Voice Your Choice: Email Your Senators
Updated: The Liberals' flawed assisted dying bill has passed the House. Now, it's up to members of the Senate to ensure that the proposed law respects Canadians' right to choice in the face of intolerable suffering.
There is still hope that Bill C-14 can be fixed. Some senators have said they are not happy with the proposed law and want to take time to get it right. They recognize, quite rightly, that the sky will not fall if new assisted dying legislation isn’t passed by June 6, when the Supreme Court’s decision in Carter v. Canada comes into effect. After all, the ruling establishes strict eligibility criteria for who can access medical assistance in dying, and the provincial medical regulators have already created the necessary safeguards to ensure that vulnerable individuals are shielded from abuse.
We must encourage senators to hold strong — to fight for patient-centred amendments that protect Canadians’ right to a peaceful death, even if the work involved takes us past June 6. Unless it’s amended, Bill C-14 will restrict rightful access to assisted dying in at least two ways:
- The clause in Bill C-14 limiting assisted death to incurably ill 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.
What you can do
Several members of the Red Chamber have agreed 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, but they still need your encouragement! Use our updated Email-Your-Senators tool to tell your Senate representatives to take the necessary time to right the wrongs of Bill C-14.
Here's how it works:
- Enter your address so the tool can determine which senators should receive your message (Only your city, province and postal code will appear in the email).
- 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.
- Send it off! The tool will automatically send a copy to each of the senators representing your province.