Senate passes amended version of assisted-dying bill after days of debate

The Senate has overwhelmingly passed a revised version of a bill to expand access to medical assistance in dying.

A revised version of Bill C7 was passed by a vote of 66 to 19 with three abstentions.

The bill is intended to extend eligibility for assisted dying to people whose natural deaths are not reasonably foreseeable, in compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling.

But senators approved five amendments, two of which would expand access even more.

One amendment would let people who fear losing mental capacity to make advance requests for assisted death.

Another would impose an 18-month time limit on the bill’s proposed blanket ban on assisted dying for people suffering solely from mental illnesses.

It will now be sent back to Parliament for MPs to either accept or reject changes that would relax access even more than the government first proposed.