Jan 11, 2016
By Jane Brown
The divisive issue of doctor assisted death is before the Supreme Court of Canada today. Arguments will be heard from lawyers for the federal government as to why six more months are needed to deal with implementation of a doctor assisted death law.
They are expected to say that a comprehensive response to the top court’s judgment requires extensive work by Parliament and provincial legislatures that cannot be finished by the original February deadline.
In a landmark ruling last year, Canada’s highest court recognized the right of consenting adults who are enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to end their lives with a physician’s assistance.
It suspended the decision for a year to allow Parliament to introduce legislation consistent with the constitutional limits set out in the ruling.
Lawyers for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and those who initiated the case say an extension would only ensure that the rights of Canadians who are suffering continue to be violated.
They say if the court grants more time, it should include a built-in exemption to allow individuals a physician-assisted death.
Listen for further comments on today’s proceedings at the Supreme Court of Canada from Dying With Dignity Canada’s COO and National Campaigns Director Shanaaz Gokool on Zoomer Radio’s Goldhawk Fights Back after the 11am news.