by Karen Stiller
Today, I rushed home from work and called my Member of Parliament. It wasn’t nearly as difficult or stressful as I feared. To be honest, I don’t even know why I thought it would be. What was I so worried about?
Sometimes I host EFC webinars, and the most recent was on euthanasia and physician-assisted death in Canada. Specifically the recommendations made by the Joint Parliamentary Committee assigned by the government to study the issue and make recommendations around the new law we will have in Canada.
The most floppy of recommendations, as it turns out. If the door to physican-assisted suicide was open a crack in Canada before, the recommendations of the committee would rip the door off its hinges and leave a gaping hole in its place.
During the webinar, we talked about what ordinary Canadians can do to stop the runaway train that appears, at times, to be assisted death in Canada. Contact your MP. That is the most immediate and effective thing we can do right now, was the simple answer. I pledged during the webinar to contact my MP this very afternoon, thereby publicly admitting I had not yet done so.
Then, all the way home I tried to squirm out of it. I guess I’ve gotten lazy. I write about things. I talk to others who do things about things. I think about things. Fume and fret. I do the odd bit of hand-wringing. But I haven’t actually been doing anything about a lot of things. Until today.
I looked up the number and called and spoke with a very polite woman who wrote down my every word. She was pleasant. I was pleasant. I told her I was especially worried about the mature minor recommendations and the lack of protection for those struggling with mental health issues. I told her I would like my MP to fight for the strictest possible version of assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada. Then, I gave her my name and number in case my MP wants to call back.
It was that simple. I will follow it up with a letter. In fact, I’m going to write that letter right now.