The Globe and Mail Toronto (Joan Bryden) reports today:
Medical regulators in every province have issued detailed guidelines doctors must follow to help suffering patients end their lives once Canada’s ban on medically assisted dying is formally lifted next month. And most of those guidelines impose safeguards similar to — or even more stringent than — those included in the federal government’s proposed new law on assisted death.
The existence of guidelines in every province undercuts federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s contention that there’ll be a dangerous legal void if the government’s controversial new law on assisted dying isn’t enacted by June 6.
Like the proposed federal law, most of the various guidelines produced by provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons require that at least two doctors must agree that a patient meets the eligibility criteria for an assisted death, that a patient must submit a written request signed by witnesses, that there be a waiting period between the request and the provision of an assisted death, that a patient must be competent to give free, informed consent throughout the process, up to the time of dying.
Notwithstanding Wilson-Raybould’s dire warnings, it seems well nigh impossible for the proposed legislation to be enacted by June 6. Even should the House of Commons pass the bill Monday, the first day back after a break week, that would leave less than a week for the bill to go through all stages of the legislative process in the Senate — a rush few senators appear inclined to accommodate.