Friday, March 31, 2023

Euthanasia in Canada "Last Resort" or eugenics for disabled people.

  • For the disabled, assisted dying can be eugenics by another name

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Cassandra Kislenko wrote an excellent article about Gwen (pseudonym) who felt that she had no choice but to let the Canadian government kill her. You may remember that Gwen was featured in several articles last year where she had stated that she was seeking euthanasia because she was unable to get medical needed medical treatment.

Kislenko explains Gwen's story:
Gwen, whose real name is not being used for privacy reasons, has been suffering from degenerative neuropathic pain ever since a spinal injury in 2013. Already living with fibromyalgia and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, the physical trauma sent her nervous and immune systems into a debilitating spiral. “Your body gets confused when it’s in this type of constant, unrelenting pain,” she explains. “Your brain thinks it’s under attack, so there’s a constant fight-or-flight mode that worsens the symptoms and attacks your mental health.” When her condition was at its worst, every nerve in her body cried out—“like having bees buzzing in my flesh”—to the point where she couldn’t even let her own daughter touch her. She had to travel hours to see specialist doctors from her small town in British Columbia, who would either recommend supplements or prescribe expensive, addictive painkillers. Her only long-term option was ketamine infusion treatment, not covered by BC’s health care system. Her GoFundMe is raising at least $44,000 to pay not just for the infusions but for transportation, assistance, and childcare during the recovery process.
Kislenko explains that for Gwen living in poverty made her feel that her only choice was to become one of the growing number of disabled people dying by Canada’s world-leading Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program simply because the state refuses to provide them with quality of life.

To further her claims Kislenko states:
However, as early as April 2019, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities expressed she was “extremely concerned” that Canada was not ensuring disabled people seeking state-assisted suicide had been provided with viable alternatives before making the choice. In a report to the Human Rights Council, she warned that “assisted dying must not be seen as a cost-effective alternative to providing services for persons with disabilities.”
As Kislenko explains, that is exactly what happened to paralympian Christine Gauthier:

High-profile cases such as that of veteran and Paralympian Christine Gauthier, who testified that she was offered a referral to MAiD after being denied an accessibility ramp for her home, represent a rapidly deteriorating crisis for Canada’s most vulnerable. While the Department of Veterans Affairs has denied Gauthier’s story, they acknowledge at least four cases in which a Veterans Affairs staffer is believed to have inappropriately suggested MAiD. The issue has been turned over to the RCMP, Canada’s federal police service.

Kislenko then expresses her concern with the expansion of euthanasia to people with mental illnesses:

Now the Canadian government is considering an expansion to MAiD that includes those with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. This change was scheduled to officially go through this month, but its implementation was recently delayed to “give provinces and medical professionals time to get ready for the change.”
Kislenko explains that the disability movement is relieved that euthanasia for mental illness has been delayed but she explains that Justice Minister David Lametti is confident that it will be implemented in March 2024. Kislenko then explains that the government is planning on further euthanasia expansions.
And the committee is also considering other eligibility expansions, like terminating severely ill newborns, or allowing teenagers to access state-assisted suicide.
Kislenko quotes a friend of Gwen who states that based on Canada's failing healthcare systems and other concerns that Canada's euthanasia program is essentially a form of eugenics.
“It’s eugenics,” says Gwen’s friend Bunny (not their real name), who started the GoFundMe for Gwen’s treatment over the summer. “There’s no other way to describe it . . . if you won’t give me money for housing, you won’t control the market so that I can afford housing, but you’ll give me money to kill myself, then that is eugenics.”
I agree that Canada has instituted a form of eugenics especially when you consider what qualifies a person for being killed in Canada. Kislenko then quotes Megan Linton who also defines Canada's MAiD program as eugenic.

Today, Canada’s medical systems practice eugenics in less obvious ways, such as provinces enthusiastically harvesting organs from those who die by state-assisted suicide. “[Canada] has a long history of eugenics that seeks to remove disabled people from our communities,” says Megan Linton, researcher and advocate with DJNO. “Whether it be through MAiD, or through institutionalization, or just through complete social isolation . . . it’s the process of removal.”
Kislenko continues by quoting researchers Beatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie Vierkant who theorize in their book Health Communism, capitalist health care systems impose a “eugenic and debt burden” on all subjects, insisting that anyone unable to meet maximum productivity is a drain on both the state and their community.

I disagree with this theory that attributes eugenics to capitalism. My experience indicates that the overbloated bureaucratic health care system, rather than capitalism, focuses on eliminating people with disabilities or other people who require care from the system. We agree that the healthcare system has stopped providing the care that people need and we agree that the outcome is eugenic. 

Kislenko does quote from Linten who stated:

“The expansion of MAiD must be viewed within the context of this economic order, which is . . . encouraging the government to retreat from its responsibilities to the public’s welfare,” says Linton. “So now the state appears generous to provide mercy from the austerity that they actively designed.”
Kislenko states:
In reality, the Canadian state is anything but generous. One in four working-age disabled people live below the poverty line in Canada, according to Statistics Canada, and disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as abled people. Disability assistance programs vary by province, but all fall short of providing quality of life. For Gwen, the maximum monthly payment for a single parent in BC is about $1,250, which is meant to cover rent, food, transportation, medication, and childcare.
I agree with this statement. It is impossible to live on $1250 per month in British Columbia. There are many Canadians who have a genuine need but who are forced to live in poverty, thus leading to these people being made to feel that death is their only solution. In reality, it constitutes a final solution.

Kislenko then explains that the GoFundMe page that helped Gwen.
Fortunately, Gwen says her GoFundMe went viral enough to cover an initial round of ketamine treatment, providing her first glimmer of hope in years. She was able to spend Christmas out of her wheelchair and was very thankful to play with her daughter again. “It’s good I finally have a bit of strength to fight,” she says.
Jennyfer Hatch
But it wasn't enough to save the life of her friend Jennyfer Hatch:
And even then, Gwen’s relative success is an outlier compared to the countless disabled people across Canada who have been pushed to seek MAiD. Over the course of her fundraiser, she lost a friend to these exact circumstances: Jennyfer Hatch, who was featured in a commercial documenting her last days, died from state-assisted suicide after years of failing to find government support for her Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Kislenko finishes the article by stating that Gwen isn't considering euthanasia now, but the situation that led her to seek an assisted death remains the same.
Gwen is currently no longer seeking state-assisted suicide. Still, both she and Bunny understand the bleak path ahead not just for Gwen’s treatment, but for the growing number of workers who will be joining surplus populations in the coming years. “People aren’t in touch with the fact that this could be them,” says Bunny. “Everybody is one really bad accident away from having intractable pain, or losing mobility functions that they relied on.”

“This is not an okay way to live,” they continue. “It’s not okay for society to be like this.”

Further reading:

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Proposed Regulation for Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telemedicine

RE: DEA Proposed Regulation for Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telemedicine

To whom it may concern:

On behalf of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition-USA (EPC-USA), representing attorneys, physicians, nurses, disability rights advocates across the country, a national network of groups and individuals that oppose assisted suicide and euthanasia, supporting positive measures to improve the quality of life of people and their families.

We fully support your proposed requirement of an in-person examination before a Schedule II controlled substance can be prescribed. The patient would be required to see the medical practitioner in person before receiving the prescription.

EPC-USA doctors have licensure and controlled substance license in a variety of states, along with the applicable separate DEA registrations. We have received advocacy alerts opposing your regulation because it would make it harder to prescribe by telemedicine, especially where state laws differ.

It is important that final regulation say that telemedicine cannot be used to cross state lines by unlicensed and unregistered clinicians.

DEA Law and regulations require registration in each state in which a prescriber is licensed. They do not authorize interstate practice without licensure. This is already the standard of care.

We are proposing the prescriber must be licensed to practice and follow the law of the State where the patient is located. Otherwise, you could have prescribers beyond the regulatory reach of any medical board.


Colleen Barry, Chair 

Terri Schiavo: A Culture-of-Death Tipping Point.

This article was published by the Epoch Times on March 29, 2023.

By Wesley Smith

The March 31, 2005, court-ordered death of Terri Schiavo was an ominous cultural tipping point. As many readers will recall, the legal case began when Terri’s husband Michael Schiavo applied to remove the feeding tube from his profoundly cognitively disabled wife so that she would die by dehydration. When Terri’s parents Bob and Mary Schindler, joined by her siblings Bobby and Suzanne, fought the plan in court, profoundly important cultural and legal battle lines were drawn that were destined to change the country.

The legal battle raged for several years during which the country agonized and argued about the right and moral course. When her case began, few were aware that cognitively disabled patients could legally be made to die via the removal of feeding tubes. A few years later, after Terri’s family (in alliance with the disability rights and pro-life organizations) failed to save her life, this form of quasi-euthanasia was endorsed by polling majorities.

A Familiar Pattern

The public’s general acceptance of Terri’s dehydration followed a familiar pattern often seen as the culture-of-death slippery slope slip slides away. Initially, most people were shocked. But as the media pounded the drum in support of Michael, attitudes changed. This cultural shift was aided by prominent bioethicists and politicians assuring the public that taking away Terri’s feeding tube was not only legal — true — but ethically justified. By the time Terri was made to die agonizingly over two weeks — and despite Terri’s brother stating that she had become so desiccated that blood was pooling in her eyes — most of the country became convinced that her forced death was both right and compassionate.

Looking back nearly 20 years later, Terri’s case can be judged as a cultural cudgel that crushed the sanctity of life. These days, society’s primary purpose is popularly understood to be the prevention and elimination of suffering — even if that means eliminating the sufferer. In this nihilistic climate, killing — when supposedly motivated by “compassion” — often finds strong public support.

Radical Legal Changes

This shift has led to radical changes in our laws. When Terri died, only Oregon had legalized assisted suicide. Today, ten jurisdictions have passed statutes allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to dying patients (Oregon, Washington state, Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont, California, plus the District of Columbia). These states encompass about one-third of the U.S. population.

Not only that, but most of these states have already begun the slippery slope process of expanding access to assisted suicide from that originally permitted, such as shortened waiting periods, allowing doctors to examine assisted suicide requesters over the Internet rather than in person, and allowing nurse practitioners to lethally prescribe. Vermont has done away with its residency requirements — likely followed soon by Oregon — opening the door to “suicide tourism” and potentially allowing patients throughout the nation to receive lethal doses who never meet the prescribing doctor in the flesh, or even enter the state.

Meanwhile, the euthanasia movement is striving to increase the number of jurisdictions that permit doctors to assist suicides. This year, there will be fraught political battles over assisted suicide legalization in New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Maryland, just to name a few.

Not content to await such changes, euthanasia advocacy groups promote suicide by self-starvation/dehydration to the elderly and people with disabilities, known in movement parlance as VSED (“voluntary stopping eating and drinking”). VSED is a form of quasi-assisted suicide. Starving oneself is an agonizing way to die — as it clearly was for Terri Schiavo if she was in any way conscious — so a doctor is usually required to palliate the agony. Otherwise, most people can’t complete the process.

Activists also promote “VSED by advance directive” for patients who willingly eat and drink. The idea is to allow people to create written legally binding documents ordering themselves starved to death should they become incompetent. Under these proposals, caregivers would be required to refuse sustenance to their patients — even if the patient asked for food and water — under the theory that the decision by the formerly competent patient should apply whether the person still wants to starve or not. 

Our Cousin Canada

How bad could this death agenda get? Canada — our closest cultural cousin — provides an alarming illustration. Our northern neighbor not only allows lethal injection euthanasia, but patients need not be terminally ill to qualify. Thus, lonely, frail elderly patients have been killed by doctors, as well as people with disabilities and chronic diseases — even the depressed. Next year the mentally ill are scheduled to be qualified legally for euthanasia, and the move is also afoot to allow children to be killed — perhaps without their parents’ knowledge or permission if doctors deem the child to be sufficiently “mature.” Not only that, but in Ontario, someone who has been accepted for euthanasia will be contacted by an organ transplant charity and asked for their liver, heart, pancreas, and kidneys.

If the same awful death paradigm develops here, the Terri Schiavo debacle will have paved the way. In the years since society nodded at the dehydration death of a helpless woman, we can trace a profound lessening in our commitment to the value of human life, along with a concomitant increase in poisonous utilitarianism in health care. Indeed, the day may soon come when killing seriously ill, elderly, and severely disabled patients is not merely seen as a legitimate “end-of-life choice,” but also a normalized way of death.

Cross-posted at The Epoch Times.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Florida doctors say NO to Assisted Suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dr George Everett
The Orlando-Sentinel published a Guest Column on March 27 by Dr George Everett, the governor and president of the American College of Physicians, Florida Chapter.

Florida is currently debating assisted suicide Bills (S864/H1231).

Everett writes in his Guest Column:
As a physician, the overwhelming majority of my colleagues and I do not wish to participate in PAS. The American College of Physicians, the largest physician specialty organization in the world, and the American Medical Association, the largest physician organization in the United States, have both written extensively on the ethics surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide and vigorously oppose physicians’ involvement in either activity.

Here are some of our reasons for opposition.

First, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, a relatively new specialty, is greatly underused and often sought at the very end of life rather than earlier when suffering can be allayed. Second, a slippery slope of misuse of PAS has already been shown to occur in countries where it is legal. For example, the Dutch have expanded euthanasia (most often delivered by physicians) from adults who have given consent, to now include children from ages 1-12 where parents have given consent. Third, two of the four key ethical principles of medical care, beneficence (promote well-being) and non-maleficence (do no harm), are violated with PAS. Fourth, loss of trust in the physician as a healer and comforter with the best interests of the patient at the forefront of the relationship, is compromised.

Technically, the use of medication to assist in suicide is suspect. Medical science has not produced a medication that can be orally self-administered which results in certain and painless death. The most consistently successful suicides are through methods that a physician would not be able to provide or suggest. Medication overdose, on the other hand, is the most common layman’s method of suicide attempt and is usually unsuccessful.

Furthermore, suicide is strongly associated with social and demographic factors. Men commit 80% of suicides. The highest rate of suicide is among Native Americans and non-Hispanic whites while the lowest rates are in Asians, Blacks and Hispanics. Imagine, for a minute, that PAS was delivered more often to some social or demographic groups compared to others. Suspicions about motives and accusations about discrimination would surely be asserted. Trust in the medical profession would suffer.

PAS and euthanasia are essentially unnecessary with tools currently available to relieve suffering as people near the end of life. As physicians, we much more frequently encounter patients and families who demand maximum therapy, often painful and futile, all the way to the end of life, than those who request hospice or palliative care that could minimize suffering. This observation is supported by studies funded from the National Institute of Health which found that more than 20% of all Medicare expenses go to people in the last year of life, with only a minimal proportion spent on hospice care.

Citizens of the state of Florida would be poorly served by physicians assisting in suicide but would be greatly benefited by education about the effectiveness of hospice and palliative care to limit suffering near the end of life.
Everett was responding to an earlier article by Scott Maxwell which supported assisted suicide.

Connecticut politician quotes Nietzche in support of assisted suicide bill.

This article was published in the CT Mirror on March 29.

By Cathy Ludlum

We are in trouble when our elected officials start quoting Nietzsche.

It was at the Public Health Committee meeting March 10 that one of our legislators framed her argument in favor of SB 1076 (assisted suicide) with these words: “One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly” (clip position 27:40).

She did not appear to know who Friedrich Nietzsche was, and admitted that she had probably mispronounced his name. No doubt she had not read the rest of the paragraph from which that quote was taken. Here are some highlights: 

“The sick man is a parasite of society… A new responsibility should be created, that of the doctor — the responsibility of ruthlessly suppressing and eliminating degenerate life.”
There are reasons why Nietzsche was admired by the perpetrators of the Holocaust, as well as proponents of eugenics and euthanasia.

But it gets worse.

The Public Health Committee had an opportunity to explore the numerous concerns raised by the disability community, and a new group of voices, Progressives Against Medical Assisted Suicide. Misdiagnosis, coercion, disparities in healthcare, and erosion of suicide prevention efforts are just a few of the many issues. Instead, the conversation was entirely focused on keeping religion out of our personal choices.

It was as if all the opposition testimony from a secular social justice perspective—whether offered in person, on Zoom, or in writing—had never happened.

One representative had the nerve to say, “We are looking at the fact that there are zero reported cases of coercion” (Clip position 17:30). Think that through. If the person was coerced into ingesting the lethal prescription, they are dead. How would anyone know? For 20 years, disability rights organizations have made available anecdotal evidence of abuse in the system. More recently, there has even been an acknowledgment by pro-assisted suicide supporters of abuse in the deaths of several women with anorexia nervosa. This information has been presented time and again to legislators. Yet suddenly they were oblivious to it.

Remember also, that states shred records from their death-making programs after they issue their annual report. In addition, they require that death certificates only list the cause of death as the underlying illness. There are reasons why the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice has repeatedly submitted testimony warning that falsified death records could interfere with a murder investigation.

The same legislator went on to say, “There has never been a report of the meds failing” (Clip position 17:30). Apparently, she has not read the articles about difficult deaths, or the annual reports from Oregon and Washington that include things that have gone wrong. People have had uncontrolled vomiting, seizures, long protracted deaths, and sometimes even woken up, only to die in deeper agony from the underlying illness.

People who are not religious testified about how they were relentlessly pressured by the healthcare system to withdraw treatment from loved ones who wanted to keep living. And this happened in the current healthcare system, not one under the shadow of legalized assisted suicide.

We in the disability and progressive communities implore the members of the Judiciary Committee to take our concerns seriously. Do not echo the Public Health Committee’s laser-like focus on people’s negative experiences with religion while ignoring inconvenient but important facts.

Embracing Nietzsche’s worldview is not the way to empower people with terminal illnesses. If you read it in context, it does exactly the opposite.

Cathy Ludlum is a member of Second Thoughts Connecticut, a grassroots disability organization opposed to the legalization of medical assisted suicide.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Euthanasia court decision in Québec was "fixed" from the beginning.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Prime Minister Trudeau with
Justice Minister Lametti.
In her National Post article: Thanks to Trudeau, Canada's death-care system is top of the line, Barbara Kay makes a strong statement that the 2019 Truchon euthanasia Québec court decision was a "fix" from the beginning. Here's what Kay wrote:
This deliberate obfuscation is consistent, however, with the honed tactics of boundary-pushing activists whose Dignity-R-Us rhetoric ... Liberals settled on a winning strategy. Don’t make euthanasia a political plank; do use the courts to keep the expansion ball rolling. The fix was always in for expansion of the death as “reasonably foreseeable” guardrails established by the 2015 Carter decision. Thus, the 2019 Quebec Truchon decision that found Carter’s limits to MAiD access unconstitutional went unchallenged by Quebec and Ottawa, in spite of a flawed trial process.

The trial judge for Truchon, Christine Baudouin, was a lawyer only recently promoted to Superior Court. Her father, retired Court of Appeal judge Jean-Louis Baudouin, a longtime proponent of state-executed euthanasia, wrote several publications urging decriminalization of assistance to suicide. Christine Baudouin shared his views. Her law firm, Heenan Blaikie, had financially supported her father’s advocacy for state-delivered euthanasia.

The lawyer for the titular disabled plaintiff seeking MAiD, Jean Truchon (who admitted in an email to a friend he didn’t really want to die, he only wanted greater assistance to live with dignity, but couldn’t get it) relied on Jean-Louis Beaudoin’s pro-euthanasia publications, which were accepted into evidence by Christine in the trial.

That Christine Baudouin did not recuse herself in such circumstances compromises the decision. The Quebec and Canada attorneys general knew that, but did not appeal the judgment, an appeal they likely would have won. They welcomed it as a springboard to new legislation. As evidence of their satisfaction with Christine’s ruling, Quebec’s A-G gave Truchon’s lawyer a justice award just days after the decision. And rookie judge Christine Beaudoin was elevated by David Lametti to the Quebec Court of Appeal.
Kay then states that her greatest concern is for people with disabilities. Kay continues by outlining the work of Roger Foley from London Ontario:
For years I’ve followed the vicissitudes of — and several times commented on — 48-year-old Roger Foley, who suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a fatal neurological disorder that limits his ability to move his arms and legs. His physical condition has not dimmed his intellect, his passion for life or his meticulously focused disability-rights activism. Supportive details regarding the Truchon decision and other pivotal moments in MAiD’s history can be found on Foley’s website, I particularly recommend his well-crafted “public-interest evidence video,” instructive as to the rather incestuous relationships amongst euthanasia ideologues, their justice-system enablers, political foot soldiers and the highly supportive Trudeau Foundation.
Kay then explains how Canada's euthanasia directly affects the disability community. She writes:
In 2019, Justin Trudeau promised Canadians they wouldn’t have to choose MAiD because “you’re not getting the supports and cares (sic) that you actually need.” But Catalina Devandas Aguilar, a lawyer from Costa Rica and the UN’s first ever Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, who explored Foley’s and other Canadian cases, found that was precisely what is happening. “Persons with disabilities have to initiate very lengthy and onerous legal procedures to get their rights recognized,” Devandas Aguilar said in a report to the Governor General. This visit and the rapporteur’s worthy recommendations apparently sank like a stone.

You can wait five years to see a medical specialist in this country. The disabled can wait forever to see their living-with-dignity rights honoured. But the euthanasia doctor is always there for you. Nobody, including our prime minister, denies Canada’s health-care system is broken. But cheer up: Our death-care system is top of the line.
Previous articles from Barbara Kay: (Link).

Chronically ill Montreal woman says her options are extreme poverty or death.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A CBC First Person article published by Alexandria Nassopoulos tells her powerful personal story of living with fibromyalgiaand possibly qualifying for (MAiD) euthanasia but not receiving enough support to live her life. Nassopoulos begins her article, I receive enough money to avoid homelessness but not enough to live, with the crux of the issue, she writes:

It seemed like a cruel joke when Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) pops up in my social media news feed.

As I scrolled through the articles and posts from other chronically ill Canadians, it looked like I'd qualify even without terminal cancer or a degenerative neurological disease. Out of morbid curiosity, I checked out the criteria on the Health Canada website.

It says that to be eligible I must have a "grievous and irremediable medical condition," which includes being in an "advanced state of decline that cannot be reversed" and causes "unbearable suffering."

My condition, fibromyalgia, can be summarized by chronic pain, fatigue and migraines. I was born with this condition and have lived with it day by day, going from doctor to doctor, and from hope to despair. There is no cure. This condition — which regularly prevents me from doing even the most mundane tasks — is never going away. It will always be there.

In other words, based on definitions, Nassopoulos may qualify for euthanasia. She continues:

But an assisted death isn't what I'm looking for. I have a dark sense of humour (chronic disabilities will do that to a person), but not that dark.

Those posts in my feed about MAiD made me feel disheartened and distracted. I went back to preparing a medical report detailing my chronic health conditions for the Quebec government so that I may beg to keep what meagre benefits I had.

Preparing the report is one of many things on my to-do list, which sadly also includes working up the strength to take a shower or make a meal. I say or, because sometimes I have to choose between the two depending on my energy level.
The government assistance that Nassopoulos receives has been reduced because the Québec government considers her condition to be temporary, as she says, I wish it was. She continues:
This is the second time in four years that I'm preparing the same report because my assistance has been reduced. I feel like a cartographer sketching out a map of pain for a trip she's undertaken countless times. Each time, I go back to my filing cabinet to remind them that fibromyalgia is a chronic condition — that I can't work, that I need help.

Perhaps this report would be more believable if my doctor wrote about how the pain in my spine prevents me from sitting at a desk job, about how the pain in my legs prevents me from standing in a retail job, about my hands — often faithful companions that help me create works of art but they switch on a dime and betray me to the point where I couldn't even hold a plate of food or operate a cash register.

The $720 per month that I currently receive in financial assistance isn't enough to pay for a place of my own, so instead I rent a room in my mother's home, helping out with her mortgage. After my phone bill and my Spotify subscription (which is precious to me), I have $200 left to cover my groceries for the month — and prices are rising fast.

I don't feel like I'm asking for much. Therapy, for starters, would be amazing. Enough income to pay for vitamins, fresh vegetables and more meat, all of which likely won't cure me but would make me healthier. The ability to try other medications or long-term treatments could mean I might conceivably work in the service industry.

Then, at age 38, I might finally be able to move out of my aging mother's basement.

These aren't outrageous requests for miracle cures or a wish to win the lottery...
She then concludes:
That's why when I saw the option for MAiD in my social media feed, it felt like I've been given the options of extreme poverty or death. I'm told to seek help, but am then asked if I really need it or told flat out that I don't qualify because my debilitating chronic illness is temporary.

I still wake up every day, chat with my friends and visit with my loving and supportive partner. I help my mother out around the house that I can't afford to leave, and, if my illness lets me, actually do work as a costume designer or create a piece of art.

And I still have that medical report to submit. I do it because perhaps this time around my government might revise their definition of chronic illnesses. I do it because I'm still an optimist. I do it because there are no other options.

I know because I looked.

Further reading: