Editorial: Have your say on changes to assisted dying law

In June of 2016 Canadians gained the right to physician assisted death — but there were caveats.

In June 2016, Canadians gained the right to physician-assisted death – but there were caveats.

Quite rightly, people choosing to go this route had to make the decision with sound mind. More controversially, they had to be near death, or their death had to be “reasonably foreseeable,” a guideline that cuts out a number of people who may feel they have legitimate interest in pursuing that route.

However, since a September ruling by the Superior Court of Quebec challenged the near-death requirement, the federal government is examining the law again.

The law, as it stands now, could appear unfair for those who live Alzheimer’s, other dementias or other diseases that involve cognitive decline, but may see people live for many years in deteriorating conditions. Right now, because they may still have many years left physically, their death is not considered “reasonably foreseeable” and therefore they do not qualify. But as their illness takes its course, they become ineligible by the time their death is imminent because they are no longer mentally fit. Advance directives are not currently allowed.

We do, of course, have to protect the vulnerable from being pressured into consenting to something they don’t want, something that is in all ways final.

But we also need to protect those who want to have the choice to end their lives in a dignified way while they still have their mental faculties, and are not in so much pain that lives have become an intolerable burden.

– Black Press Media

Editorials

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

Trail council bumps up pay

Yearly pay increase corresponds with Collective Agreement of municipal employees

Free tax return program returns to Greater Trail

The free service has been offered to low income households in the Trail area for 10+ years

Trail Smoke Eaters wrap regular season vs Silverbacks and Cents

The Trail Smoke Eaters look to tie franchise points record in final BCHL weekend

Trail Walmart employees donate to regional hospital

Money will be directed into surgical services project

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Most Read