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U.S. senators demand answers from Pfizer about a $50 donation to a Canadian MAID group

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio describes a Pfizer donation to a Canadian medically assisted death group as
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio describes a Pfizer donation to a Canadian medically assisted death group as

A group of Republican lawmakers in the United States is demanding answers from Pfizer over a financial contribution in Canada — an allegedly minor one.

They have written a letter to the pharma giant's CEO grilling him over a donation to Dying With Dignity Canada, a group that advocates for medically assisted death.

Sen. Marco Rubio and colleagues noted in their letter that Pfizer is listed among thousands of donors in the group's 2022 financial statements. The document does not specify any dollar figures.

When contacted by CBC News, a spokesperson for Dying With Dignity Canada said the Pfizer contribution was a mere $50, or roughly $37 USD.

She said it was part of a company program matching employee charitable donations, and the company matched an employee's $50 contribution.

"Which is why they [Pfizer] are named on our 2022 donor listing," said Sarah Dobec, a spokesperson for Dying With Dignity Canada.

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"Dying With Dignity Canada does not have a corporate fundraising program, nor do we have relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Nearly all of our donations are generously provided by individual donors who support end-of-life rights and choice."

In their letter sent Wednesday to Pfizer's CEO Albert Bourla, the American senators expressed alarm about the contribution.

"We write in response to concerning information," says the letter, sent by Rubio and a group of conservative colleagues, including Ted Cruz, J.D. Vance, Josh Hawley and others.

They argued that Canada has among the most liberal policies in the world on medically assisted death, but said Dying With Dignity Canada is pushing for "even more extreme" policies.

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They noted that the organization supports extending the right to medically assisted death to some minors.

The lawmakers asked a series of questions, including "Does Pfizer support these policies?" and "Are Pfizer products used for assisted death?"

The letter comes after Canada's assisted-death policies have generated considerable media attention in the U.S. Many conservatives in the U.S. have also been critical of COVID vaccines, which Pfizer helped bring to market.

When contacted by CBC News, Pfizer said only that it is "not a direct corporate donor" to Dying With Dignity Canada.