Government lawyers this week argued in front of the Supreme Court that the government needed 6 more months to properly draft a new law concerning doctor-assisted suicide. The court had suspended its decision for one year to allow the government to respond. With the federal election, and the Liberal victory, the government has indicated it will build off the work done by the previous government, but insist they need more time to get it right.
The joint parliamentary committee that’s examining the divisive issue has scheduled its first meeting for next Monday.
The panel will be made of 11 MPs (6 Liberals, 3 Conservatives and 2 New Democrats) and 5 Senators (3 Conservative and 2 Independent Liberals). Here is a list of the people who will sit on the committee:
Sen. James Cowan (Liberal)
Sen. Serge Joyal (Liberal)
Sen. Nancy Ruth (Conservative)
Sen. Kelvin Ogilvie (Conservative)
Sen. Judith Seidman (Conservative)
John Aldag, (Liberal – Cloverdale-Langley City)
Rene Arseneault (Liberal – Madawaska-Restigouche)
Steven Blaney (Conservative – Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Levis)
Michael Cooper (Conservative – St. Albert-Edmonton)
Julie Dabrusin (Liberal – Toronto-Danforth)
Denis Lemieux (Liberal – Chicoutimi-Le Fjord)
Robert Oliphant (Liberal – Don Valley West)
Murray Rankin (NDP – Victoria)
Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP – Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot)
Brenda Shanahan (Liberal – Chateauguay-Lacolle)
Mark Warawa (Conservative – Langley-Aldergrove)
As of right now, the Criminal Code provisions prohibiting doctor-assisted death will cease to exist next month after they were deemed unconstitutional by the court last winter. The court recognized the right of consenting adults enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to end their lives with a physician’s help.