Steven Fletcher: Assisted suicide means ’embracing life’

Listen: Cormac MacSweeney speaks with the Conservative MP about his private member’s bills on assisted suicide

Steven Fletcher had an accident when he was 23 that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Now the Conservative MP has introduced two private member’s bills related to assisted suicide, which are here and here. Cormac MacSweeney, Parliament Hill Bureau Chief for CityNews and Rogers Radio, spoke with Fletcher about assisted suicide and his experience recovering from that 1996 accident.

“There were times when I’d feel that I was drowning in my own phlegm,” he told MacSweeney. “It’s very painful, you’re totally sleep-deprived, and it is a very difficult way to exist. I wouldn’t wish it on any living thing—human or not.”

Fletcher asked why we would want to put people through such suffering.

“There are people who have lived full lives, who are in hopeless situations and all that remains is pain and suffering and heartache and terror,” he said, adding that he would encourage Canadian families to have frank discussions about assisted suicide.

A condensed version of this interview was included in this week’s edition of our podcast, Maclean’s on the Hill. Listen to MacSweeney’s full interview with Fletcher here:

cma_728x90_national Maclean’s invites you to join us in communities across Canada as we explore issues affecting patients, health care professionals and the country. Each event will be streamed live here, at

Vancouver, BC | March 24 Fairmont Waterfront Register here! Whitehorse, YT | Apr 16 Yukon Arts Centre Register here!
Regina, SK | May 07 Queensbury Convention Centre Register here! Mississauga, ON | May 27 The International Centre Register here!

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.