Whose Jurisdiction Is It Anyway?
Quebec — 2014
From: The Right to Die
Is assisted death a health care matter or is it a criminal one? This may seem an odd question, but in the contentious and confusing world of federal-provincial jurisdictional responsibilities, it is significant. If assisted death is a criminal matter, then it properly can be governed by the Criminal Code of Canada, which makes assisted suicide a criminal offence with a penalty of up to fourteen years in prison. But if assisted death is deemed a health care matter then it comes under provincial jurisdiction; and provinces, like Quebec, can make the relevant laws.
GARY BAUSLAUGH is the author of The Secret Power of Juries and Robert Latimer: A Story of Justice and Mercy. His writing has appeared in many publications and he has served as the president of the Humanist Association of Canada and editor of Humanist Perspectives. Gary, who holds a PhD in chemistry from McGill University, was a teacher and administrator in Canadian colleges and universities for many years. He lives in Victoria, B.C.