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Canadian Suicide Prevention Bill Passes by Overwhelming Majority

Peter Baklinski : Feb 23, 2012 : LifeSiteNews.com

"Let us not forget the immense human cost and suffering that continues each and every second as families devastated by their loss of a loved one seek to find hope and meaning for their future. May they find hope and know that they are not alone and that this victory is also theirs—as hollow as the victory may seem for them, let this new and exciting step forward be a good thing that has come out of the pain and the suffering." -Rory Butler

(Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)—A bill that calls for the Government of Canada to establish a federal framework for suicide prevention passed in the House of Commons last week by a vote of 285 to three.

Harold AlbrechtBill C-300, brought forward by Harold Albrecht (MP) Kitchener-Conestoga as a private member's bill, is now at its second reading. (LSN Photo)

The bill, tabled last September, would require the federal government to recognize suicide as a public health issue, provide guidelines to improve public awareness of suicide, disseminate information about suicide and suicide prevention, make available to the public statistics about suicide and related risk factors, define best practices for the prevention of suicide, promote the use of evidence-based practices for the prevention of suicide, and report back to Parliament at defined intervals regarding its progress.

According to Statistics Canada, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the country, with approximately 3,600 Canadians committing suicide every year. According to the Canadian Psychiatric Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians aged 15 to 24.

"We need to do more to protect the sacred gift of human life, and I believe that all human life is sacred," Albrecht told the House of Commons just before the vote. "I will stand for the protection and preservation of the dignity of all human life well after others may have decided that a specific life is no longer worth the extra effort, the extra care, or the extra protection in late senior years."

Alex Schadenberg, directory of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition applauded Albrecht's efforts to "create greater awareness of the need for the Canada's federal government to take a larger role in the prevention of suicide."


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