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Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Of Life and Death, Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, Testimony, Senate Report


In November 1999, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology was authorized to examine and report upon developments since the release of Of Life and Death, the final report of the Special Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. A subcommittee to update Of Life and Death was therefore established. On February 14, 2000, I participated in the first panel of witnesses before this subcommittee. In light of the subcommittee's mandate, I set myself the following two tasks: first, to update the legal status sections of Of Life and Death by reporting on any changes to the legal status and any significant legal events/developments for each of the categories of assisted death: and second, to report on the status of the unanimous and majority legal recommendations made in of Life and Death.

The following report captures the testimony I provided to the Senate Subcommittee. It is divided into five sections: pain control and sedation practices, the withholding and withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, advance directives, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. Each of these five sections is divided into three subsections: changes in legal status, significant legal events/developments, and the status of the original Senate Committee recommendations.