CMA disappointed Senate adjourning before passing Bill C-14

OTTAWA, June 3, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Medical Association is extremely disappointed that Canada's Senate has disregarded the urgency of a consistent, national framework on assisted dying and taken the deliberate step of adjourning until June 7. This action ensures that Bill C-14, Medical-Assistance in Dying, will not pass before the June 6 deadline imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Unfortunately there persists misinformed opinion stating that the absence of a legislative response to the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in the Carter case on June 6 will have no repercussions for Canadians seeking medical aid in dying. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Make no mistake; Canada's physicians remain extremely uncomfortable with the legal limbo in which they have now been left. Assertions by medical regulatory bodies that clear guidelines are in place and physicians will be able to provide medical aid in dying without fear of legal consequence are simply not true. These guidelines do not have the same effect as laws and do not provide legal protection for physicians and other health care providers. The language in the Carter decision also provides physicians with little or no clinical guidance. Physicians across the country remain uncertain and in that climate of uncertainty Canadians will be left to languish, exactly what the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Carter case sought to avoid. We urge the Senate to pass the Bill after they return from their hiatus next week.

Dr. Cindy Forbes
President, Canadian Medical Association

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 83,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 60 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is helping physicians care for patients. The CMA will be the leader in engaging and serving physicians and be the national voice for the highest standards for health and health care.

 

SOURCE Canadian Medical Association

For further information: mediainquiries@cma.ca, 613-806-1865

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