VANCOUVER (May 31 2016) – The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) reacted this evening to the passage of Bill C-14 in the House of Commons. Josh Paterson, Executive Director of the BCCLA – the institutional plaintiff responsible for Supreme Court of Canada fight to win the right to physician-assisted dying, stated:
“We are deeply disappointed that a majority of the House of Commons has voted for the government’s flawed and unconstitutional assisted dying legislation. As expert after expert pointed out, and as several courts have now ruled, the Supreme Court guaranteed that people with extremely serious terminal and non-terminal conditions, who are suffering intolerably, have the right to physician assistance in dying. This law will take hard-won constitutional rights away from people who have serious illnesses that aren’t terminal, and trap them in unimaginable agony.
Liberal, Conservative and Independent senators have already said they have serious problems with this bill and that they propose amendments to bring this law into line with the constitution. We look forward to the Senate doing the prudent thing by fixing this bill.
It’s clear that this law won’t be in place by June 6. In the interim period until federal legislation that upholds the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is passed, physician-assisted dying will be regulated by the strict requirements of the Carter decision, by provincial and territorial laws that apply to health care matters and the standards of the medical profession. Every single provincial medical regulator has already issued detailed, comprehensive guidelines instructing physicians on the process to follow for assisted dying. There will be no “wild west” situation.”
Josh Paterson, [email protected], 778-829-8973