Open Letter - Dan’s Law (PDF available here)
March 26, 2018
Hon. Yasir Naqvi, Government House Leader
Room 223, Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A2
Dear (House Leaders) Mr. Naqvi, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Bisson, As the organizations representing over 100,000 health professionals we want to express our support for Dan's Law- Bill 5- and ask that you join us in this support.
The Bill was the joint effort of MPP Gretzky and Dr. Darren Cargill, a Windsorbased palliative care doctor. Dan’s Law would provide much needed support for patients and their families. The Bill seeks to remove the three-month waiting period for access to OHIP funded palliative care and home care for Canadian residents who move to or return to Ontario.
As you are likely aware, the bill was introduced by MPP Lisa Gretzky in 2016 and was referred to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy on November 17th, 2017.
The issue came to light for Dr. Cargill, when a patient of his, Dan Duma, was denied home care services upon returning to Ontario from Alberta. Dan was dying of cancer with a life expectancy of less than three-months. Dan's Law prevents future patients, families and caregivers from experiencing unnecessary hardship as a result of this lack of access to needed care.
As healthcare professionals we know that there is no medical justification for the wait period and believe that, especially in these circumstances, we should afford Canadians and permanent residents the right to die with dignity. The benefits of home and palliative care are not only medical - they serve to support family members and caregivers.
The benefits of timely care include avoiding potential medical complications of delayed care and the associated significant human and financial costs arising from these complications. It is imperative that all three parties work together to ensure Dan's Law is passed into law before the provincial election.
Dr. Shawn Whatley
Ontario Medical Association
Dr. Darren Cargill
MD FCFP (PC) HMDC
Medical Director, Hospice of Windsor & Essex County
Nurse Practitioners Association of Ontario
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
Ontario Nurses’ Association
Dr. J. David Henderson
Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians
Dr. Laurent Marcoux, MD, MSc
Canadian Medical Association
President & CEO
Saint Elizabeth Health Care
CC: Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Chair, Standing Committee on Justice Policy