This article was published on December 11, 2014 on the Living with Dignity blog.
Bill S-225 was recently introduced in the Senate of Canada. This bill aims to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. It would do this by amending sections 14 and 251 of the Criminal Code of Canada. We oppose the legalization of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide because they are not needed. Efforts should go towards improving proper access to pain and symptom management to everyone who needs it. Efforts should also go towards improving suicide prevention and appropriate access to services for people with disabilities.
It is important that we all speak to our Senators to ask them to vote NO and reject Bill S-225.
Senate Bill S-225 is based on MP Stephen Fletcher's own bills in the House of Commons (C-581 and C-582). While neither C-581 nor C-582 is likely to be reach First reading in the House, Bill S-225 will be debated in the Senate early in 2015. The language on the bill is open to interpretation and opens the door for abuse. Safeguards don't protect people from abuse of euthanasia or physician assisted laws, but this bill is particularly bad news.
It would be easy, although erroneous, to think the so-called safeguards in the bill are solid. A closer look and analysis show significant problems.
Some of significant problems with Bill S-225