JOHN ROBBINS/Bullet News
OTTAWA – Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says the federal government plans to review the implications of proposed legislation in Quebec to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
The Quebec provincial government introduced the legislation in the National Assembly on Wednesday. Public hearings are expected this fall.
That prompted Nicholson, Conservative MP for Niagara Falls, to issue a statement emphasizing Ottawa’s position on the controversial right-to-die debate.
“The laws that prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide exist to protect all Canadians, including those who are potentially the most vulnerable, such as people who are sick or elderly, and people with disabilities,” Nicholson said.
“The Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged the state interest in protecting human life and upheld the constitutionality of the existing law against assisted suicide in Rodriguez (1993).”
Nicholson continued: “In April 2010, a large majority of Parliamentarians voted not to change these laws, which is an expression of democratic will on this topic. This is a sensitive issue for many Canadians, with deeply held beliefs on both sides of the debate.”
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