Right-to-die proponents hold meeting in Calgary

Federal MPs Steven Fletcher and Libby Davies met a small group of supporters in Calgary to promote a private member's bill proposing the legalization of physician assisted suicide in Canada.

Federal MPs seek support for private members bill on physician assisted suicide

About 40 people gathered at a seniors centre in Calgary on Monday to hear from two federal MPs speak about a proposed law on physician assisted suicide.

An organization called Dying with Dignity brought Conservative MP Steven Fletcher and NDP MP Libby Davies to Calgary on Monday night to talk about Fletcher's private member's bill calling for the legalization of physician assisted suicide in some cases.

Fletcher, who was left a quadriplegic after his car hit a moose in 1996, told the crowd it's time for a public debate in Canada.

"There are circumstances where the compassionate thing is to assist someone," he said.

Libby Davies, an NDP member of parliament from Vancouver, said public opinion surveys back the idea of legalizing physician assisted suicide.

"The public is way ahead of where the politicians are and it really needs to be debated in parliament," 

Audience member Ross Mutton, 84, said he should have the right to end his life if he chooses.

"There is tremendous resistance to it and it's not rational," he said. 

Private member's bills have little chance of being adopted or even debated by parliament. However, Davies and Fletcher hope that the Senate will force the issue by passing the bill.