November 29th, 2020

Doctors, Conservative MPs say not enough consultation on assisted-dying bill

By The Canadian Press on November 19, 2020.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper rises during question period on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – A group of physicians say they were turned away from providing their perspective on proposed changes to the assisted-dying law.

The doctors, along with Conservative MPs, say the Liberals placed an arbitrary cutoff on accepting submissions to the committee studying the bill without telling anyone.

Conservative MP Michael Cooper says it is an example of the Liberals trying to rush ahead on the bill without appropriate consultation or consideration, and that could have grave circumstances.

The Tories are seeking several amendments to the legislation, which was struck down by a Quebec court as being too narrow.

The new bill would scrap reasonably foreseeable death as a requirement for an assisted death but would retain the concept to set out easier eligibility rules for those who are near death and more stringent rules for those who are not.
But doctors appearing with Cooper at a news conference today say those rules are too easy and run the risk that people could request, and receive, an assisted death that same day, without getting proper support.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020.

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