Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) has been committed to promoting end-of-life rights and helping Canadians avoid unwanted suffering for 40 years. We represent the 87 percent of Canadians who support the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Carter v Canada that lifted the ban on assisted death. The DWDC has been actively involved in the discussions on Bill C-7 since its inception in February 2020.
In a recent article published by iPolitics Bill C-7 is a matter of life and death The authors rightly remind us of Canada’s legal obligations and the right of Canadians to “provide equal benefits and protection before and after the law, without discrimination on the basis of disability.”
In response, we would like to remind you of the 2019 ruling in the landmark Truchon case, which focused not only on incorporating Canada’s Medical Assisted Death (MAiD) legislation into the charter, but also the rights of people with chronic diseases and disabilities reaffirmed access to MAiD.
It is also worth repeating the words of Justice Christine Baudouin who said in her decision in Truchon: “In the opinion of the court… we cannot, in the name of the principle, to protect certain persons from themselves or the inherent value of social too affirm life, deny medical assistance to an entire community of people with disabilities as they die precisely because of their disability. ”
Accuracy and facts are crucial when sharing content with the public through Bill C-7. The authors falsely stated that “Bill C-7, if passed, makes it perfectly legal to end a person’s life just because (he or she) has a disability.” This statement is irresponsible and untrue. A person with a disability under the new law, if passed, is entitled to a MAID assessment and can access MAiD if they meet the criteria. It is an individual choice to request and receive MAiD.
A recent survey conducted on our behalf by Ipsos found that Canadian support for MAiD has remained constant. Canadians continue to support not only access to MAiD, but also its expansion to put more people in control of problems and decisions at the end of life. Nearly 70 percent are in favor of removing the “reasonably foreseeable” requirement from the existing MAiD law, and over 80 percent are in favor of waiving the final consent provision, both under the changes proposed in Bill C-7.
Bill C-7 is a matter of life and death. However, it is also about extending all Canadians their constitutionally protected right to MAiD. This is what Canadians want, and what Bill C-7 wants to achieve.
Puneet Luthra is Director of Government and Stakeholder Relations for Dying with Dignity Canada.
The views, opinions, and positions of all iPolitics columnists and contributors are those of the author alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and / or positions of iPolitics.
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