Senator Enverga concerned about report on assisted dying

Senator Enverga concerned about report on assisted dying

The Honourable Tobias C. Enverga Jr., Senator for Ontario, received the final report of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying with great concern.

“I am morally and ethically opposed to any action that ends another human being’s life, and that denies a person the natural life cycle from conception to natural death,” said Senator Enverga in a statement following the tabling of the report in both houses of Parliament. “Bishop Samuel J. Aquila once said: ‘… we must have the courage to proclaim the culture of life for the common good of society. This is a duty and responsibility …’. I am taking this duty seriously in my work as a senator and will do my part to ensure that we protect those most vulnerable in our society from severe risk of harm,” the Senator continued.

The report is the latest step in the process to comply with the Supreme Court of Canada’s judgement in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), which has given Parliament until June 6, 2016 to provide a legislative framework under which persons can obtain assistance in ending their lives before natural death occurs.

“I am reading the report with grave concern, noting a clear lack of safeguards and protection of the vulnerable that are found in other jurisdictions’ relevant legislation on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. This report opens the door for minors, persons below the age of 18, to access assisted dying three years down the road; it recommends that persons with psychiatric condition should not be excluded from receiving medical assistance in dying; and it recommends forcing physicians who oppose the practice based on their conscience to refer patients to other willing physicians, rather than providing information to the patient and reporting the patient’s wishes to a government agency.

There is still much study needed, and I will ensure that the voice of those who are concerned about this report is heard in the Senate of Canada when we debate the report and the forthcoming legislative proposals from the government,” Senator Enverga concluded.