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Trudeau urged to make assisted dying less restrictive

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a press conference following a cabinet swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on July 18, 2018.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a press conference following a cabinet swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on July 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Even before he swears in his new cabinet, Justin Trudeau is being urged to ask his new justice minister to move swiftly to make Canada’s assisted-dying law less restrictive.

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The prime minister has said he’ll comply with a September court ruling that struck down as unconstitutional the requirement that only those near death can qualify for medical help to end their suffering.

In her ruling, Quebec Superior Court Judge Christine Baudouin gave the government six months — until early April 2020 — to amend the law.

Leaders’ Debate: Trudeau says he would “relax” assisted dying law in next 6 months
Leaders’ Debate: Trudeau says he would “relax” assisted dying law in next 6 months

Dying with Dignity Canada is urging Trudeau to have his next justice minister give priority to amending the law and go further than the ruling demands.

The group wants the government to get rid of the requirement that a person’s natural death must be reasonably foreseeable in order to qualify for a doctor-assisted death.

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READ MORE: Quebec has no plans to appeal ruling that struck down parts of assisted dying law

It also wants the government to drop the requirement that someone must be able to give consent for an assisted death immediately prior to receiving the procedure — a provision that has stripped the right from some people who lose the capacity to consent as their condition deteriorates.

Where federal party leaders stand on issue of medically assisted dying
Where federal party leaders stand on issue of medically assisted dying