Dying With Dignity Canada’s Calgary Chapter is hosting two letter-writing events on the issue of forced transfers for assisted dying in Alberta. At both meetings, Calgary Chapter co-chair June Churchill will deliver an important update on the controversy over allowing public health care facilities, including those run by Covenant Health, to ban the provision of medical assistance in dying (MAID) on their premises. Then, participants will have the opportunity to write letters and email to the provincial government urging them to require all publicly funded hospitals, hospices and long-term care homes to allow MAID on-site.
Let’s keep up the pressure on the Alberta government by insisting that publicly funded institutions respect Canadians’ right to access medical assistance in dying.
To accommodate residents living in different parts of the Calgary region, we are hosting two of these sessions: Jan. 26 in Calgary South and Feb. 3 in Calgary North. (Click here to RSVP for the Feb. 3 Calgary North event.)
Bring writing materials and laptops. Supplies, sample letters, and key points will be available. Limited space is available, so please RSVP today.
This past fall, CBC Edmonton published several articles exposing the harmful impacts of allowing public health care institutions to forbid the provision of MAID on-site. As a result of these policies, Albertans who have requested MAID in facilities that don’t allow assisted-dying services have had to transfer off-site — sometimes to a facility outside of their home communities — in order to receive or be assessed for assisted dying. This is inhumane and a clear violation of Albertans’ human rights.
The government has not committed to eliminating forced transfers for MAID once and for all. However, Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said she has received public feedback urging her to reverse her 2016 exemption that allowed Catholic health provider Covenant Health to opt out of providing access to the assisted-dying procedure. Hoffman said Alberta Health is currently reviewing this decision but did not give a timeline for when the review would be complete.
(Header photo credit: Makaristos/Wikimedia)
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