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Trudeau pressed to ensure less restrictive assisted-dying law a priority
More than 500 Ontarians aged 27 to 101 have chosen medically assisted death since it became legal in Canada, according to statistics from Ontario's chief coroner. (CTV National News)
OTTAWA - Even before he swears in his new cabinet, Justin Trudeau is being urged to ask his new justice minister to move swiftly to make Canada's assisted-dying law less restrictive.
The prime minister has said he'll comply with a September court ruling that struck down as unconstitutional the requirement that only those near death can qualify for medical help to end their suffering.
In her ruling, Quebec Superior Court Judge Christine Baudouin gave the government six months -- until early April 2020 -- to amend the law.
Dying with Dignity Canada is urging Trudeau to have his next justice minister give priority to amending the law and go further than the ruling demands.
The group wants the government to get rid of the requirement that a person's natural death must be reasonably foreseeable in order to qualify for a doctor-assisted death.
It also wants the government to drop the requirement that someone must be able to give consent for an assisted death immediately prior to receiving the procedure -- a provision that has stripped the right from some people who lose the capacity to consent as their condition deteriorates.