The Canadian Government will not reopen a debate on legalising euthanasia, the country’s health minister has said.
Speaking to the media at a Canadian Medical Association meeting, health minister Rona Ambrose said she recognised it is a “very emotional” issue for a lot of people.
But she said: “Parliament voted in 2010 to not change its position on this issue. At this time, we don’t have any intention of changing our position.”
The World Medical Association (WMO) has also reiterated its strong opposition to euthanasia.
The WMO resolution states that the practice is “unethical”, even “at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives”.
It also says: “This does not prevent the physician from respecting the desire of a patient to allow the natural process of death to follow its course in the terminal phase of sickness.”
On assisted suicide, the WMO similarly says it should be opposed by the medical profession.
The WMO was set up in 1947 as an international organisation representing doctors, in order to work for “the highest possible standards of ethical behaviour”.
Peter Saunders, head of campaign group Care Not Killing, said Britain should “learn from this strong international precedent” when bills pushing for the legalisation of assisted suicide come before Westminster and Holyrood later this year.
Deaths from assisted suicide have increased by 130 per cent in the US state of Washington since it was legalised in 2009.
And some have raised concerns about the people who have opted for an assisted suicide.
Margaret Dore, a Washington State attorney, argued that it was mostly “older people with money” who took the lethal drugs.