The Conservative Shadow Minister for Justice on Bill C-7 | Nov 18, 2020
Please read this important article written by the Honourable Rob Moore, my colleague on the Justice Committee, which well reflects my own position on this legislation.
The Honourable Rob Moore, Conservative Shadow Minister for Justice and the Attorney General of Canada
Any legislation that is introduced in Parliament requires a thorough review, but that is especially true for bills that are literally matters of life or death. Bill C-7, which seeks to expand medical assistance in dying (MAID), is one of these bills.
Members of the Justice Committee have heard firsthand from disability advocates vehemently opposed to C-7 and its rapid expansion of MAID who argue it amounts to a ‘deadly form of discrimination,’ making it easier for persons with disabilities to die, than to live. It’s shameful that in the Liberal government’s rush to pass this bill before Christmas, they continue to neglect to address legitimate concerns being raised by persons with disabilities.
Medical assistance in dying is a very complex issue that evokes strong emotions. Recognizing we need more time to review this bill, my Conservative colleagues and I repeatedly proposed increasing the number of meetings dedicated to reviewing the bill and hearing from witnesses. Each time, the Liberals refused.
Conservatives are focused on ensuring that this type of legislation includes safeguards for the most vulnerable in our society, as well as for the conscience rights of physicians and health professionals. This week, we are introducing a number of reasonable amendments to reinstate protections the Trudeau government have removed, including:
1) Reinstating the 10-day reflection period when death is reasonably foreseeable;
2) Maintaining the requirement for two independent witnesses when death is foreseeable;
3) Ensuring physicians have expertise in a patient’s condition;
4) Extending the reflection period when death is not reasonably foreseeable;
5) Protecting vulnerable patients by requiring the patient to be the one who first requests information on medical assistance in dying; and
6) Protecting conscience rights for healthcare professionals.
The government will also soon begin an in-depth parliamentary review of the original MAID legislation, passed in 2016, and the state of palliative care in Canada. It is critical that this review analyze how the government’s MAID legislation negatively impacts persons with disabilities.
Canada’s Conservatives will continue to highlight the flaws in the government’s MAID legislation and work to protect vulnerable Canadians. Persons with disabilities and indeed all Canadians deserve as much.