During the past months we have been given the blessing of time to contemplate what is important in our lives and in our society. Many of us are prioritizing the importance of a health care system that cultivates a culture of care and love for people at all life stages..
This is an opportune time to use our letter-writing energy to urge our government to seriously hear our concerns about two issues: (1) the providing of palliative care for all Canadians who choose this option near the end of their lives; and (2) the suggested removal of safeguards to Bill C-7.
National President Anne Marie Gorman's letter to the Prime Minister is posted on the National website "Letters" page. Access it at: https://cwl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/20200304-Gorman-to-Trudeau-re.-Bill-C7.pdf
We encourage everyone to contact government leaders on the following two concerns.
- Palliative Care: In 2017 the Federal Government put forward the Framework on Palliative Care in Canada. The government promised to invest $3 billion into national home care services including palliative care. Has funding been made? How can Canadians make informed decisions about their end of life treatment when quality palliative care is readily available to only 15% of Canadians (2018 Health Canada Report)? On May 17, 2020 Zi-Ann Lum published “Will the Pandemic Finally Make Us Talk About Palliative Care?” in the Huffington Post, Canadian Edition. I encourage you to read it if you want more information.
- Bill C-7, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD): There are concerns about removing some of the safeguards placed in the existing legislation. First, the government is proposing to remove the mandatory 10 day waiting period before a patient can receive medically assisted death stating that the waiting period may unnecessarily prolong suffering. Second, the government is proposing to remove the need for two witnesses. Both safeguards exist so that patients can make an informed decision about their end of life care without pressure and with appropriate verification. Presently the Bill has undergone two readings. There is still time to write letters and email the government to express our concerns about the removal of these safeguards.
Sample letters to the Prime Minister, Justice Minister, Health Minister and Member of Parliament are posted under Legislation Tips and Tools. Adjust them as you wish. See the Forms and Resources page for our letter writing guide and contact information for MPs and MLAs.
Through faith, we have a moral compass that guides our actions daily to help and protect the vulnerable in our society. May our Lady of Good Counsel guide you as you work for God and Canada.