Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would like to move CPC-9, which amends Bill C-7. It amends section 241 of the act, which Bill C-7 does touch on. I think this is fully within order. We heard testimony at committee, which I thought was very important testimony, from, for example, Roger Foley. For anyone who doesn't know, you can certainly find his story in the media. Various media outlets reported that Mr. Foley appeared to have been feeling some pressure to consider MAID. He, in fact, made recordings to this effect.
This is very important, because we're in a new stage now. Under Bill C-14, introduced by this government, an individual's death had to be reasonably foreseeable. That was never defined, and we chose not to define it as a committee, but reasonably foreseeable death is now no longer a requirement to provide for assisted death. In effect, someone does not have to be dying to be eligible for assisted dying.
I want to specifically mention, on this amendment, that the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians spoke directly to this. They sent us a submission on Bill C-7, and their fourth recommendation is a recommendation on bringing up assisted dying:
To safeguard against any possibility of subtle or overt pressure on patients, health care professionals should not initiate a discussion about MAiD or suggest the option of MAiD unless brought up by a patient. If a patient raises questions or requests MAiD, health professionals should have the ability to explore these issues, including their underlying suffering, and provide information or direct them to someone who can provide information. In other jurisdictions—
And I draw the committee's attention to this:
—where assisted dying is legalized, such as in the recent legislation in Victoria, Australia, this risk of coercion due to the hierarchy and differential of expertise present in the physician-patient relationship is addressed directly in the law. Victorian Legislation states that a healthcare practitioner must not initiate a discussion or suggest Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) to a patient. We urge the Federal government to reduce harm of coercion to vulnerable patients by including this in the current revisions to the Canadian MAiD legislation.
We also received a submission from the persons with disabilities community. They make a number of recommendations. Their fourth recommendation states:
Investigate the “worrisome claims about persons with disabilities in institutions being pressured to seek medical assistance in dying, and practitioners not formally reporting cases involving persons with disabilities”, which were identified in the UN Special Rapporteur’s report, and establish an independent body, whose membership must include representatives of the disability community, to investigate such cases moving forward.
The Conservative Party members listened to the testimony of those witnesses. I paid particular attention to the testimony of Roger Foley. That is why we're moving CPC-9, which deals directly with the issue of when medical assistance in dying should be brought up. It makes it crystal clear that this should be a patient-initiated discussion, not a physician-initiated discussion.
Thank you, Madam Chair.