OTTAWA, ON March 26, 2014 — Stephen Fletcher, MP, plans to introduce two private members bills, one to legalize assisted suicide in Canada and the second to monitor and regulate the practice. Due to the position of Mr. Fletcher in the order of precedence, these bills are very unlikely to have time to go to a debate or vote in parliament before the next election. Nevertheless, they will be widely discussed in the press and we need to be prepared to respond.
The Manitoba MP, who was in an accident in 1996 that left him a quadriplegic, says one of the bills would, if passed, allow doctors to help people end their lives under certain restricted circumstances.
The other bill would establish a commission to monitor the system and make recommendations for improvement.
It’s far from the first time the issue of assisted suicide has made headlines in Canada. Similar legislation was introduced in Quebec last year, but died when the provincial election was called.
The Supreme Court of Canada has also agreed to hear an appeal in the high-profile British Columbia case of Gloria Taylor, a terminally ill woman who died in 2012.
Justice Minister Peter MacKay says he has no interest in revisiting the debate.
Conservative MP Stephen Fletcher introduces assisted-suicide bills, Catholic Register, April 6, 2014