This week, the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying released its report to Parliament. The majority report makes 21 recommendations on how the Federal Government should address assisted suicide and euthanasia. Many of the recommendations are deeply troubling. We attended all of the Committee hearings that were open to the public, and are not surprised by the recommendations, but had hoped they would heed the cautions of the many witnesses who urged restraint.
We will be engaging in a more thorough analysis of the Committee’s recommendations in the coming days, but we’ve highlighted for you some of our key concerns, below.
As you know, the EFC has maintained complete opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide, but we are engaging in the public and political discourse to ensure that occurrences are rare, that the inherent risks and harms are minimized, and that those who are vulnerable are protected.
What the Committee has recommended fails to meet the Court’s own insistence that stringent safeguards that are scrupulously monitored and enforced are put in place to protect those who are vulnerable. The federal government will consider the recommendations, and will introduce legislation in the weeks to come. We will be pressing hard for stringent safeguards and protections as the government considers the report and develops legislation.