Article -Is Canada trying to make medically assisted dying too easy? NO There are protections from hasty decisions.
In June 2016, Bill C-14, the federal legislation on medical assistance in dying (MAID)was enacted thanks to brave Canadians, including Sue Rodriguez, Kay Carter andGloria Taylor, who believed their equality rights were infringed upon.
In Carter vs. Canada, the prohibition on medical assistance in dying was struck down because the right to liberty and security of a person was infringed and, more notably, the law was deemed overbroad because it protected some, but restricted others.
So here we are in December 2020, working to amend our national MAID law further with Bill C-7. In the past five years, we have learned from MAID practitioners, families, health care workers and suffering Canadians that the law continues to exclude people.
Bill C-7 is the result of Truchon vs. Canada, in which the law’s failure to protect the rights to equality as well as life, liberty and security for all Canadians has resulted in required amendments.
The proposed changes in Bill C-7 also reflect the advocacy of Canadians like Audrey Parker, forced to die early because of the increasing concern that she would lose her capacity to consent before her preferred MAID date.
According to an IPSOS poll done in early 2020, 85 per cent of Canadians support this change.
By removing the criterion that “death must be reasonably foreseeable” and waiving the requirement for final consent, Bill C-7 is moving the law in a more inclusive direction.
This legislation is overdue for those who are suffering needlessly and something that 70 per cent of Canadians support. It recognizes the constitutional rights of Canadians, ensures personal autonomy and demonstrates compassion for that small percentage who may seek MAID to end enduring suffering that is intolerable to them.
At Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC), we hear from Canadians every day who are not eligible for MAID but want to know it is an option down the road, or to have access promptly because of their intolerable suffering.
Ernest Fredericksen lives with fibromyalgia and shares: “Some people may choose to stay alive as long as possible based upon their beliefs and values. I respect that point of view. Others, like myself, feel we have suffered enough, and wish to end the suffering we feel, even at the cost of our lives. MAID, at its core, is about choice, and the ability to exert control over your own life and death.”
It’s important to remember that this is not a coercive law, but a permissive one. No one has to choose MAID. There are safeguards in place to protect from coercion and hasty decisions. MAID practitioners ensure that their patients have been presented with all available options for their condition.
Dr. Stefanie Green, president of the Canadian Association for MAID Assessors and Providers says, “A consultation with a patient who is considering MAID is an intimate and careful process. We are cautious and thorough and toutinely assess for coercion and vulnerability in every situation. As MAID practitioners we aim to support people through their quality of life and end-of-life decisions
Some would argue that lack of access to appropriate services and supports for those with a disability will lead to more requests for MAID. We stand with the Canadians who are calling out the government for lack ofservices and financial support for vulnerable populations, including those with disabilities or mental health issues.
It is an enduring failure of governments to not sufficiently care for the vulnerable, lift them out of poverty and provide opportunities.
However, we cannot blur the lines and exclude entire groups of people from medically assisted death because of a brokensystem.
Every individual should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. There is much work to do improving care of vulnerable populations while still recognizing this human right.
Does Bill C-7 go too far? No, we don’t think so.
In fact, it may not go far enough. With the specific exclusion of those with mental illness as a sole underlying condition in Bill C-7, there is growing concern that the MAID legislation, even with the amendments, will continue to deny some Canadianstheir right to MAID.
There is still work to do, and we hope to see further improvements to the existing MAID law in the upcoming and overdue parliamentary review.
Helen Long is the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada, a national human rights charity committed to ensuring Canadians haveaccess to quality end-of-life choice and care.
Reading this article answer this following questions.Question 1: Summary -What is the argument or main message of your source? (Write a 1-paragraphsummary).
Question 2: Strengths/ Merits –
In what ways is the argument logical, fair, and reasonable? Even if you happen to thinkit’s weak, why might some reasonable people agree with the author?
Question 3: Alternatives -What are the problems, flaws, or gaps in the argument? Even if you think it’s basicallystrong, why might some reasonable people disagree with the author? What objectionscan you raise about the argument? Try hard to be rigorous, but if you really can’t find “flaws, ” what new questions and areas for development does the argument raise?
do this answers after reading the article carefully.


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