Assisted Suicide Bill Coming to Parliament – But a Vote is Unlikely



March 26, 2014

Manitoba MP Stephen Fletcher has informed his caucus and the media that he plans to introduce two bills into Parliament. The first would allow assisted suicide and the second would set up a commission to monitor what is going on, to improve the process.

Fletcher is a quadraplegic MP. When the House of Commons last voted on this issue, he abstained because he said that the bill was flawed. Yet he also made it clear to Parliament the he believed assisted suicide should be a legal option. Read more about Mr. Fletcher in this Christian Renewal article.

It is important to note that Mr. Fletcher is number 240 on the list of MPs who get to introduce a piece of legislation in this Parliament. That means that it is very unlikely that his bill would even be debated, let alone voted on, unless a different MP exchanges their slot with him. It appears that this bill is primarily about driving attention to the issue – and that is clearly working. 

Fletcher noted that he realizes that the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear this case but that he thinks it is Parliament’s job to come up with new legislation. Yet it was only a few years ago that Parliament overwhelmingly voted down Francince Lalonde’s bill that sought to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. ARPA readers had a big hand in opposing that bill. 

The lesson we can learn is that if we believe an issue needs to be raised, we need to show the same stamina and devotion as those who are advancing causes we oppose. Justice and freedom require vigilance.  


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