MP McLeod responds to release of Physician-Assisted Dying Report

Says will be watching carefully for the final legislation in hopes that it addresses concerns

Ottawa – Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo responded Feb. 25 to the report from the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying entitled, Medical Assistance in Dying: A Patient-Centred Approach.

“Last year’s Supreme Court decision required the government to revisit Canada’s longstanding prohibition against euthanasia and assisted suicide,” said McLeod.  “Guided by the Court’s decision, a Special Joint Committee was established and heard witness presentations for three weeks before they produced today’s report.”

“A Dissenting Report was also produced by Members of Parliament from the Conservative party,” stated McLeod. “It noted many areas that the main Committee’s report failed to address, including few barriers and safeguards.”

“The next step will be for the Liberal government to produce legislation. I continue to urge that stringent safeguards be created to protect vulnerable populations, and protection the conscience rights of workers and institutions in the health care sector,” said McLeod.

“Specifically, I’m concerned that in the main report, it recommended allowing Physician Assisted Dying in cases expressly excluded by the Carter decision, to include the possibility of mature minors at a future date,” stated McLeod. “As well, there was no requirement for patients diagnosed with an underlying mental health challenge to undergo a psychiatric assessment by a psychiatric professional to determine whether they have the capacity to consent to Physician Assisted Dying.”

“I will be watching carefully for the final legislation in hopes that it addresses these very serious concerns,” concluded McLeod.