In an effort to get more and better safeguards for vulnerable patients into the forthcoming assisted suicide/euthanasia legislation, a Vulnerable Persons Standard was launched yesterday.
This Standard is consistent with the Carter ruling that legalized these “procedures” in Canada, but it proposes much tighter restrictions and better oversight in order to provide protection for patients who might request assisted suicide or euthanasia “when what they want and deserve is better treatment – to have their needs for care, respect and palliative and other supports better met.”
For those of us who are opposed to assisted suicide and euthanasia, this Standard can only be a half-measure. It cannot prevent all such “procedures”, but it may prevent some. Under the straitened circumstances imposed by the Supreme Court I see it as a morally praiseworthy initiative.
It has already attracted the support of numerous medical and legal organizations. (Full disclosure: my wife is one of the advisors to the Standard.)