As a new parliamentary report recommends that few restrictions, not even the need to have a terminal illness, be placed on Canadians’ ability to access doctor-assisted suicide, the report also says that assisted death should be available to those with mental illnesses or psychiatric conditions.
Initially, this report recommends that parliamentarians consider allowing minors to have access to assisted-death after a three-year period in which only adults are allowed to access it.
“Suffering is suffering, regardless of age and that there is a risk that the provisions may be challenged on the basis of section 15 of the Charter (equality rights) if minors are excluded,” says the report.The 21 recommendations, released Thursday, come from a 16-member parliamentary committee as Justin Trudeau’s government looks into new legislation for assisted death after last year’s Supreme Court ruling.
Yet given the politics, not everyone on the committee agreed with the report. Four Conservatives even wrote a dissenting opinion, saying not enough safeguards were being put in place. As the report lays out general guidelines for who can access assisted death and how it should be granted, it basically says anyone with an illness that causes enduring suffering and with the ability to provide informed consent should have the ability to access doctor-assisted death, the report says. Essentially, it also suggests two doctors need to independently sign off on a patient’s death request and that the request should be witnessed by two people who don’t have a conflict of interest.
The good thing is that the report says that doctors should be allowed to object to the practice as long as they can recommend the patient to another physician.
What are your opinions on this?
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As the Maritimes are desperate to attract new immigrants, given recent hand-wringing over the region’s alleged death spiral and imminent economic ruin, growth is such a priority for these amazing, shrinking provinces that former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna recently suggested all new immigrants to Canada be forced—yes, forced—to start off in the Maritimes. “Critics will question why we should bring people to areas of high unemployment,” writes McKenna, “But that is precisely where immigrants are needed. We need their entrepreneurship, their worldliness, their drive, their consumption, and even their desperation.”
“If it’s desperation the region needs, the 25,000 Syrian refugees, Justin Trudeau pledged to identify and resettle in Canada in 2015 definitely fit the bill.”As the refugees are some of the world’s most marginalized people, having lived through a brutal trifecta of civil unrest, and violence, thousands were routed to Nova Scotia, PEI, and New Brunswick start the winter of 2015. Initially this sort of mass arrival is highly unusual for the area and apart from the far North, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI have the lowest proportion of foreign-born residents in Canada. Only about five percent of people living in Atlantic Canada were born in another country. The Canadian average is 22 percent. In Toronto it’s nearly 50 percent.
“At the beginning of January, it was overwhelming,” says Craig Mackie, Executive Director of the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, the only association that exists to assist new Islanders. “Normally, we would be serving over 1,000 immigrants every year, but when they’re all coming in at once, and still we have our regular intake of non-Syrian refugees—well, it’s busy.” When Syrians first started arriving, agencies often received little notice as to when, or how many, families were arriving, leaving volunteers and organizers scrambling to meet their needs.
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The Syrian civil war forced millions of people to flee their homes and seek new settlements in foreign countries. For Canadians, what sparked the sudden urge to help resettle the refugees to Canada was a photograph of Alan Kurdi dead on a Turkish beach – the Syrian child and his family were trying to escape […]