Voice Your Choice: Email your MP today
UPDATED: The Liberals’ proposed assisted dying law does not, as many casual observers have written, break down barriers for Canadians looking for a full range of end-of-life choices. In fact, if the Supreme Court’s decision struck down the wall separating desperately ill Canadians from their right to a peaceful death, then this law represents a concerted effort by the federal government to rebuild that wall.
If passed as proposed, the Liberals’ new assisted dying law will restrict rightful access to assisted dying in at least two ways:
- The clause in Bill C-14 limiting assisted death to Canadians whose “natural death is reasonably foreseeable” will deny access to assisted dying to all but the terminally ill. It risks violating the rights of Canadians with advanced degenerative illness like ALS who are suffering intolerably but whose deaths aren’t necessarily imminent. This is far narrower in scope than the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter v. Canada and likely violates Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- The bill effectively excludes individuals with a diagnosis for a severe illness from access to their right to die with the help of a doctor. Without the option to make advance requests for assisted dying, Canadians with dementia, or other degenerative illnesses that rob victims of their competence, will be effectively excluded from access. This is completely unacceptable and goes against the spirit of the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling on physician-assisted dying.
Here’s a list of key recommendations we fear won’t be reflected in new legislation:
- Allowing Canadians with serious illnesses like dementia the option to make advance requests for assisted dying;
- That Ottawa work with the provinces to ensure that all publicly funded hospitals, hospices and long-term care facilities allow physician-assisted dying on their premises;
- That the federal and provincial governments work together to develop a system that guarantees effective referrals for desperately ill patients whose doctors are unwilling to provide aid in dying.
What you can do
Multiple MPs have already spoken out against Bill C-14 for not complying with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Supreme Court’s Carter v. Canada decision. This tells us the fight is far from over! There is still time to act and ask your MP to push for amendments that prioritize the rights of all suffering Canadians—not just those who are terminally ill.
We need the 85 per cent of Canadians who support the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter v. Canada to engage with their MPs and rally for legislation that doesn’t bar millions of Canadians from accessing their Charter right to assisted dying. Use Dying With Dignity Canada’s updated Email-a-Rep tool to urge your MP to take a stand against assisted dying laws that violate the wording and the spirit of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on assisted dying.
Here's how it works:
- Enter your postal code and click "Find" so the tool knows which MP to send your message to.
- Then, enter your name and email address. (Phone number is optional.)
- You can use the default text, or you can customize it to make your message even more powerful.
- When you're done, click "Send my email." Your message will be sent to your local MP. It’s easy!
Once you’re done, send the link to your friends and family and post it to social media. The future of assisted dying in Canada depends on what we do over the next several days and weeks. So act today!