The Supreme Court of Canada gave the federal government until June 6th to pass legislation on doctor-assisted dying.
With a week long Parliament break, the chances of hitting that deadline is slim.
The federal government has been pushing forward with Bill C-14, which would allow terminally ill patients and near-death patients the option of doctor-assisted death.
CEO of Dying with Dignity Canada Shanaaz Gokool says the bill is too narrow, restrictive and excludes other groups of patients, such at mature minors and patients with mental illness.
“That’s just not the appropriate way going forward,” says Gokool, “[The government] has to commit to studying, reporting back, and finding legislative options to not exclude whole groups of people from assisted dying. And we’re fascinated, curious and dismayed at the idea that the government would go through with legislation that is not constitutionally viable, according to another court. It’s, quite frankly, appalling.”
Gokool adds it would also be disappointing if the government didn’t act before the deadline, which may cause patients to head back to court for judges to sort through doctor-assisted dying cases and establish Charter Rights of patients. tl