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OTTAWA—Conservative MP Steven Fletcher cheered Friday’s Supreme Court ruling as “momentous” and said he hopes his own private member’s bill on physician-assisted death points the way for Parliament’s next steps on the issue.
“We now have direction for our parliamentarians to reflect what the vast majority of Canadians already believe, that dying with dignity, physician-assisted death, should be allowed in certain circumstances,” Fletcher told reporters in the foyer of the Supreme Court.
“This ruling will, I believe, reduce suffering. It will allow people to actually live longer because they will actually have the peace of mind that they are not going to have a horrible death,” Fletcher said.
Friday’s ruling overturned the existing law on assisted suicide, declaring that informed adults suffering “grievous and irremediable medical conditions” should have the option of a physician-assisted death if they choose.
Fletcher said he’s encouraged that the court’s recommendations are similar to the intent of his own bill, which he introduced almost a year ago. That bill would allow physicians to assist patients suffering “intolerable” physical or psychological conditions to end their lives.
“There does seem to be wide consensus amongst the population. I think if it went to a free vote in Parliament, it would pass,” he said.