Monday, May 2, 2022

Euthanasia approved for 31 year-old-woman with chemical sensitivities based on abject poverty

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

A few weeks ago I published an article about a (MAiD) euthanasia death of a 51-year-old Ontario woman who had severe chemical sensitivities.

CTV National News Medical Correspondent, Avis Favaro, reported on April 13 reported that the woman was not terminally ill but living with a chronic condition where she was living with chemical sensitivities and environmental allergies.

Link to the article: (MAiD) euthanasia for chemical sensitivies and housing.

On April 30th, Favaro reported on a case of a 31-year-old Ontario woman who has been approved for (MAiD) euthanasia for chemical sensitivities. Favaro reports that Denise (not her real name) is diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), which triggers rashes, difficulty breathing, and blinding headaches called hemiplegic migraines that cause her temporary paralysis. Favaro reports:
The chemicals that make her sick, are cigarette smoke, laundry chemicals, and air fresheners. She is at risk of anaphylactic shock and so has EpiPens at all times in case she has a life-threatening allergic attack.

Denise is also a wheelchair user after a spinal cord injury six years ago and has other chronic illnesses.In March 2021, the Canadian goverment passed Bill C-7 which permitted (MAiD) euthanasia for people who were not terminally ill, but living with chronic conditions. This has resulted in approvals to lethally inject (MAiD) people with treatable chronic conditions and it is exposing the reality that people with chronic conditions are often living in abject poverty and poor living conditions.
According to Favaro, Denise applied for MAiD based on abject poverty.
She desperately wants to move to an apartment that’s wheelchair accessible and has cleaner air. But her only income is from Ontario’s Disability Support Program (ODSP). She receives a total of $1,169 a month plus $50 for a special diet. "I've applied for MAiD essentially...because of abject poverty," she said.

One of her physicians, Dr. Riina Bray, medical director of the Environmental Health Clinic at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, has been looking for better housing saying Denise requires “immediate relocation for her safety.”
Favaro explains how applying for MAiD, in Ontario, was easy.
Denise said she began working on applications for MAiD in the summer of 2021.

A psychiatrist, she said, first deemed her competent to make the decision. A second MAiD provider reviewed her medical history and signed the approval according to Denise. Another physician who offers medically assisted death has now asked her to finalize documents including a power of attorney and funeral arrangements along with a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. She said she’s finishing up this documentation.

Denise has also asked doctors to waive the 90-day waiting period for people like her who are “Track Two” cases, meaning their natural death isn't imminent, hoping for an earlier death.
Dr Bray, Denise's physician, told Favaro that Denise's condition can be fixed. She also said that none of the MAiD assessors contacted her. Favaro quotes Bray:
"Society is failing these patients,"

“My hope is that we can just put a stop to this very easy out that MAiD is providing and start acknowledging that these people need to be helped,"
Favaro also reports how Denise's case is very similar to the case of Sophia, the 51-year-old Ontario woman who died by MAiD in February. Favaro reported:
She (Sophia) received a medically assisted death in February, after fruitless attempts to get an apartment away from smoke and chemicals in her building. Denise said she started the paperwork on her request for MAiD in the summer of 2021, long before Sophia's story went public.

According to Dr Bray who works at the environment health clinic at Women’s College Hospital, which tries to help people with chemical sensitivities:

the clinic is seeing a growing number of referrals for the condition, with a two-year waitlist for a specialist appointment. Canadian statistics suggest that at least 700,000 Canadians suffer from sensitivities to chemicals.

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and the disability rights community warned that removing the terminal illness requirement and permitting MAiD for people with chronic conditions, as Bill C-7 has done, would lead to people, such as Denise and Sophia, dying by MAiD for treatable chronic conditions.


michaelheronsgate said...

For anyone who (like I was) is unaware, there is a GoFundMe campaign for Denise:

"We are seeking to raise $100,000 to help Denise rent/make a downpayment on an accessible and suitable stand-alone home in Toronto close to all the medical services she continues to need on a regular basis to manage her conditions."

Jackie Deutsch. said...

She needs HELP, not Euthanasia.

Canadagal said...

It’s a slippery slope:(