Medical assistance in dying.
If you are a Canadian, the federal government is seeking your input on legislative reform relating to a judicial decision that the current legislation contravenes Charter rights to liberty of the person.
And, although there hasn't been much publicity about this issue, nevertheless the on-line survey has evoked huge response.
A 1995 Supreme Court decision denied MAID by a narrow 5-4 decision.
A 2015 Supreme Court decision went the other way, requiring legislative amendment to permit MAID in certain circumstances.
But under political pressure, the 2016 legislative response to the 2015 decision went considerably further than the Supreme Court analysis, and stipulated that death had to be "reasonably foreseeable". Which meant that someone diagnosed with a serious illness -- progressive Alzheimer's, for example -- who did not want to end her life right now, could not sign an advance directive for MAID in the future after inevitable loss of capacity had occurred.
And then in 2018 a Quebec judge found that this legislative amendment was also unconstitutional, also infringing liberty of the person and imposing suffering, such that it required further amendment. And so: the request for input by means of the on-line survey.
The survey closes January 27.
Aristotle noted that law and social consensus evolve in tandem: with law sometimes leading social consensus and social consensus sometimes leading law.
More and more often, obituaries note that the deceased person chose MAID. Many people now know someone personally who chose MAID.
In my experience, going back to my three long summers of working as a ward clerk in a hospital for dying patients in the early 1970s, many people chose to end their lives: often foregoing daily pain relief and stockpiling prescribed medications until they had a sufficient dosage. While medical personnel looked the other way. Or pain medication would be administered in increasing dosages to alleviate pain with full understanding (not explicitly acknowledged) that the result would be hastening the end. Or a patient would decline treatment -- dialysis, for example -- understanding that doing so would result in death.