down prohibitions against assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia in Canada, saying they violated the Charter rights of certain people with serious medical conditions who want a doctor’s assistance to die.

The government set up a panel in July 2015 to gather input on a range of options for the federal government to consider.

“Panel members are interested in having a respectful and open discussion with Canadians that is as inclusive of the diversity of opinions on the subject as possible,” said Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, Chair of the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada, in a news release. “These questions, and the heartfelt answers of Canadians, are extremely important as we work towards developing a complete set of options for the government to consider when responding to this issue.”

The survey allows individuals to express their views on questions relating to who should be eligible for physician-assisted dying in Canada and what rules and safeguards should be put in place to reduce the risks to individuals and society.

“Your participation in this consultation is an opportunity to have a voice in shaping assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia in Canada,” says the survey.

The survey can be found at http://www.ep-ce.ca/en/issue-book/, and Canadians are encouraged to provide their input by October 11, 2015. All views gathered through online and direct consultations will contribute to the Panel’s final report to the Ministers of Justice and Health due in the fall of 2015.

For further information on the Panel and its work and links to the Carter v. Canada decision, visit http://www.ep-ce.ca/en/home/.

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