New Brunswick Association for Community Living endorses Vulnerable Persons Standard for physician-assisted death

Posted in: Press Releases

For Immediate Release

New Brunswick Association for Community Living endorses Vulnerable Persons Standard for physician-assisted death

March 1, 2016

(Fredericton) The New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL) and the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) have endorsed a guide for law reform that would ensure the protection of vulnerable persons who are at risk of inducement, coercion, abuse and error in a system for physician-assisted death.

Called the Vulnerable Persons Standard, the guide proposes five comprehensive and important categories of safeguards that should be applied when assessing people who have requested a physician-assisted death. The safeguards are designed to ensure that people who request physician assisted dying meet eligibility criteria and are not at risk of being induced or coerced to using physician assisted dying to end their lives.

“The Vulnerable Persons Standard is a tool to mobilize political and public support for a robust safeguards system for physician-assisted death,” says Ken Pike, NBACL Director of Social Policy. “This is not about whether or not we support physician assisted death, it is about having necessary safeguards in place to protect vulnerable people.

“A strong system of safeguards for vulnerable people was anticipated by the Supreme Court when it ruled that the ban on physician assisted suicide was unconstitutional under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms says Pike”

“Our hope is that the Standard will become the vehicle for a widespread, shared call for protections for vulnerable persons to be embedded in federal legislation.”

NBACL, in partnership with other provincial and territorial Associations for Community Living, is asking for the Canadian government to adopt the Standard’s five safeguards as part of the system for physician-assisted death. They are also asking for other groups calling for the safeguards of vulnerable persons to endorse the Vulnerable Persons Standard as a guide for law reform.

The Vulnerable Persons Standard was developed with the guidance and endorsement of an Advisory Council, including CACL and a number of physicians, ethicists, lawyers, legal scholars and representatives of vulnerable persons.

The Vulnerable Persons Standard was released today, 1:00 pm AST at The National Press Gallery in Ottawa. The Committee on Vulnerable Persons Standards has also launched a website, http://www.vps-npv.ca/, which outlines details included in the Vulnerable Persons Standard and how concerned individuals and groups can endorse the document.

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NBACL is a non-profit, charitable organization, which works on behalf of children and adults with an intellectual disability and their families. Founded in 1957, NBACL has 12 local associations throughout the province of New Brunswick.

For more information, contact:

Christy McLean, Manager of Communications, NBACL

Toll Free: 1-866-622-2548     Direct: 1-506-453-4404

Email: cmclean@nbacl.nb.ca

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