Three things you can do to influence new federal legislation for assisted dying

There’s never been a more crucial time for the 85 per cent of Canadians who support the right to assisted dying to speak out for new, patient-centred laws.

With less than three months to go until the Supreme Court’s ruling in Carter v. Canada finally comes into effect, the federal government is busy drafting new legislation for physician-assisted dying. As a result, there’s never been a more crucial time for the 85 per cent of Canadians who support the right to assisted dying to speak out for new, patient-centred laws.

Do you want to help win Canadians fair, safe and timely access to their right to die with dignity? Then Voice Your Choice to your political leaders today! Here are three ways to make yourself heard.

1) The easiest way to tell your MP your wishes for new legislation for assisted dying is by using Dying With Dignity Canada’s Email-a-Rep tool. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can send a strong message to your local MP as well as to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott. Just plug in your postal code, name and email address to generate a tailored message. Then, you can either fire off the default text, or add your own personal touches. It’s easy!

2) Want to go above and beyond? A typed or handwritten letter makes it easier to add personal flare and usually has more impact than a simple email to your MP. Our 2016 Federal Letter-Writing Toolkit is loaded with suggestions on how to Voice Your Choice for patient-centred legislation for assisted dying. Use it to craft a powerful appeal to any of the following players: your MP, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Health Minister Jane Philpott, or all of the above.

3) Having an in-person conversation with your MP is perhaps the single most impactful thing you can do to influence your representative’s approach to the issue of physician-assisted dying. With that in mind, we created a toolkit with suggestions on how to organize a meeting with your MP and what points to bring up when you’re speaking face to face with your representative.

If you live in one of the more than 180 ridings across Canada with a Liberal MP, then your feedback will filter up the ranks and could potentially affect the shape of the legislation that’s being drafted by government brass. Even if your MP belongs to another party, speaking with them could sway how they vote on an assisted dying bill when it’s tabled in Parliament. Simply put, these meetings are invaluable to the movement for compassion and choice at end of life!

If you have scheduled a meeting with your MP and want additional guidance on what questions to ask, please contact Kelsey Goforth, Dying With Dignity Canada’s National Volunteer and Events Coordinator, at kelsey@dyingwithdignity.ca.