Canada must allow advance requests for assisted dying

Unwanted suffering is wrong

This past March, Bill C-7 — which includes key amendments to Canada’s medical assistance in dying (MAID) legislation — became the law of the land.

Many more suffering Canadians, including some of those with neurocognitive conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s, or Huntington’s disease, can access their right to an assisted death if they meet all the requirements. However, many still don’t qualify — and for those not yet diagnosed, the option to make an advance request is not allowed under the law.

Without the option of making an advance request for an assisted death, people who don’t currently qualify for MAID are barred from formalizing a plan that describes a future state of suffering, which, when reached, would give their doctor the go-ahead to provide MAID.

But we all know that life is full of uncertainty. In Canada, everyone should have the right to make informed choices about their end-of-life care — and to have those wishes respected.

Denied the option of making an advance request, countless Canadians continue to live in fear of a possible future catastrophic diagnosis, accident, or injury. This is cruel and inhumane — and wholly unnecessary.

Your end-of-life rights must be respected

The lack of access to advance requests is a critical flaw in our country’s assisted dying legislation — and must be corrected.

In practice, an advance request would allow someone to make a formal request for assisted dying before a diagnosis of a grievous and irremediable condition. If, at some point, this person loses the capacity to make medical decisions for themselves, this formal request would still be honoured.

An advance request could save a person from having to endure years — perhaps even decades — of unwanted and intolerable suffering. For example, an advance request made while a person is of sound mind would ensure the future provision of MAID if that person were to suffer a capacity-threatening event, such as a stroke, aneurysm or catastrophic accident.

For countless Canadians across the country, access to advance requests would mean comfort and peace of mind for whatever the future holds.

With your help, we’re calling on decision-makers to respect all Canadians’ end-of-life rights by supporting advance requests for assisted dying.

Take action today

An overwhelming majority of Canadians (83%) support advance requests for assisted dying. After years of advocating for this option, we are closer than ever to having advance requests permitted under the law.

Right now, a joint committee of Canada’s Members of Parliament and Senators are conducting the long-awaited parliamentary review that will study advance requests, among other complex issues. Now is the time to let our decision-makers know that Canadians want advance requests for assisted dying.

Tell your Member of Parliament that advance requests are critical to giving all Canadians peace of mind — and ensuring compassion, equality and choice at end of life.

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Thank you for taking action to ensure that advance requests for assisted dying are put on the national radar. Together, we’ll demand that our decision-makers respect the end-of-life rights of all Canadians.

Thank You For Taking Action

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to your parliamentarian at such a critical moment. Your support means so much. 

Every single message makes a difference as it helps us demonstrate to our federal decision-makers how broad and deep our support is for Canada’s assisted dying legislation, even during a pandemic.   

Will you take one final step and share this with your friends and loved ones on social media? 

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As the leading organization working to defend Canadians’ end-of-life rights, Dying With Dignity Canada has heard from thousands of people who have described the very real human cost of denying Canadians fair access to medically assisted dying.

These changes matter.    

Our federal legislators need to understand that every day they delay passing Bill C-7 is another day that a Canadian is denied their constitutional right to access medical assistance in dying.   

Every share, every like and every email sent brings us closer to a Canada in which everyone’s right to choose an assisted death is respected. 

We’ve seen firsthand what an unbelievable impact we can have when ordinary Canadians raise their voices together. We thank you for raising yours.

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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