MP gathers information on doctor assisted dying

Mel Arnold says he is waiting to see proposed legislation before making a decision

North Okanagan-Shuswap’s MP is still undecided on the issue of doctor-assisted dying.

Mel Arnold held a panel discussion Thursday  and heard from the public, but he says it’s too early to determine how he will vote when the matter comes before Parliament.

“Because the government has not yet tabled its proposed bill on assisted dying, I cannot state whether or not I support the coming legislation,”  he said.

The Supreme Court of Canada has given the federal government until June 6 to amend laws to allow physicians to assist in the death of competent adults who clearly consent to the termination of life and have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.

Parliament’s special joint committee on physician assisted dying studied the matter and produced a report in February containing recommendations for the government to consider.

There was also a dissenting report produced by some committee members that calls for protections to be in place to protect vulnerable people.

“The legislative process allows parliamentarians the opportunity to propose amendments to add or remove details to proposed bills and our discussion tonight (Thursday) is an important part of my process, as your member of Parliament, in seeking inputs from you, the people, on what your opinions are,” said Arnold.