Ottawa December 14, 2017

After the slippery slope of the ever-increasing number of deaths due to the assisted suicide legislation, the desperate need for palliative care has been recognized at last.   

Shockingly, 70% of Canadians do not have access to this vitally important care which provides a pain-free and caring environment for those who are seriously ill or dying.  It also allows suffering individuals to be surrounded by their family at a difficult time in their life’s journey.   

Bill C-277, a Private Member’s Bill which calls for the development of a national framework on palliative care in Canada, received royal assent on December 12, 2017 and will fill this need. 

Sponsored by Conservative MP, Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia – Lambton), the bill had the support of the three major federal political parties, a rare occurrence in our divided nation. 

C-277 also has the support, among others, of the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Association, the Kidney Foundation and the ALS Society of Canada, as well as more than fifty organizations which are members of the Coalition for Quality Care including inter-faith groups, such as Christians and Muslims. 

This is good news, at last, for patients and physicians. This national framework will fill this need and lessen the excesses that have accompanied legalized suicide in Canada.  In addition, palliative care, whether by home care or paramedics (i.e. assistants under physician supervision) will reduce the cost of hospital care which is $1,100 a day, to $200 for hospice care, or $100 a day or less by paramedics which include: Physiotherapist, Chiropractor, Occupational Therapist, Podiatrist, Massage Therapist, Social Worker, etc. 

Bill C-277 was inspired by the book “It’s Not That Simple” by Jean Echlin and Ian Gentiles, an exposé of the complexities of euthanasia, reviewed in our March 2016 newsletter of REALity,

http://www.realwomenofcanada.ca/book-review-its-not-that-simple-euthanasia-and-assisted-suicide-today-reality/

This Bill remedies a shattering defect in our health-care system, and provides hope for those who are suffering and in distress.