In response to the Supreme Court’s Charter decision which stated the prohibition of medical assistance in dying was contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a Special Joint Committee was established. As Co-Chair of the Committee, I worked diligently across party lines to present the government with a report that balanced the rights of Canadians to access medical assistance in dying while protecting vulnerable populations and our medical professionals.
When I rose to debate Bill C-14, Medical Assistance in Dying, I urged my colleagues in the house to take the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to heart in our discussion. After having hosted numerous meetings and receiving hundreds of pieces of correspondence from residents, I was confident that our legislation would meet the needs of those who are suffering intolerably at the end of their lives. On February 25th, 2016, I had the honour of presenting the report of the Special Joint Committee, Medical Assistance in Dying: A Patient-Centered Approach, in the House of Commons. This framework considers different interests, including personal autonomy toward the end of life, the protection of vulnerable persons, and rights of conscience. Our continued efforts to develop a pan-Canadian monitoring system to collect and analyse data, monitor trends and publicly report on medical assistance in dying will ensure that the public remains engaged in improving our strategy moving forward.
© 2019 Rob Oliphant. All rights reserved.