The committee studying the issue of doctor-assisted dying has recommended that Canadians enduring intolerable suffering from grievous and irremediable medical conditions should be able to seek medical help to die with few obstacles.
The committee recommended that the right to seek medical assistance in dying should include people suffering from both terminal and non-terminal physical and psychological medical conditions. It should not exclude people with mental health problems.
The committee also recommended that physician-assisted dying should be immediately available to competent adults 18 years or older and after further consultations should be expanded to include “mature minors” within three years.
Conservative MPs on the committee filed a dissenting report, saying the committees recommendations failed to protect vulnerable persons. The MPs also objected to the notion of advance directives and expressed shock that the majority report does not recommend requiring a psychiatric assessment for anyone seeking medical help to die.
The New Democrats supported the majority report but wrote a supplementary report, urging the federal government to demonstrate leadership by providing improved palliative care for people under federal jurisdiction, such as indigenous people, veterans and members of the armed forces.