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Minutes of Proceedings

42nd Parliament, 1st Session
Meeting No. 16
Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 8:50 a.m. to 10:44 a.m.
Presiding
Anthony Housefather, Chair (Liberal)

• Bill Blair (Liberal)
• Sean Casey (Liberal)
• Garnett Genuis (Conservative)
• Arnold Viersen (Conservative)
• Mark Warawa (Conservative)
• Elizabeth May (Green Party)
• Louis Plamondon (Bloc Québécois)
Library of Parliament
• Christine Morris, Analyst
• Marlisa Tiedemann, Analyst
 
House of Commons
• Philippe Méla, Legislative Clerk
• Olivier Champagne, Legislative Clerk
Department of Health
• Sharon Harper, Manager, Continuing Care Unit, Health Care Programs and Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch
• Helen McElroy, Director General, Health Care Programs and Policy Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch
Department of Justice
• Joanne Klineberg, Senior Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section
• Carole Morency, Director General and Senior General Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, May 4, 2016, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying).

The Committee resumed its clause-by-clause study of the Bill.

Carole Morency, Joanne Klineberg, Helen McElroy and Sharon Harper answered questions.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 10 and 11 on page 6 with the following:

“the person has been diagnosed with a grievous and irremediable medical condition causing enduring and intolerable suffering, taking into account all of their medical”

After debate, by unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Luc Thériault for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 10 to 12 on page 6 with the following:

“the person has a grievous and irremediable medical condition;”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Luc Thériault for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 17 and 18 on page 6 with the following:

“(d) ensure that the person made a voluntary and informed decision and that they have been informed that they may, at any time and in any manner, withdraw or delay”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 4; NAYS: 5.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 19 on page 6 the following:

“(d.1) ensure that the person has had a palliative care consultation to inform them of the full range of available treatments and supports;”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 23 on page 6 the following:

“(e.1) ensure that, if the person who meets all of the criteria set out in subsection (2) also suffers from a cognitive impairment or psychological condition, the person's capacity to provide informed consent has been assessed by a regulated health care professional whose scope of practice includes the assessment of such impairment or condition;”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Chris Bittle moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 27 and 28 on page 6 with the following:

“(g) ensure that there are at least seven clear days between the day on which the request was signed by or on behalf of the person”

Colin Fraser moved, — That the amendment be amended by replacing the word “seven” with the word “ten”.

After debate, the question was put on the subamendment of Colin Fraser and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 9; NAYS: 0.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Chris Bittle, as amended, and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Luc Thériault for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 27 to 36 on page 6.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 9.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Luc Thériault for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by deleting lines 37 to 40 on page 6.

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 9.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 37 on page 6 with the following:

“(h) at the time of providing the medical assis-”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 9.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 38 on page 6 with the following:

“tance in dying, if the person is still capable, give the person an opportunity to with-”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 9.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee on Monday, May 2, 2016, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 40 on page 6 the following:

“(i) if the person has difficulty communicating by reason of a physical or mental disability, take all necessary measures to provide a reliable means by which the person may understand the information that is provided to them and communicate their decision.?”

Debate arose thereon.

Ted Falk moved, — That the amendment be amended by deleting the words “by reason of a physical or mental disability”.

After debate, the question was put on the subamendment of Ted Falk and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 9; NAYS: 0.

The Committee resumed consideration of the amendment of Elizabeth May, as amended, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 40 on page 6 the following:

“(i) if the person has difficulty communicating, take all necessary measures to provide a reliable means by which the person may understand the information that is provided to them and communicate their decision.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment, as amended, and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 9 ; NAYS: 0.

At 9:51 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 10:00 a.m., the sitting resumed.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 40 on page 6 the following:

“(3.1) The medical practitioner or nurse practitioner shall not provide a person with assistance in dying if the criteria in subsection (1) and the safeguards in subsection (3) have not been reviewed and verified in advance

(a) by a competent legal authority designated by the province for that purpose; or

(b) if no designation is made under paragraph (a), by a legal authority designated by the Minister of Health in conjunction with the Minister of Justice for that purpose.

(3.2) The designation referred to in paragraph (3.1)(b) ceases to have effect if the province notifies the Minister of Justice that a designation has been made under paragraph (3.1)(a).”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 7.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 40 on page 6 the following:

“(3.1) As it relates to medical assistance in dying, no medical practitioner or nurse practitioner may administer a substance to a person if either they or the medical practitioner or nurse practitioner referred to in paragraph (3)(e) is of the opinion that the person is capable of self-administering the substance.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 3; NAYS: 6.

Pursuant to the order adopted by the Committee earlier today, the following amendment, submitted by Elizabeth May for the consideration of the Committee, was deemed moved:

That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 45 on page 6 with the following:

“may do so in the person’s presence under their direction and on their behalf.”

After debate, by unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

Ted Falk moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 45 on page 6 the following:

“(4.1) For greater certainty, the person who has requested medical assistance in dying may, at any time, withdraw their request.”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Ted Falk and it was negatived, by a show of hands: YEAS: 0; NAYS: 7.

Colin Fraser moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing line 45 on page 6 with the following:

“may do so in the person’s presence, on the person's behalf and under the person's express direction”

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Colin Fraser and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 9; NAYS: 0.

At 10:31 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 10:38 a.m., the sitting resumed.

Murray Rankin moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by adding after line 2 on page 8 the following:

“(9.1) It is recognized that every individual is free to provide or refuse to provide a person with medical assistance in dying or to aid a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person such assistance in accordance with their conscience or religious beliefs.

(9.2) For greater certainty, no individual shall be deprived of any benefit, or be subject to any obligation or sanction, under any law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason of their exercise, in respect of assistance in dying, of the freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

After debate, by unanimous consent, the amendment was withdrawn.

Colin Fraser moved, — That Bill C-14, in Clause 3, be amended by replacing lines 20 and 21 on page 7 with the following:

(a) are not a mentor to the other practitioner or responsible for su-

After debate, the question was put on the amendment of Colin Fraser and it was agreed to, by a show of hands: YEAS: 6; NAYS: 3.

At 10:44 a.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.



Michael MacPherson
Clerk of the Committee