Government says assisted-death panel won't give advice for legislation
The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, November 14, 2015 2:57PM EST
OTTAWA - A federal panel created in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on assisted death will no longer be asked to make recommendations to the government and will now simply report on its consultations on the issue.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott say in a statement that along with the modified mandate, the date for the panel to make its report has been extended by a month to Dec. 15.
In July, the Conservative government established the panel to solicit attitudes and opinions of Canadians and key stakeholders after the Supreme Court of Canada recognized the right of clearly consenting adults who endure intolerable physical or mental suffering to end their lives with a physician's help.
The court also gave Parliament one year to establish a set of laws to govern physician-assisted death.
The panel faced criticism from some, including the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, because two of its three members were federal witnesses who argued against assisted suicide when the case was heard.
A letter from the ministers to the panellists explains the changes to the original November deadline and the mandate are due to the "limitations imposed by the recent election period."