The Society of Edmonton Atheists has submitted a letter of support to review and amend the current Bill C-14 legislation on your behalf. We would urge anyone that feels strongly that advanced directives, severe mental illness, or mature minors who would fulfill the requirements for MAID if they were older, should be included under this legislation, to also submit personal stories of support.
From the Dying With Dignity website:
Dying With Dignity Canada has called for the CCA to consult Canadians directly about how the current assisted dying framework affects their right to choice. Unfortunately, the CCA has opted only to consult “groups and organizations affected by, or involved in MAID.” Submissions may only be 1,000 words long, which is not enough space to detail how the federal assisted dying rules unfairly discriminate against particular groups of suffering Canadians.
However, there is no limit on the amount of “evidence” (such as academic research, historical documents, traditional knowledge and court decisions) that can be included as attachments. This got us thinking: Don’t the personal stories of our supporters count as evidence? Of course they do. In fact, the experiences of individuals who have cared for someone who was denied choice, or who fear they may be denied their right to choice themselves, should be at the heart of any major policy discussion about the future of assisted dying in Canada.
Voice Your Choice by Sept. 15! Submit it by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Society’s letter:
To the Council of Canadian Academies:
In a Supreme Court decision in 2015 (Carter v. Canada) it was made clear to all Canadians that Medical Assistance in Dying was a full human right afforded to us in Canada.
The decision was not as limited as the actual legislation that resulted, and we would urge the government to include for other circumstances. Wording that has been added such as ‘’foreseeable future’’ obviously disregards degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, and limitations in the legislation also denies access to any persons with severe untreatable mental illness, and for mature minors that would otherwise meet the regulations.
We would urge the government to consider the decision of the provincial courts in regards to the AB Case, where Superior Court Justice Paul Perell clarified that a person does not need to have either a terminal condition nor die within a specific time frame in order to access MAID.
The Society of Edmonton Atheists would also like to ask that legislation can also be reviewed with regards to publicly funded health care facilities that refuse to afford Canadians this human right based on their religious affiliations. A public hospital must provide the same public health care to every Canadian and not infringe on the individual freedom of/and from religion. An institution does not have that same right to freedom of religion as the charter of rights is afforded to individuals only.
We thank you for taking these concerns to the government, and for your considerations when drafting your research.