A critical and important election issue is missing from the dialogue with candidates in the current federal election. Candidates must state where they personally stand on medical assistance in dying (MAID), since those elected will help to decide the future form of the legislation passed as Bill C-14.
By mid-2020, Bill C-14 requires Parliament to undertake a review of how this law has worked since it was passed in 2016. In addition, on Sept. 11, the Quebec Superior Court struck down part of the legislation regulating MAID. It ruled the eligibility requirement that "death must be foreseeable" is unconstitutional and the court has given Parliament six months to modify the law. In addition, there have been on going public discussions about the eligibility criteria for MAID being too restrictive, vague and difficult for physicians to apply. Other inequities include dementia victims who are ineligible to receive MAID and hence have been denied their rights to autonomy, dignity and choice.
Citizens should attend the all-party candidates' forum at 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the St. Albert Inn. This is your chance to decide which candidate can best represent your wishes and your control of end-of-life choices! All candidates need to listen to the voters on this issue, since it will be debated and decided during the coming session of Parliament.
Bas Delaney, St. Albert