Senate passes amended version of assisted-dying bill after days of debate

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OTTAWA — Senators have overwhelmingly approved a bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying — with amendments that would relax access even more than proposed by the government.

A revised version of Bill C-7 has been passed by the Senate by a vote of 66-19, with three abstentions.

Senators have added five amendments to the bill, which would expand assisted dying to people whose natural deaths are not reasonably foreseeable, in compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling.

One amendment would impose an 18-month time limit on the bill's proposed blanket ban on assisted dying for people suffering solely from mental illnesses.

Another would allow people who fear losing mental capacity to make advance requests for assisted death.

The revised bill will now have to be sent back to the House of Commons for MPs to determine whether to accept or reject some or all of the amendments.

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

The Canadian Press