Dear Editor:

RE: No letter of support for local hospice coming from Centre Wellington council, July 21. 

Here are some relevant facts to consider:

In 2016, the federal government determined that Canadians have the legal right to die with dignity. Those suffering from a “grievous and irremediable medical condition,” and who meet rigorous qualifying conditions, are able to legally access medical assistance in dying (MAID) should they so choose. 

The law strikes a balance “between autonomy of persons who seek medical assistance in dying, on one hand, and the interests of vulnerable persons in need of protection and those of society, on the other.” 

And, according to a recent Ipsos poll, 86% of Canadians support MAID as a constitutionally protected right.

The physicians, Drs. A. Simpson and S. Gower, who presented the proposal to council, clearly are motivated by compassion, a desire to end suffering and discrimination and to augment personal autonomy. Surely it is cruel and inhumane – indeed, unconscionable – to withhold deliberately such a crucial service from those in the most dire need. 

Our elected representatives on council have a duty as public servants to represent their constituents, regardless of their own personal beliefs. We strongly urge council to reconsider its position and move forward a motion of support for the hospice proposal. 

Shaindel and Jim Zimmerman,