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Senate passes amended assisted dying bill, sends it back to the House

Click to play video: 'Trudeau: Fundamental differences separate government, Senate on assisted dying amendment' Trudeau: Fundamental differences separate government, Senate on assisted dying amendment
WATCH ABOVE: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to reporters on Thursday and said he believed that the Bill C-14 assisted dying senate recommendations his government accepted struck a "balance," but remained confident that the bill would pass despite rejecting a contentious amendment to delete a near-death proviso – Jun 16, 2016

OTTAWA – The Senate has sent the federal government’s controversial bill on assisted dying back to the House of Commons with a major amendment that guts the central premise of the proposed law: that only those who are near death should qualify for medical help to end their lives.

READ MORE: Assisted dying Bill C-14 hits unexpected roadblock in Senate

The bill, as amended over the past week of lengthy debate in the upper house, passed Wednesday by a vote of 64-12 with one abstention.

WATCH: What’s the point of the Senate if the government rejects recommendations?

Click to play video: 'What’s the point of the Senate if the government rejects amendments to important bills?' What’s the point of the Senate if the government rejects amendments to important bills?
What’s the point of the Senate if the government rejects amendments to important bills? – Jun 16, 2016

Senators agreed to seven amendments, the most significant being deletion of the near-death proviso.

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WATCH: Assisted dying bill to be amended following 41-30 vote 
Click to play video: 'Assisted dying bill to be amended following 41-30 vote' Assisted dying bill to be amended following 41-30 vote
Assisted dying bill to be amended following 41-30 vote – Jun 9, 2016

That amendment replaces the bill’s restrictive eligibility criteria with the more permissive parameters spelled out last year in the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, which struck down the ban on medical assistance in dying.

WATCH: Liberals rejects Senate’s near-death amendment on assisted dying

Click to play video: 'Liberals rejects Senate’s near-death amendment on assisted dying' Liberals rejects Senate’s near-death amendment on assisted dying
Liberals rejects Senate’s near-death amendment on assisted dying – Jun 16, 2016

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has signalled that the government will not accept the change.

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And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is telling Liberal MPs he expects the appointed Senate to eventually back down on the issue and bow to the will of the elected Commons.

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