Canada's Original Think Tank

Statement by Senator James S. Cowan, Senate Liberal Leader
Bill C-14 (medical assistance in dying)

Statement by Senator James S. Cowan, Senate Liberal Leader
Bill C-14 (medical assistance in dying)

Statement by Senator James S. Cowan, Senate Liberal Leader
Bill C-14 (medical assistance in dying)

Statement by Senator James S. Cowan, Senate Liberal Leader
Bill C-14 (medical assistance in dying)


Published on 18 May 2016
News Releases by Senator James Cowan (retired)

Ottawa – May 18, 2016 – After participating in both the work of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying, and the pre-study of Bill C-14 by the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, I remain convinced that the critical issue is that both the Carter decision of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms must be fully respected.  I am not satisfied that Bill C-14 in its current form meets this test.

I proposed a recommendation in the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee that the eligibility language of the Carter case replace the test set out in Bill C-14 (doing away with requirements that the disease or illness be “incurable” and that the person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable).  My recommendation was not accepted by the majority on the Committee.  I continue to believe that is the best way to ensure that the bill meets the Carter threshold, and I plan to propose an amendment along these lines when the bill comes to the Senate.

I was pleased that the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee recommended that the bill be amended to allow for advance directives.  I believe that would be a significant improvement to the bill that would address a major concern of many Canadians who have written to me about Bill C-14.  I hope that the members of the House of Commons consider this recommendation as they complete their consideration of Bill C-14.

 

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Contact/Renseignements:

Caitlin Gropp
Director of Parliamentary Affairs/Directrice des affaires parlementaires
Senate Liberal Leader, Senator James Cowan
Leader des libéraux au Sénat, Sénateur James Cowan
Senate of Canada/Sénat du Canada
Tel.: 613-943-4600