Hello readers, and Happy New Year 2023!
It seems that the issues raised by MAID have finally reached the mainstream media and for that we are grateful. CBC’s Fifth Estate episode, The Mess that is MAID, for example, aired this past week, exposing some highly questionable and worrisome cases and trends. Most of these we had already aired here on our Current News pages, but the broader reach and recognition was more than welcome.
Hoping to mobilize folks who saw the episode and are left wondering what they could do to make their views known, we have written a letter for you to copy, edit as you wish, then send to your federal MP and the Minister of Justice. Please feel free to personalize your letter, adding examples from your own life and experience, for your representative to consider.
January xx, 2023
Dear Member of Parliament (use his/her name),
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the way in which medically assisted death is being interpreted and administered in Canada.
I am not opposed to assisted dying for people who are suffering terribly at the end of their lives. People with disabilities and mental illnesses were not excluded from consideration for end-of-life assistance. The original law was not discriminatory.
However, I am opposed to the discriminatory new law that opens up the “option” of medically-assisted suicide to non-dying people with disabilities and/or mental illnesses. This group of people is supposedly protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights, and under all of the Human Rights Acts — federal, provincial and territorial. Inviting them to have their lives ended without legal consequence, when no other protected group is similarly “privileged”, is a sinister perversion of human rights protection.
Assisted suicide cannot be called an “option” when life-preserving supports and alternatives are not available.
There is a crisis of safe, affordable housing in this country. No province or territory supports people with disabilities and mental illnesses, who may not have a secure income, to live at or above the poverty line. No province or territory makes sure that people have the housing, food or personal supports that they need to survive.
As a member of Parliament, you have the power to raise this subject and keep raising it until the injustice of the current law is recognized and dealt with. MAID for Mental Illness is not yet legal, and that’s the way it should stay. Furthermore, I am challenging you to take a stand, however belated, to oppose the changes to the law that made it legal to end the lives of people with disabilities who are not dying. There should be no Track 2 MAID.
I await your prompt response to this letter.
Be sure to sign your letter, including your address (physical and electronic) and telephone number so that the MP can follow up with you if they want to do so. And please consider sending us a copy so that we know who you’ve written to, what changes you made and what examples you decided to use.
Please feel free also to share the letter with your friends and colleagues and encourage them to take action as well.
Another option, of course, is to phone the constituency office and make an appointment to speak with your representative directly, either in person or on the phone.
Thanks for taking action! Let’s keep our point of view front and centre in the coming weeks!