The right to die debate restarted

Steven Fletcher on what he would do if he knew it wouldn’t get better


In the wake of Dr. Donald Low’s posthumous plea, Conservative MP Steven Fletcher explained his views.

Speaking on Power and Politics with Evan Solomon, Fletcher, who is a quadriplegic, said: “At the end of the day, I want to be in power to make the best decisions for myself. I’m a disabled Canadian, I don’t want someone telling me what I can or cannot do. Actually, it doesn’t even matter if I’m disabled. If was an able-bodied Canadian, I wouldn’t want people to tell me what I can or cannot do.”

“Life can be very tough. And when you can’t breathe, can’t speak and you can’t move, fully conscious — I’ve gone through that, for months. I knew I was going to get better, but if it was going to go the other way — yeah, I would ask for that,” he said, referring to assisted suicide.

Mr. Fletcher previously set out his stance in an op-ed four years ago.

In sum, what I believe is this: I support the right of an individual to choose to die with dignity. However, for that choice to be genuinely free, and for society to have confidence in that choice, we must know that we are giving the severely injured and ill the support needed to prevent them from losing hope– through the health-care system, social workers, therapy, spiritual counselling, proper insurance coverage (including automobile, and workers compensation) and the like.

Former Bloc Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde put the issue before the House with a private member’s bill in 2010. That bill was defeated by a vote of 230-57. There are only nine MPs still in the House who voted in favour of Lalonde’s bill at second reading.


The right to die debate restarted

  1. Our govt is dawdling as usual. You can buy DIY kits online.

    Separation of church and state.

    • The DIY kits are barbaric. I want to import powdered Chinese nembutal but my understanding is most of it doesn’t get through customs. Now if only the Hells Angels would get out of the crack cocaine business and import this stuff instead a) they would be considered saints not sinners and b) it would be highly lucrative, I would pay them $1,000 for $20 worth of the stuff.

      • Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont allow the means for assisted suicide.

    • No. It didn’t dawdle. The issue was settled in a 2010 free vote of a minority Parlaiment.

      How often should controversial social issues like abortion, assisted, suicide, soveriegnty, be revisted?

      Once a generation should be enough.

      If the same PQ government had multiple votes on sovereignty during its time in office, most would find that outrageous.

      • ‘Dawdle’ meaning the govt hasn’t done anything even though the world has moved on.

        We don’t need their ‘permission’ anymore.

        So unless the govt wants a free-for-all where grannie really might get offed….it would be a good idea to simply provide for it in law, and add standard safeguards.

        They’re having to put extra police at railway crossings in the UK. Quick and simple….doesn’t even need barbiturates.

        • The physicians are divisive on it. Even your precious Ontario government is looking to improve hospice care instead of taking this on.
          As for “grannie”, she needs to have a conversation with her family because there are ways to make sure life is not prolonged if the family does not interfere.

          • It doesn’t matter….it’s long past govt control.

            Time to move religion out of govt in everything.

          • Religion? What the hell does that have to do with anything? The physicians don’t want to take the risk of getting sued by some over zealous family members or being charged by police.

          • The govts stand on many things comes from religion. Time to turf it.

          • Hippocrates was religious? Who knew?

            Pretty much only pagan religions around at the time of Hippocrates. The Hippocratic Oath seems to be pretty much a rejection of paganistic religious practices.

          • LOL and now a word from the 5th century BCE!

            No one knows if Hippocrates wrote any oath, there are numerous variations of it and most physicians don’t ‘take it’ anyway.

            But if you want to swear by Apollo, feel free.

      • Because progress only occurs between generations?

  2. as long as we have a dinosaur government(harper government), adults in Canada will never be able to make adult decisions, unless you have a gun.

    • Ha! You ask your doctor what he/she would feel about ending your life. What is the upside for the physician? There can be a whole lot of back lash from families and the medical association, not to mention extra scrutiny regarding whether the euthanasia was really warranted. Canadian physicians aren’t embracing assisted suicide. They are looking at beefing hospice care instead.

  3. For illustrative purposes, it would help to see the 10-foot pole the government is not going to touch this issue with.

    • They don’t have a choice.

      • You’re dreaming if you think Harper’s getting into this.

        • The federal government doesn’t want to have the conversation and neither do the physicians in Canada.

  4. Has everyone forgot the recent headlines…”Little consensus between Canadian doctors in Canada on assisted suicide?” Despite what some people might think (EmilyOne), you cannot force physicians to perform interventions that they don’t want to do and without the physicians there will be no euthanasia in Canada.

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