Family at centre of assisted dying law says Ottawa failed to listen

By The Canadian Press
June 6, 2016 - 1:55pm

VANCOUVER — One of the key plaintiffs in the court battle for physician-assisted death is celebrating the historic decision coming into effect, but says the government’s handling of the new law is a betrayal.

Lee Carter and her allies say the Liberal government crafted a bill so restrictive it would have excluded her mother, who ended her own life in Switzerland in 2010 because she had no options in Canada.

Kay Carter was 89 years old and suffering spinal stenosis, a disease that is painful and irreversible but not terminal.

The federal government tabled legislation that allows only terminally ill patients to seek medically assisted dying.

Josh Patterson, with the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, says Carter’s family had many meetings with government but they weren’t ever told other patients would be cut from the rights won in court.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruling was made last year and the federal government was given until June 6 to write legislation, but that bill is still before the senate.

Lake: BC ready with interim assisted dying regulation