NRL News

Will the Canadian government protect people from assisted suicide?

by | May 1, 2015

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC)

SCofCanadaThe Canadian Press is reporting that the federal government may not introduce a bill to protect Canadians from assisted suicide before the October federal elections .

Written by Joan Bryden, the article states

When the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the prohibition on physician-assisted dying last February, it gave the federal government 12 months to craft a new law …

With Parliament scheduled to sit just six more weeks before an extended break for the summer and a fall election, the government has only three or four months in which to introduce, debate and pass a new law.

Earlier, the Hon Bob Dechert, parliamentary secretary to the health minister, argued that consultation by a committee wouldn’t be broad enough to do justice to such a complex, explosive issue. Dechert stated:

“In fact, we are suggesting tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of Canadians need to be heard on this issue,” he said, promising that “meaningful consultations” via the Internet, public meetings and other means would be launched “very soon.”

A spokesperson for Justice Minister Peter MacKay told Bryden that:

“We recognize the tight timeline imposed on us by the Supreme Court and we should be in a position to announce the way forward on this file in due course.”

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC) responded to the irresponsible and dangerous Supreme Court decision by urging the Federal government to use the “Notwithstanding” clause and to call a Royal Commission to protect people with disabilities, elders who live with abuse, depressed and suicidal people and others. We explained that it is not safe to give doctors, the right in law, assist the suicide of their patients.

EPC asked its members to write letters to Justice Minister Hon. Peter MacKay and their Members of Parliament, or to sign the online petition or to send a Give us time! post-card calling for a Royal Commission on assisted suicide and the use of the Notwithstanding clause.

Writing a letter is most effective but EPC has already distributed 80,000 post-cards. Order the Give us time!post-cards – for free – at: 1-877-439-3348 or

Link to our campaign website at:

Editor’s note. This appeared at