New National Poll Released at the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying


The vast majority of Canadians continue to support access to medical assistance in dying

, May 12, 2022 /CNW/ – An overwhelming majority of Canadians continue to support access to medical assistance in dying (MAID), according to a new national poll conducted by Ipsos Reid, on behalf of Dying With Dignity Canada. The poll results are being released in the context of a major parliamentary review being conducted by the House of Commons and the Senate.

“During this review, it is essential that parliamentarians understand the national perspective of Canadians on this critical issue of compassion and rights,” said the CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada, Helen Long.

Key survey findings include:

86% support among Canadians for the Carter c. Canada decision that overturned the federal ban on physician-assisted dying in 2015. Additionally, 90% of Canadians over the age of 55 have strong support. Among faith communities, 87% of Catholics, 82% of Protestants indicated support, along with 80% of Canadians who identify as BIPOC.

Eight in ten (82%) Canadians support the recent removal of the “reasonably foreseeable” eligibility requirement from the MAID law. This is a 13% increase from the Ipsos 2021 results. 83% of people with disabilities also support this change, and among the BIPOC community, 75% support removing the requirement.

85% of Canadians support an advance request for MAID for people with an irremediable diagnosis. And like the 2021 poll, 77% support a request for an advance without an irremediable diagnosis. An advance request for MAID is a request created before a loss of decision-making capacity, intended to be processed under the circumstances described in the request after the person has lost decision-making capacity (competence).

86% of respondents agree that a person should be able to request medical assistance in dying in advance if they meet all the criteria, and 84% agree that any request for advance MAID that meets the person’s criteria should be respected.

76% of respondents agree that all health care facilities that receive public funds have an obligation to provide a full range of health care services if they have the appropriate equipment and staff to do so. 75% of those who identify as Catholic and 68% of Protestants also support this statement. Some publicly funded health care facilities Canada refuse to authorize or provide MAID on site because of their religious affiliation.

In March 2021, Bill C-7, an Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) was signed into law, removing the criterion that a person’s death must be reasonably foreseeable to be eligible for MAID , among other changes. It also included the parliamentary review of MAID, currently underway, on the topics of advance requests, mature minors, mental illness, the state of palliative care and the protection of people with disabilities.

“Our mission is to improve the quality of dying and protect the end-of-life rights of people through Canada“, said the CEO, Helen Long. “Recent Ipsos poll results confirm that our advocacy efforts reflect what a majority of people support and want to achieve; this includes advance requests for MAID, effective referrals for continued healthcare, equitable access end-of-life care and compassion for those who suffer intolerably.”

A sample of 3,500 Canadians aged 18 and over was surveyed on the Ipsos I-Say panel of April 19 to 25, 2022. Weighting was used to ensure that the composition of the sample reflects the entire population according to the latest census information.

More data and a more detailed breakdown of the poll results can be found here.

Dying with Dignity Canada is the national human rights charity committed to improving the quality of dying, protecting rights at the end of life and helping Canadians avoid unwanted suffering.

SOURCE Dying with Dignity Canada

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