Thursday, September 3, 2020

People with disabilities in Ontario are asking for euthanasia

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Cynthia Mulligan and Mahnoor Yawar reported for CityTV News that people with disabilities in Ontario are seeking an assisted death during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The story follows Kim who is a recipient of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and says her life has been “pure hell” during the pandemic.

According to the CityTV news report:

A single person with disabilities in Ontario can earn a maximum of $1,169 in social assistance.

Kim also receives a food subsidy of $250 a month due to health issues, giving her just over $1,400 per month to live on.

She pays $1,000 to rent a 300-square foot RV in a trailer park, leaving her with $421 for all other expenses.

Kim says she usually never has any extra money left over and often doesn’t make it to the end of the month for food.

Her story is echoed by many on social media.

One man, Patrick Doherty, tweeted last month that after dropping off his rent cheque he only had $2 a day to spend on food for the rest of the month.

Another woman said after paying her bills this month, she is left with just under $4.

“This is because I chose my medication which I cannot live without for mental health issues,” read her tweet.
The CityTV report states that people with disabilities are asking for euthanasia.
Even more chilling is that some are talking online about applying for Medically Assisted Dying (MAID).

One woman on Twitter said she enrolled because she “can no longer afford to live, nor can I afford the food and medicine I need to get better.”

Kim says she knows of more than 50 people who have applied for MAID while some, she says, are taking other routes.

“I’ve lost six friends to suicide since [the beginning] of COVID,” said Kim.

Kim admits she has thought about applying for MAID herself. She says her landlord is evicting her because he can get an additional $400 a month on AirBnB and she can’t afford that. Paying $1,400 in rent would leave her with $21 a month for food and all expenses.
Clearly, there is a problem with housing and income support for people with disabilities. Sadly, people are dying from despair as COVID-19 increases the cost of living and leads to greater isolation. 

Recently a BC woman requested euthanasia based on the loneliness and isolation due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Link).

It was argued, from the beginning, that people with disabilities would be affected by the legalization of killing by euthanasia. Sadly, this indicates that people with disabilities are losing their lives to neglect and euthanasia.

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