DWDC statement re: the Bloc Quebecois’ private Member’s Bill C-390 on advance requests for MAID

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Dying With Dignity Canada was honoured to stand with members of Parliament Sylvie Berube (BQ – Abitibi- Baie James) and Luc Theriault (BQ – Montcalm), as well as Georges L’Espérance of AQDMD and Sandra Demontigny at yesterday’s press conference urging for a change to the Criminal Code – via a private Member’s Bill C-390 – that would provide immunity to any province or territory which establishes a law providing for an advance request regime within their health care system. 

We know that 83% of people across Canada support advance requests for medical assistance in dying (MAID) for individuals diagnosed with a capacity-diminishing, grievous and irremediable condition. Advance requests for MAID would alleviate so much uncertainty, angst, and needless suffering on the part of thousands across this country who have seen loved ones endure a cruel and lengthy decline, that they would not choose. 

The Government of Quebec is the first jurisdiction in the country to have the courage to listen to their own residents. In Bill 11, passed overwhelmingly by the National Assembly a year ago, they have shown the compassion to enact a law that would allow those suffering from a serious and incurable illness leading to incapacity to make an advance request for MAID. 

We are encouraged by MP Sylvie Berube’s Bill, it is an important first step that we hope stimulates comprehensive federal legislation setting out the minimum requirements which all provinces and territories would have to legislate in order to establish advance requests for MAID within their health care systems. However, we want to ensure equitable access to health care across Canada and we call upon Justice Minister Virani to introduce legislation that ensures all people across Canada with a capacity-diminishing diagnosis are able to put in place an advance request for MAID, if they so choose. 

Thank you to MPs Sylvie Berube and Luc Theriault for their work on this important file. 

Watch the full press conference here.

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