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It is time to get past the polarizing views on the morality, ethics and laws around physician-assisted death and work together.
CACL believes we can find common ground and address legitimate concerns that face all Canadians.
We need your support in calling on all levels of government to develop a system that respects the values of dignity, autonomy and inclusion.
Health care in Canada is about to undergo a major transformation with the introduction of a system for physician-assisted death. As we proceed down this path, CACL is profoundly concerned about how to safeguard the rights of persons with intellectual and other disabilities who may requestphysician-assisted death, but who are in fact vulnerable to committing suicide. CACL shares with all Canadians the value of a health care system that promotes patient autonomy and dignity in end-of-life care. We also share the value of respect for vulnerable persons in the health care system. Balancing these values in a system for physician-assisted death will become more critically important and more challenging than ever before.
Safeguards are needed in Canada to protect vulnerable persons from potential abuses including unintended consequences, coercion and bias.
Safeguards should include at minimum:
CACL believes that it is of critical importance to begin from an understanding of vulnerability. Who is vulnerable? People with disabilities whose request is motivated by one of two sets of factors:
Explore the research conducted by CACL on this topic by downloading our proposal below. Elements of the proposed plan include Core Values; Principles and Guidelines; Vulnerability Assessment in Informed Consent; Advance Independent Review and Authorization; Monitoring and Public Reporting; Investment in Palliative Care and Community Supports; and, Federal-Provincial/Territorial Jurisdiction, Investment, Coordination and Engagement.
Download Full Proposal (PDF) – English
Download Full Proposal (PDF) – French
Download Full Proposal (PDF) – Plain Language
CACL’s report on vulnerability reviews research and recommendations on vulnerability assessment, suicide prevention protocols as recommended by health care agencies in Canada, and practice guidelines by the US National Cancer Institute. Read and download the full report.
Adults may gain access to physician-assisted suicide or voluntary euthanasia only on the basis of real and informed choice. They must be free from abuse and vulnerability to lack of support, disrespect, discrimination and devaluation. The new system for physician-assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia must respect, promote and safeguard inclusion of all persons in society, regardless of their disability or other differences. Read and download the full framework.
Federal Panel report on physician-assisted suicide in ENGLISH and FRENCH
Proposed Federal Criminal Code amendments by David Baker and Gilbert Sharpe, endorsed by CACL