Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address Bill C-7, an act to amend the Criminal Code, medical assistance in dying.
Assisted dying is the leading moral and ethical issue of our time. Previously respected traditions supporting the sanctity of all human life until natural death have been tossed aside, most recently with the Supreme Court's decision in the landmark Carter case.
As parliamentarians, it is incumbent upon us to draft responsible legislation that protects the sanctity of life, protects those contemplating suicide and protects vulnerable peoples. These are principles outlined in the preamble to Bill C-14, the landmark legislation that governs assisted dying in this country. These are principles, although restated largely in Bill C-7, that are being watered down and undermined by this legislation.
As recently as the early 1990s, the Supreme Court ruled in the Rodriguez case that there was no constitutional right to assisted dying in this country. The Carter decision overruled that previous decision, and now Parliament has been tasked to take on the difficult task of balancing the autonomy of Canadians with protecting vulnerable people.