The Federal Liberals’ assisted dying bill is going back to the House of Commons, after Senate approval with several key amendments.
Among them, the removal of a controversial provision requiring someone to be near-death to qualify.
But even with the changes, some assisted dying advocates say the bill falls short.
Katherine Hammond’s mother has Alzheimer’s and has been in a vegetative state for five years.
She left clear instructions for assisted death if things got that bad.
But Hammond says C-14 as amended still leaves people like her mother in the lurch, because it requires people to be mentally competent at the time of death.
“If the law will not allow them to write those directives down when they’re able to and have them honoured later, then those people will be left out.”
Hammond says it’s not just about her mother; that with Canada’s rapidly aging demographic the issue of assisted dying for seniors with dementia is becoming an urgent one.
“I’m horribly disappointed. By the year 2030 there will be 1.4 million Canadians existing in a state similar to my mother’s. And every one of those will not be able to request doctor assisted dying because they won’t be mentally competent.”
Hammond says the Senate amendments are an improvement, but that the bill as written still fails to reflect the spirit, and the letter, of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The Liberals have signaled that they plan to send the bill back to the senate as originally written.