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View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
Maybe everybody understands the scope of this; we've just massively blown up this study.
By combining the two, we're going to undertake a study of palliative care in Canada, the state of palliative care in Canada, and then a comparative study of Canada and countries where palliative care and assisted dying are offered.
Mr. Chair is shaking his head, but that's what was just read.
We're not studying other countries' palliative care systems now; we're studying only other countries where palliative care and assisted dying are offered together. Then with the “particular focus on availability and accessibility”, it's not specified whether you are referring to palliative care or assisted dying, so I presume it's the availability and accessibility of both palliative care and assisted dying. Now we've brought assisted dying into the issue of palliative care.
We're not going to be able to study other countries that just have palliative care. That strikes me as being not wise. We will study other countries that have palliative care and assisted dying, where those are offered, and then we're going to be looking into availability and accessibility of both assisted dying and palliative care.
This is such a broad salad of a motion.
I'll say this as well. As we said in our break period, assisted dying is a different issue. First of all, as we all know, it was required because the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a Criminal Code provision, so as a matter of a charter right, they gave the government a certain amount of time to respond from a justice point of view to providing assisted dying. We have a mandatory review in the legislation, and that review, even with the extension.... I expect that legislation will be tabled in the House of Commons by June. It was supposed to be done by mid-March; now I think it's been extended three or four months. I highly doubt that this study will be done.
We haven't even discussed how you're going to study comparatively countries that have palliative care and assisted dying. Are we going to call witnesses from those countries? By definition, it's going to be hard to get witnesses in Canada who really understand how systems work in other countries that have palliative care and assisted dying. We're going to be doing a lot of video conference calling with time zones, or we're going to have to go to these countries. It's not an easy study to do.
I just would caution my colleagues. We appear to have mashed together two different things without adequate examination of what precisely that's going to mean to the practical implementation of the study.
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