End the ban on advance requests for assisted dying

Your end-of-life rights should be respected

Since 2016, medical assistance in dying (MAID) has been a recognized right in Canada. But the current law prevents many Canadians in the early stages of dementia, Alzheimer’s or other degenerative illnesses from accessing their right to a peaceful death because they are unable to make an advance request for an assisted death before they lose capacity to consent.

As a consequence, many people with capacity-eroding conditions are effectively banned from their right to a medically assisted death. Further, those who qualify while they are still able to provide informed consent face a cruel choice: access a medically assisted death while they still can, or wait and risk living through unnecessary suffering and indignities for too long. Neither option is humane.

The unfair ban on advanced requests should be lifted

For many people living with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and even brain cancer, the ongoing progression of their illness means that they may not be able to give informed consent at the time they become eligible for MAID. Unless they can make an advance request, the option of a medically assisted death may be completely off the table. 

In practice, an advance request would allow a person to make a formal request for assisted dying that would be honoured later, after they lose the capacity to make medical decisions for themselves.  

With your help, we’re calling on decision-makers to respect Canadians’ end-of-life rights by lifting the unfair ban on advance requests for assisted dying.

Take action today!

We at Dying With Dignity Canada recognize the responsibility of the federal government in handling healthcare priorities — including managing the COVID-19 outbreak across the country. 

However, during this time, Canadians are still suffering from lack of access to their end-of-life rights. For far too long, the assisted dying legislation has ignored the rights of people with capacity-eroding illnesses. 

Our federal decision-makers have a responsibility to right this wrong and restore the rights of all Canadians who have been discriminated against under this flawed law.

In June 2020, the government has committed to reviewing different aspects of Canada’s assisted dying legislation — and we need your help to advocate for improved access to MAID so the federal government will hear our thoughts as this consultation period approaches.

Today, we’re asking 15,000 Canadians from across the country to help Dying With Dignity Canada to raise the alarm about the discriminatory harms of banning advance requests for assisted dying.