By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
The Liberal Party has ordered Liberal Members of Parliament to support their upcoming euthanasia bill, even though many of them may object to the language of the bill.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC), which was not given the opportunity to present to the parliamentary committee, recognizes that the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the assisted suicide law, but the design andlanguage of the future law will determine who qualifies for and how likely it is that the law will be misused.
In all jurisdictions where euthanasia and assisted suicide are legal, the system requires two doctors to approve the death, and then the doctor who assists the death, must send in a report, after the person has died without before-the-death third-party oversight. An after-the-death reporting system allows doctors to self police and self report leading to misuse of the law, under-reporting, and falsified reports.
One of the issues that is being debated is whether euthanasia should be permitted for psychiatric reasons. Canada's euthanasia lobby is pushing for euthanasia for people who cannot consent. Ambiguous definitions could enable a person who requires treatment for depression to die an assisted death.
Last week the Globe and Mail reported that Liberal House Leader Dominic LeBlanc confirmed that the Liberal vote will be whipped to support the euthanasia bill. The Liberals have a majority government in the House of Commons. LeBlanc justified this decision by defining assisted dying as a "Charter of Rights" issue.