Apr 14, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Fourteen months after the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s ban on doctor assisted death, the governing Liberals in Ottawa will today introduce a new law detailing the conditions in which seriously ill or dying Canadians may seek medical help to end their lives.

Both the Liberals and the opposition Conservatives are offering Members of Parliament the opportunity to vote according to their conscience rather than along party lines.

Conservative Party Leader Rona Ambrose says it’s the right thing to do.

“I’ve told my caucus that this will be a free vote, and furthermore that they are free to express their views when they get up to debate,” Ambrose explained, “It’s a highly emotional issue.”

The new legislation is expected to take a less permissive approach to medical assistance in dying than was recommended in February by members of a special parliamentary committee.

Shanaaz Gokool of Dying With Dignity Canada told Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer, she’s concerned it will leave out others who are suffering.

“If it excludes people with mental illness, and if it excludes mature minors altogether, what we do know is that these groups of people may have to be dragged to court while they are sick and dying in order to establish what may be their charter right,” Gokool spelled out.

Members of Dying with Dignity Canada plan to hold a news conference at 12:45 this afternoon to offer reaction to the proposed legislation.

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