Monthly Archives: June 2016

Medical assistance in dying legislation passes in Senate and becomes law

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Late Friday the Senate concurred with the Liberal Government and passed a bill that was more restrictive than many groups, including the courts, had argued for.

After an expedited vote in the House of Commons late Thursday, an amended Bill C – 14 (medically assisted dying) went back to the Senate for consideration Friday. The Government refused to back down on the clause that a patient’s natural death be “reasonably foreseeable” in order to qualify for medical assistance in dying – a clause that was removed by the Senate earlier in the week.

But in the end, senators deferred to the elected Commons and passed the bill in a vote of 44 to 28 late Friday.  The bill then received Royal Assent and became law.

As explanation for the Friday reversal, some senators said they worried about access issues without a federal law, while others believed safeguards would be stronger with the Senate amendments accepted by the government. And several felt it was simply not their place as an unelected body to effectively veto the wishes of the elected Commons. Continue reading