C-14: the constitutionality stop before Carter

ministre-federale-justice-jody-wilsonBill C-14 does not need to be “compatible” with the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) on medical assistance to die, according to a document submitted Monday by the Federal Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould.

In this disclosure document sent to all senators and deputies, it is stated that “the question is not whether the bill is compatible with Carter, but rather whether it is compatible with the chart”.

The constitutionality of the legislation will therefore “not determined by a simple comparison of the bill that provides for the decision,” we warned in this text wearing a reference to natural death criterion reasonably foreseeable.

The Senate passed an amendment Wednesday night that removes the reference to this concept and replaced it with the language used in the historic judgment of the highest court in the land, which invalidated February 6, 2015 the provisions prohibiting physician assisted dying in the country.

In Carter, the Supreme Court ordered that aid in dying should be given to consenting adults and lucid suffering from “serious health problems and irreversible” who believe their pain is intolerable.

Minister Wilson-Raybould said repeatedly that C-14 complied with the SCC decision, contrary to the submissions of the lawyers for the family of Kay Carter, the woman whose case led to the highest court judgment in the country.

Senate debate

The Senate debated Monday night of a proposed amendment to allow advance directives for medical help to die – a suggestion put forward by the Independent Liberal Senator James Cowan, which would significantly broaden access to this assistance country.

The upper house has narrowly rejected, late afternoon, an amendment to restrict the involvement of nurse practitioners (IPS) in the medical process to die.

Under the proposal put forward by Conservative Senator Betty Unger, beaten 36 votes against 35, IPS could not provide this assistance without the supervision of a physician.

The inclusion of these health professionals in the federal bill aroused the discontent of conservatives in both the House of Commons and the Senate.

In Quebec, the Act relating to end of life care does not allow IPS to administer medical assistance to die.

The federal government had until June 6 to pass a bill in response to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), but it was unsuccessful.

Medical aid in dying is legal since June 7 in the country, but it is not marked by a federal legal framework.

The provincial medical colleges have established guidelines to guide their members during this period of uncertainty.

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