The federal government has missed its deadline for assisted dying legislation, but a bill is in the works.
But while it’s not yet law, it’s already taking fire from all quarters, including Kathrine Hammond whose mother has been in a vegetative state for five years… and won’t find relief under the new law.
LISTEN: Guest Host Drex talks with Katherine Hammond on how Bill C-14 fails her mother
Hammond’s mother Margot Bentley is a former nurse who wrote a statement of wishes in the 1990’s specifying that she did not want life support in the case that she lost her ability to recognize her family.
She has Alzheimer’s, and has been in a vegetative state for 5 years – her only interaction with the world is her ability to open her mouth when care workers tap it with a spoon to feed her.
Under the proposed law, she won’t be eligible for doctor assisted death, despite her express wishes.
Hammond says it’s unreasonable.
“I believe my mom’s rights are certainly being infringed upon here, they’re being disregarded entirely, actually.”
She says through the long battle to legalize assisted dying, she grew ever more hopeful that her mom would find peace, only to be crushed when she learned the text of proposed bill.
“There has been some hope, there has been some optimism, and ultimately, incredible surprise and disappointment with what we’ve ended up with here in the draft of C-14.”
Hammond says the document as written is unconstitutional, and throws out clear the clear instructions issued in a unanimous ruling from the Supreme court. She’s now hoping the bill can be defeated in the senate, and sent back to the House of Commons to be re-written.
“I’m really excited to hear that there are senators who recognize the supreme deficiencies in C-14, they don’t agree that it should be rushed through, they understand that it’s deficient in many, many ways. And I’m hopeful that it will go back.”
Hammond has been reaching out to senators, and is encouraging anyone in the public who is uncomfortable with the bill to do the same.