Manitoba

Winnipeg forum answers questions about doctor-assisted dying

The Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities hosted a public forum on doctor-assisted dying on Wednesday evening to answer questions about the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on the issue.

Public forum was hosted by the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Allen Mankewich, chairperson of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities, says panellists were on hand at a public forum in Winnipeg on Wednesday night to provide information and answer questions about the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on doctor-assisted dying. (CBC)

The Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities hosted a public forum on doctor-assisted dying on Wednesday evening to answer questions about the Supreme Court of Canada's ruling on the issue.

The forum, which took place at the Millennium Library in downtown Winnipeg, brought together physicians, researchers, legal experts and activists to share information on the top court's decision from February, which will strike down Canada's ban on physician-assisted suicide in 12 months unless the federal government responds with new legislation.

That means as of Feb. 6, 2016, it will be legal in Canada for a physician to assist a competent adult in taking his or her own life under strict conditions. The ruling only applies to those with enduring, intolerable suffering who clearly consent to ending their lives.

"People heard about what the regulatory framework might look like, what some of the concerns of the disability community [are] ... just various things that we want the regulatory bodies to consider, said Allen Mankewich, chairperson of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities.

"We're pushing any regulatory bodies to consider, you know, implementing protections for people with disabilities to guard against things like being induced into committing physician assisted suicide," he added.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba released its draft statement on doctor-assisted dying in October. The intent is to have a final statement ready for implementation in February.

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