Canadians not near death gain access to assisted dying as Senate passes Bill C-7

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OTTAWA — The Senate has passed a bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying, including eventually to people suffering solely from mental illnesses.

By a vote of 60-25, with five abstentions, senators have accepted a revised version of Bill C-7, even though the government rejected or modified amendments made by the Senate.

It is expected to receive royal assent later tonight.

The bill immediately expands access to intolerably suffering individuals who are not approaching the natural end of their lives, in compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling.

As originally drafted, the bill would have imposed a blanket ban on assisted dying for people suffering solely from mental illnesses.

However, the revised version puts a two-year time limit on that exclusion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press