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Society needs to talk about euthanasia issue

NDP Health Critic Mike Farnworth says he doubts there will be movement on euthanasia or cannabis legalization under his watch if the NDP win the next provincial election. - Neil Horner photoi
NDP Health Critic Mike Farnworth says he doubts there will be movement on euthanasia or cannabis legalization under his watch if the NDP win the next provincial election.
— image credit: Neil Horner photoi

It’s unlikely British Columbia will see any dramatic movement towards legalizing euthanasia or marijuana under an NDP government, says health critic Mike Farnworth.

Speaking at an open house event on health issues in Qualicum Beach Wednesday night, Farnworth said he doesn’t anticipate movement on the hot-button euthanasia issue any time soon.

“We haven’t had a discussion as a society on that issue,” he said. “It’s certainly not going to change under us as a government.”

Responding to a question on the issue, Farnworth said euthanasia is a very personal decision, noting he sees life as very precious, but stressed he would want someone to pull the plug for him if he was in a vegetative state.

“That is in my will,” he said. “I don’t want heroic measures.”

Farnworth said the issue strikes to the core of people’s beliefs.

“It’s not something that governments should legislate to reduce the surplus population, as Dickens would say,” he said. “It’s not something to be treated cavalierly and I’m not in a position to say we would be going down that path. Maybe we will have that discussion, but I don’t think it’s going to happen any time in the near future.”

Responding to a question about his position on the issue of legalizing marijuana, Farnworth was equally lukewarm on the topic.

 

“The issue around marijuana use is the criminal activity that goes with it and whether that’s the right way to approach it or should we take an approach that’s similar to that used with tobacco, which is regulation and discouragement?” he said. “I don’t think we’re quite there yet as a country.”

 

 

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