NB Should Hold Public Hearings on Assisted Dying: Press Release

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release April 14, 2016 NB Should Hold Public Hearings on Assisted Dying With federal legislation on assisted dying introduced in Parliament, NB Right to Life is calling on the provincial government to hold public hearings on the issue. The Minister of Health, Victor Boudreau, has said New Brunswick will introduce its own legislation once Ottawa passes a new law, expected by June. Right to Life executive director Peter Ryan says the province should hold public hearings before introducing legislation. “People have many questions and concerns,” says Ryan. “There should be an opportunity for public dialogue.” “Most people think a new law will only apply to terminally ill cases of great suffering,” Ryan observed. “They do not realize the legislation’s scope is much broader, including chronic illness and disability. Hearings can help educate the public about the issue.” Ryan says his organization is planning a town hall of its own in June, in Fredericton, and may hold others elsewhere. “Some people have us pigeon-holed as anti-abortion,” Ryan noted. “But for years we’ve been concerned about how euthanasia and assisted suicide would impact the lives of the sick, elderly and disabled.” He noted how the Premier has observed that with the province’s aging population, New Brunswickers may turn to assisted dying more than some other provinces. “This concerns us,” he said. “With a rising problem of elder abuse in our society, will vulnerable people be protected from undue influence by those wanting to see their lives ended sooner rather than later? This kind of abuse could happen.” Ryan also said that if new federal legislation is adopted, many provincial issues will likely remain unresolved. “Will assisted dying be offered in nursing homes, hospices and religious health care facilities? Will the conscience rights of health care professionals who do not wish to participate be protected? These also are topics for public hearings.” Ryan said that while his organization is delighted Saint John and Fredericton now have hospices providing end of life palliative care for cancer patients and others, much services are needed to relieve suffering and thereby provide an alternative to assisted dying. “Medicalized death should not be the only choice on offer,” he said. In his view additional hospices are needed in Moncton and northern New Brunswick. -30-

2 comments to NB Should Hold Public Hearings on Assisted Dying: Press Release

  • Marilyn Hardy

    The legislation comes out on June 6/16. I suggest you hold a Town Hall Meeting earlier than that.

  • Yvette Fizli

    To Whom It May Concern,
    The general public should have the opportunity to voice their opinion on assisted dying. It bothers me terribly that a few people in Canada were able to voice their strong opinions on assisted dying which has pushed this issue to the forefront with alarming speed. If a person wants to have a doctor to speed up death why not put it in their will? Let the majority have their say on this issue. In no way would I ask for this service but if I become unable to decide or make up my mind because of dementia or some other mental illness I do not want to be left in the hands of others to make the wrong decision for me. We definitely need good paliative care for everyone. I know that some people suffer a lot but I am quite confident any pain can be lessened with proper medication.
    Yvette Fizli

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