Senator Enverga concerned about Physician-Assisted Dying bill

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  • Senator Enverga with participants of the annual March for Life in Ottawa, from file (1)Ottawa – Today, the Trudeau government introduced legislation in the House of Commons in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling to allow for physician-assisted dying in Canada.  The Hon. Tobias C. Enverga Jr. reacted with mixed feelings after reviewing the proposed law.

    “Although I maintain that assisted dying is contrary to human beings’ most profound natural inclination to live and preserve life, I am a little relieved to see that some of the recommendations of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying were not followed by the government.   At this early stage, without having had the opportunity to fully study the bill, there are several aspects of it  that cause grave concern,” said Senator Enverga in a statement shortly after the introduction of the government’s Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying).

    “I would like to see an additional judicial or tribunal stage prior to a person being approved for physician-assisted dying that is independent of the two physicians or authorized nurse practitioners which are part of the proposed law to ensure that all prerequisites have been followed,” he continued.   “I would also urge that the related areas of proposed further study, including access to physician-assisted dying for mature minors and those with mental illness, are not continued and that these vulnerable groups will be protected against having access to the process.”

    Bill C-14 has to be passed by both the House of Commons and the Senate before it can receive Royal Assent and become part of Canada’s laws.  This has to be done by June 6, 2016, in accordance with the imposed deadline of the Supreme Court of Canada ruling.

    “I want to thank all Canadians who wrote their Members of Parliament and Senators with their views and concerns about the matter.  I urge you to continue to share your concerns with your representatives because the legislative process is still underway, during which we can amend the areas of specific concern.  Killing, legally or illegally, is wrong, which is why Canada ended capital punishment decades ago,” Senator Enverga concluded. (lars.andersen@sen.parl.gc.ca)

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