Medical assistance in dying | Senate votes to expand access to advance requests

Medical assistance in dying |  Senate votes to expand access to advance requests

(Ottawa) Senators voted to allow Canadians to seek medical assistance in dying early if they fear losing their mental faculties when making this delicate decision.

This amendment to Bill C-7 was approved on Wednesday in a vote in which 47 senators voted for and 28 against. There were also eight abstentions.

The amendment was moved by Senator Pamela Wallin, a member of the Canadian Senators Group.

According to the arguments presented, a person who has been or is afraid of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other serious cognitive impairment should be able to express consent to medical assistance in dying while they are fit. to do it. When making the advance request, however, it will be necessary to clearly specify under what circumstances and when this person wishes to receive medical assistance in dying.

Another important nuance, Bill C-7 would allow a request for early medical assistance in dying, but only for people who are already near the end of their natural life cycle.

Thus, for people whose anticipated request has been approved, it will no longer be necessary to obtain consent just before taking action.

The amendment presented by Mme Wallin would allow Canadians whose natural death is not yet foreseeable to express their last wishes in advance should illness prevent them from making such a decision in the future.

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