Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID)
One of my top priorities continues to be ensuring Bill C-7 is written in such a way that requires a proper medical evaluation/assessment be performed prior to a medically assisted death being made available to those suffering from mental illness or a physical disability.
It’s my belief that appropriate review is necessary to safeguard the most vulnerable in our society.
Articles highlighting the issues with Bill C-7
SUMMARY FOR BILL C-7
This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things,
(a) repeal the provision that requires a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable in order for them to be eligible for medical assistance in dying;
(b) specify that persons whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness are not eligible for medical assistance in dying;
(c) create two sets of safeguards that must be respected before medical assistance in dying may be provided to a person, the application of which depends on whether the person’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable;
(d) permit medical assistance in dying to be provided to a person who has been found eligible to receive it, whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable and who has lost the capacity to consent before medical assistance in dying is provided, on the basis of a prior agreement they entered into with the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner; and
(e) permit medical assistance in dying to be provided to a person who has lost the capacity to consent to it as a result of the self-administration of a substance that was provided to them under the provisions governing medical assistance in dying in order to cause their own death.
Conservative Propose Reasonable Amendments to Bill C-7
to Protect Vulnerable Canadians
Any legislation that is introduced in Parliament requires a thorough review, but that is especially true for bills that are literally matters of life or death. Bill C-7, which seeks to expand medical assistance in dying (MAID), is one of these bills.
Members of the Justice Committee have heard firsthand from disability advocates vehemently opposed to C-7 and its rapid expansion of MAID who argue it amounts to a ‘deadly form of discrimination,’ making it easier for persons with disabilities to die than to live. It’s shameful that in the Liberal government’s rush to pass this bill before Christmas, they continue to neglect to address legitimate concerns being raised by persons with disabilities.
Medical assistance in dying is a very complex issue that evokes strong emotions. Recognizing we need more time to review this bill, my Conservative colleagues and I repeatedly proposed increasing the number of meetings dedicated to reviewing the bill and hearing from witnesses. Each time, the Liberals refused.
Conservatives are focused on ensuring that this type of legislation includes safeguards for the most vulnerable in our society, as well as for the conscience rights of physicians and health professionals. This week, we will introduce a number of reasonable amendments to reinstate protections the Trudeau government have removed, including:
Reinstating the 10-day reflection period when death is reasonably foreseeable;
Maintaining the requirement for two independent witnesses when death is foreseeable;
Ensuring physicians have expertise in a patient’s condition;
Extending the reflection period when death is not reasonably foreseeable;
Protecting vulnerable patients by requiring the patient to be the one who first requests information on medical assistance in dying; and
Protecting conscience rights for healthcare professionals.
The government will also soon begin an in-depth parliamentary review of the original MAID legislation, passed in 2016, and the state of palliative care in Canada. It is critical that this review analyzes how the government’s MAID legislation negatively impacts persons with disabilities.
Canada’s Conservatives will continue to highlight the flaws in the government’s MAID legislation and work to protect vulnerable Canadians. Persons with disabilities and indeed all Canadians deserve as much.