NDP statement on SCC end-of-life ruling

FREDERICTON – NDP Leader Dominic Cardy welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling on end-of-life care today while emphasizing the need for the New Brunswick government to comply in a considered way that ensures the protection of vulnerable groups.

“We’ve seen a clear legal trend in Canada with courts acknowledging that when faced with difficult moral questions where there are no easy answers, that the constitution protects the right of individuals to make their own decisions, and their judgment is usually better than the government’s. The NDP supports the protection and dignity of human life, while giving more power to individuals to control their own lives – including the way their lives end.”

“However, the Court’s ruling reaffirms that health is regulated provincially. It is up to the provinces to ensure that strong, balanced that strong, balanced regulations are quickly put in place – to protect medical practitioners, to ensure informed decision making, and most of all to protect vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities from abuse. The Court has given us guidelines, now it’s up to the province to comply with the Constitution.”

Cardy concluded, “This issue is too big for politics and the timetable of one year established by the Court means change is coming. The Premier should avoid delay and opposition parties should avoid partisan criticism. An all-party committee including medical professionals and advocates for groups at risk, sitting as equals, should be quickly formed to ensure a caring and thoughtful response from the government and people of New Brunswick. I hope the Premier will also work with other provinces to ensure a consistent approach to a difficult question. The NDP will do whatever it can be to be helpful in this process”.