In its landmark February 2015 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the federal law prohibiting physician assisted dying. The court gave Ottawa and the provinces one year to consider the development for new laws and protocols in response to the ruling.
A patient-centred approach. On August 14, 2015, the Ontario government along with 11 other provinces and territories announced a nationwide expert panel on assisted dying had been appointed to investigate possible legislative responses to the Supreme Court’s February decision in Carter v. Canada. Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said the panel will “focus on the needs of patients and their families."
An incredible opportunity. Queen's Park also launched an online survey to better understand how Ontario residents feel about end-of-life care and specifically, physician assisted dying. This is a critical development for Ontario residents to voice your choice for meaningful access to assisted dying.
What you can do. Until October 1, 2015, Ontario's online survey will be open for all residents to share their views on assisted dying. You also can also share your thoughts via a letter to the government. Feedback from the online survey and the letters will be used to inform the province's approach to physician assisted dying and end-of-life care.
Why you need to voice your choice. Ontario has the opportunity to lead the provinces with a compassionate and comprehensive approach to physician assisted dying that recognizes the vulnerable and respects the wishes of competent adult patients. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help create good legislation and protocols for physician assisted dying that will ensure patient choice for decades to come.
How to participate:
1. Before completing the online survey, consult DWD Canada's toolkit on how to make the best of this opportunity. Then, go over to the Ministry of Health's website to fill out the online survey. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
**If you require support in completing the survey for accessibility reasons, help is available. Call 1-866-477-6753 and leave a voicemail with your callback details. A representative will call you back with information on how you can submit your answers over the phone.
2. If you wish to submit more general feedback, we can help you with that, too. Our Ontario letter-writing toolkit will help you craft a compelling appeal to the province. Once you're done, send your comments by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. And don't forget to send it along to Dying With Dignity Canada — you can send copy us at the following address: email@example.com.)