Much of the debate surrounding Physician Assisted Death (PAD) was between those who believe in personal autonomy and the right to avoid unwanted suffering, and those who believe life is sacred and suffering is redemptive. Those same two groups are now trying to influence the creation of detailed legislation and regulations.
This summer, the Conservative government quietly announced that it had struck a panel of experts to consult Canadians on their views on assisted dying -- nearly six months after the Supreme Court issued its historic ruling on assisted dying. No matter that 84 per cent of Canadians support physician assisted dying, or that the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled it is a patient right. The Conservative government has consistently opposed it.
Last week the government announced the membership of the panel that will conduct the public consultation on Physician Assisted Dying. One of the questions they will have to answer are the very real concerns around how to protect vulnerable populations. People are classed as vulnerable when they are in a position of weakness relative to some other group who can wield power over them.