Federal panel releases report on assisted dying

The expert panel established by the federal government last summer has delivered its final report on its consultations on physician-assisted dying, citing the BC Humanist Association's response.

After months of inaction, the previous Conservative government established the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v Canada in July 2015. The report does not make specific recommendations but discusses the different responses the panel received.

The report quotes the BC Humanist Association's submission in a discussion on how to judge "voluntariness" and clear consent in a request to die.

The three-member panel was criticized by the BC Humanists, Dying With Dignity Canada, the BC Civil Liberties Association and others for including two people who appeared as witnesses against assisted dying at the Supreme Court of Canada. An analysis done for Dying With Dignity Canada found the panel's questionnaire to be "ambiguous and biased."

The panel consulted with 73 experts in five countries, and 92 representatives from 46 Canadian organizations. The panel received more than 300 document submissions from stakeholders and nearly 15 000 responses to its online consultation.

The report will be reviewed by Parliament's Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying. Following the committee's consultation, it will recommend a legislative framework for assisted dying in Canada.

The BC Humanist Association will be submitting written evidence and has applied to appear before the committee. To submit your own brief, read these tips and email: PDAM@parl.gc.ca. Feel free to use the BC Humanist's submission when it's published.

Read more

Federal Government releases report of the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v Canada - Government of Canada News Release

Consultations on Physician-Assisted Dying - Summary of Results and Key Findings (PDF)

Allow assisted dying for all who choose it - BC Humanist Association response to the External Panel

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