Letter submitted to Canadian Parliament in advance of final reading of Bill C-7. The letter is shared with the author’s permission.
Dear Members of the Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs,
I am writing in opposition to the provisions in Bill C7 (MAID). My concern comes from how the decision is made around deeming that medical assistance in dying is the best available alternative. In many cases people who are poor, racialized, and disabled are not awarded the assistances and quality of life due to government imposed economic constraints that will unduly tilt the calculus towards MAID. This is harmful and wrong, and will push people already in vulnerable situations towards death. Without any guarantees or thresholds from governments on correcting documented poor and disabled quality of life deficiencies, poor and disabled people will die unnecessarily.
I am also concerned that the courts will likely ultimately agree that people not awarded all possible (not practicable) provisions for quality of life regardless its economy will have their Charter rights violated if their best option is to die under government blessing. Passing this bill into law risks years of litigation that will lead to thousands needlessly losing their lives before the courts rule. I argue that this Bill puts the government itself at severe risk.
I urge the senate to reject this Bill and demand that clear, non-bypassable safeguards be put in place for the most vulnerable before elements of this bill are enacted.
Jesse Malm, Vancouver BC