Madam Speaker, we are talking about mental illness, mental distress and depression as being reasons why it may be permissible to ask for assistance in dying. I look at this and say that we have come a long way. Our laws were based on some court rulings surrounding people who wanted to die because they had lost their ability to control their bodies. They had ALS; they had no control over their bodies at all. They could not actually go through the act of committing suicide, but they maintained razor-sharp consciousness and a strong will. Sue Rodriguez is one example.
We should not go from that to somebody who is essentially having a failure of will. That is what depression is, being unable to formulate plans to carry on and instead saying there is an easy way out. This seems to me to be fundamentally dangerous, to be almost leading people on. It seems to me this is an obvious underlying problem.
I am glad to have a year to slow down this progress in the wrong direction. Quite frankly, I think we should be very much looking at some entirely different direction. The idea that the courts are somehow going to impose on Canada in the situation of depressed people, people who are struggling because of circumstances that are hard in their lives, is that “life is hard; death is easy”. It is absolutely outrageous to say, “This is it. The kingdom of death is upon us; that is just dandy".
I guess I am asking my colleague to offer some commentary on this national abdication of will that seems to be, at best, coming a year from the present.