Canada must make advance requests legal

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Unwanted suffering is wrong

On February 15, 2023, the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) released its long-awaited Final Report on a range of end-of-life issues, including advance requests. 

Within those findings, the Joint Committee included a clear recommendation to amend Canada’s MAID law to allow for advance requests — following a diagnosis of a serious and incurable medical condition, disease, or disorder that leads to incapacity.

However, although recommendations on advance requests have been made — the option to make an advance request is still not yet legal.

Without it, countless people in Canada continue to live in fear of a possible future catastrophic diagnosis or loss of capacity. This is cruel and inhumane — and wholly unnecessary.

Your end-of-life rights must be respected 

The lack of access to advance requests is a critical gap in our country’s assisted dying legislation — and must be corrected. 

In practice, an advance request would allow someone to make a formal request for an assisted death before experiencing intolerable suffering from a known grievous and irremediable condition, disease, or disorder. 

Then if at some point, this person loses the capacity to make medical decisions for themselves — and, importantly, reaches a point where their suffering becomes unbearable — this formal request would be honoured. 

An advance request could save a person from having to endure years — perhaps even decades — of unwanted and intolerable suffering. 

For countless people across the country, access to advance requests would mean comfort and peace of mind for whatever the future holds.

The time to act is now

With your help, we’re calling on decision-makers to respect all people in Canada’s end-of-life rights by supporting advance requests for assisted dying. 

An overwhelming majority of people in Canada (87%) support advance requests for assisted dying. After years of advocating for this option, we are closer than ever to having advance requests permitted under the law.

The clock is ticking for the federal government to take a stance on this critical issue. They have until June 15, 2023 to table a response to the Special Joint Committee’s Final Report — which will inform future legislation, including to legalize advance requests.

Tell your Member of Parliament that they must respect peoples’ end-of-life rights and support advance requests for assisted dying for those who would qualify — to give peace of mind and ensure compassion, equality and choice at end of life.

Empower. Inform. Protect your rights.