STATEMENT regarding the final report from the Special Joint Committee on Medical Assistance in Dying
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2023
Parliament has not seriously assessed current safeguards for medically assisted suicide, nor has it given due consideration to whether Canadians facing poverty, disability or other conditions receive enough support to live with dignity instead of choosing to die by medically assisted suicide. Parliament has yet to spend previously committed billions of dollars on palliative care, which would have helped tens of thousands of Canadians deal with suffering and have a natural death. Despite these problems, the committee is recommending an expansion of medically assisted dying, including assisted suicide and euthanasia for children. The federal government should firmly and fully reject this report and instead commit to building a flourishing society through four key priorities:
- Making palliative care universally available to all Canadians and ensuring that doctors and nurses are trained to provide it.
- Committing to helping people live with dignity, so that no one seeks medically assisted suicide because of a lack of housing, insufficient income, or inadequate support for physical disabilities or mental illness.
- Committing to further study of current guidelines and safeguards to strengthen them so that Canadians dealing with challenging issues receive help and encouragement, not offers of medically assisted suicide.
- Reducing social isolation and loneliness by working with charities, faith communities, and other parts of civil society who can help desperate and vulnerable people in ways bureaucracies can’t.
- Ray Pennings, Executive Vice-President of Cardus
Other research on the issue of assisted death:
Canadian Public Opinion on MAiD for Mental Illness
Vulnerability, Dependency, and Trust in the Shadow of Medical Aid in Dying
End-of-Life Care: Toward a New Beginning in Ontario
Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.