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August 5, 2020: Message from CEO Helen Long

It’s time to take action. As you may know, the federal government was recently granted a further extension to the Bill C-7 timeline because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we can certainly understand how the current situation has created challenges and delays in many areas of government, our priority continues to be Canadians who want to be able to access their constitutional right to a medically assisted death. These individuals continue to suffer intolerably as a result of the delay caused by the lack of movement on Bill C-7.

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Advocate for change

At DWDC, we defend human rights by advocating for assisted dying laws that respect the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You can help.

This toolkit and action guide provides you with the resources needed to engage with your Member of Parliament and request a meeting. In doing so, you are setting the groundwork to influence policy on issues – like medical assistance in dying – that are important to you.

Current priorities

Dying With Dignity Canada is currently advocating for much-needed changes to Canada’s assisted dying law, namely:

  • Removing the clause that “natural death has become reasonably foreseeable” (NDRF) as an eligibility requirement.
  • Allowing waiver of the requirement for final consent for those patients who are eligible but who may lose capacity in advance of their scheduled date.
  • Proposing that only one independent witness be required to sign the formal request for MAID, and that this witness may be a paid personal care or healthcare worker.
  • Removing the explicit exclusion of those with mental illness as the sole underlying condition from accessing MAID.
  • Lifting the ban on advance requests for assisted dying.
  • Allowing MAID for mature minors who meet all other eligibility criteria.

Let your local Member of Parliament (MP) know that you care about end-of-life choice and the constitutionally protected right to MAID. Download the 2020 Toolkit and Action Guide.

Already scheduled a meeting?

DWDC has developed a backgrounder on the right to medical assistance in dying that you can share with your MP. It has been included in the 2020 Toolkit and Action Guide, but you can click here to download and print the backgrounder (or email it) as a separate PDF for your MP.

 


Have you had “the talk” yet?

Ron Posno, age 80, sits on DWDC’s Disability Advisory Council (DAC) and advocates tirelessly for the right to end-of-life choice. You can read his previous DWDC blog post on living with dementia and his personal perspective on Canada’s medical assistance in dying (MAID) legislation here. In this piece, he reflects on the importance of having “the talk” about end-of-life care and decision-making, and empowering people to live by the phrase “my life, my choice.”

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Cody’s story: A lifetime of struggling with mental illness and addictions, and a fight to access MAID

Cody, an Alberta man in his late 30s, has been living with treatment-resistant depression and anxiety, as well as addiction. Facing continued suffering, his wish is to access medical assistance in dying (MAID). However, Cody is not currently eligible and is facing ongoing pain and struggles with his conditions. In this powerful piece, he reflects on his experiences and how he’s left feeling trapped by Canada’s current assisted dying laws.

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Tell provincial health authorities: Stop forced transfers from BC faith-based facilities

Dear supporter of end-of-life rights: 

Recent actions at the Delta Hospice Society have triggered strong public reaction and brought the issue of medical assistance in dying (MAID) and palliative care back into the public eye. While this incident is the spark, we don’t want to limit the discussion to this single facility as there are numerous faith-based hospitals and hospices around the province which don’t allow MAID to be performed on-site. As such, we are launching a province-wide email campaign to encourage the provincial government to eliminate the MAID exemption granted to publicly funded faith-based facilities. This would end the practice of “forced transfers” for individuals requesting MAID in these facilities.

We encourage you to send a message to let politicians and our health authorities know that the practice of forced transfers must end.   

Here's how it works:

  • Enter your postal code so the petition can be sent to your MLA representing your district.
  • Select recipients of your message: the Premier of BC, BC's Health Minister, and the board chairs of the different health authorities (along with your MLA).
  • 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. You can click in the text to make any changes. (Please be sure not to remove the fields in the []s.)
  • When you're done, click "Send my email." Your message will be sent to the representatives you selected, as well as your MLA. You'll receive a copy of your message in an email.
  • Once you’re done, please send the link to friends and family who might also be interested. You can also easily post it to social media.
 
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Karin’s story: My father accessed a medically assisted death in the Netherlands

Karin has a unique perspective on medical assistance in dying (MAID) — born and raised in the Netherlands, and now living in Nova Scotia, Canada — she and her family supported her father through his journey to a medically assisted death. Though he died in the Netherlands, Karin shares her story and her hopes that her experience will further understanding of the importance of end-of-life choice.

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June 12, 2020: Message from CEO Helen Long

The latest update from the desk of Dying With Dignity's CEO, Helen Long. Stay tuned for regular updates on our work and current events. In this update: a roundup of our 2020 Annual General Meeting and some advocacy news.

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Dying With Dignity Canada urges rights-based approach to changes to the federal assisted dying law

Dying With Dignity Canada is urging the federal government to pursue a rights-based approach as it considers changes to the 2016 assisted dying law.

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Siobhan’s story: Supporting my husband’s journey through a medically assisted death

How do you say goodbye to a life partner of 25 years? In this post, Siobhan of Calgary, AB shares her experience supporting her husband Scott through his end-of-life journey and choice to access an assisted death. Read on for Siobhan’s powerful reflections on her family’s story, including lessons she learned and what she thinks others should know about choosing medical assistance in dying (MAID).

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5 things I've learned as a nurse practitioner providing MAID

Nurse practitioner (NP) Erica Maynard of Nova Scotia brings her whole self to work, and that includes her role in medical assistance in dying (MAID) assessments and provisions. How does this procedure uniquely affect nurse practitioners, and what lessons have come up along the way during Erica’s journey? In this special post for the Dying With Dignity Canada blog, Erica shares her experiences working with patients to help them access their right to choice at end of life.

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