ACCESS TO PALLIATIVE CARE SHOULD BE A RIGHT
New Democrats introduced a detailed plan to improve palliative care for Canadians at the final hearing of the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying in Ottawa. The plan would make palliative care a right for all Canadians and build on Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus’ work in Parliament passing a pan-Canadian strategy to improve palliative and end of life care.
Angus says this is an issue that touches every Canadian and leaves an impact on every single family, especially in rural regions like Northern Ontario.
“We need the government to help families through these difficult transitions and provide supports so Canadians don’t slip through the cracks. The Supreme Court has ruled on the right to assisted dying, and New Democrats believe that Canadians also need the right to have access to quality end of life palliative care."
The NDP’s plan builds on a motion led by Angus that received co-sponsors from all parties and was passed by the House of Commons last year with near-unanimous support. The New Democrat’s plan includes a national awareness campaign on end of life care, as well as recommendations for more flexible and available Compassionate Care benefits for all caregivers.
"We have heard loud and clear, from every witness, that where Canadians come together is on the need for better palliative care," said NDP Justice Critic Murray Rankin (Victoria) who tabled the motions, “This is common ground for all Canadians and it’s a centrepiece of our contribution to this special committee. It’s time to build on Charlie Angus’ work in the last parliament, recognize this as a priority for all Canadians and build it into the federal government’s response to the Supreme Court’s decision on physician-assisted dying.”