AG Lametti looking ahead to larger reforms on doctor-assisted death

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asking his justice minister to move quickly to respond to a recent court ruling on doctor-assisted death.

David Lametti received his new mandate letter from the prime minister today, which includes marching orders on everything from a promised ban on conversion therapy to ensuring judges have mandatory training in sexual assault law.

Trudeau also wants Lametti to work with the federal health minister to deal with a September court decision which ruled part of the government’s medical assisted dying law is unconstitutional because it only allows people who are near death to qualify for medical help to end their suffering.

The Quebec Superior Court gave Ottawa just six months — until March 2020 — to amend the law, but Ottawa could seek an extension.

Lametti said in an interview with The Canadian Press that he is looking ahead to larger reforms and that he is glad to have the chance to push the process along so that fewer people suffer.

Lametti was one of just four Liberal MPs who had voted against the Trudeau government’s 2016 legislation that legalized medical assistance in dying, arguing at the time the law was too restrictive and did not meet the eligibility criteria set out by the Supreme Court.

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