Le Lézard
Classified in: Health
Subject: CPG

New national survey confirms a majority of people across Canada support advance requests for medical assistance in dying (MAID) and continue to support access to assisted dying

TORONTO, April 18, 2024 /CNW/ - A new national survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Dying With Dignity Canada (DWDC) demonstrates that 84 per cent of people across Canada continue to support the original Carter v. Canada decision that introduced Canada's assisted dying legislation. These results are significant because despite the alarmist and misleading information perpetrated about medical assistance in dying over the past year, people across the country can clearly distinguish between fact and fiction and the sensible development of end-of-life clinical options which should be available to persons who are suffering grievously and meet the eligibility requirements for MAID.

The poll also shows strong support for advance requests for MAID, a legislative change recommended by the Special Joint Committee on MAID in their Final Report in February 2023. An advance request would allow an individual to describe, in writing, a future circumstance in which they would like to access an assisted death. This is sensible reform to the Criminal Code that would strengthen end-of-life choice for people across the country.

"My husband, Dave, was very clear about his wishes after his Alzheimer's diagnosis at the age of 55. He established criteria under which he no longer wanted to live; essentially an advance request for MAID. Today, he is unable to walk, talk, or feed himself - conditions that I know he did not want to live under. We need to legalize advance requests for MAID so people like my husband do not have to suffer and live under such intolerable conditions at the end of their lives." explained Susan Archibald.

Eighty-three (83) per cent of people across Canada support advance requests for MAID for a person with a diagnosis of a capacity-eroding, grievous and irremediable medical condition, who will eventually lose the ability to make decisions for themselves. Ninety-five (95) per cent of those who say they personally suffer from a degenerative neurocognitive condition support this choice.

"Over 16,000 people signed a petition this year in support of advance requests for MAID. This is the issue that is not only important to our supporters but to people across Canada. We speak to people every day who want to be able to put in writing the circumstances in which they would like an assisted death should they not be able to speak for themselves. These are people who understand or have supported someone through a condition such as dementia and who do not want to experience the same suffering and loss of quality of life. People want to know they have control and autonomy of their life and death, and the lack of advance requests for MAID remains a barrier to end-of-life choice for many," said Helen Long, CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada.

The province of Quebec has already passed a provincial law authorizing advance requests for MAID and 43 per cent of people across the country say this knowledge makes them more likely to support national legislation. Quebec should be applauded for their leadership on this issue and the federal government now needs to follow suit to avoid disparity in health care across the country.

More data and a further breakdown of poll results can be found here.

A sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed on the Ipsos I-Say Panel from March 15 ? 20, 2024. Weighting was employed to ensure that the sample's composition reflects the overall population according to the latest census information.

Dying With Dignity Canada is the national human-rights charity committed to improving quality of dying, protecting end-of-life rights, and helping people across Canada avoid unwanted suffering.

SOURCE Dying With Dignity Canada Inc.

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