Help dying should be widely available, with few restrictions: report
OTTAWA - A special parliamentary committee says medical assistance in dying should be made available with few obstacles to Canadians who are suffering from grievous and irremediable medical conditions that cause enduring suffering.
The committee, which introduced its long-awaited recommendations today, also says that should include people suffering from both physical and psychological medical conditions.
And it says individuals diagnosed with incurable conditions that are likely to cause loss of competence, such as dementia, should be able to make advance requests for medical assistance in dying.
The committee says physician-assisted dying should be immediately available to competent adults 18 years or older and -- after further consultations -- should be expanded to include "mature minors" within three years.
The recommendations are intended to guide the federal government as it drafts new legislation governing medical assistance in dying.
The Supreme Court struck down the ban on doctor-assisted death last year and has given the government until June to come up with a new law that recognizes the right of clearly consenting adults who are enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to seek medical help in ending their lives.