Wednesday, July 13, 2022

MAiD (euthanasia) for mental illness and poverty.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Hannah Alberga reported for CTV news on July 11 that Mitchell Tremblay (39) is planning to request MAiD (euthanasia) in March 2023 based on mental illness and poverty.

When Canada's parliament passed Bill C-7 (March 2021) it expand the euthanasia law to include people with mental illness alone. Since there were no rules to approve euthanasia for mental illness alone, parliament created a two-year moratorium on euthanasia for mental illness alone. Therefore, Tremblay may be approved for euthanasia in March 2023.

Tremblay is seeking euthanasia based on mental illness and poverty. Alberga reports:
For nearly 15 years, Tremblay has been on ODSP. At the start, he said the approximate $1,000 was just enough to live on. With an incremental change since then, he said he’s barely able to survive.

“I’m basically living on the same amount since 2008,” he said. “I’ve gone homeless so many times I can’t keep track.”

Looking back, Tremblay said if he’d had financial and emotional support, even just 10 years ago, he could have had an “absolutely different life.”
Alberga interviews palliative care doctor Naheed Dosani on why people are asking for MAiD. Dosani reportedly states:
“One of the things that becomes very difficult to tease out is when suffering is related to the fact people don't have housing or food and how that is so difficult to separate from suffering related to a medical condition,” he said.

“My worry is that we are creating a situation where it is easier for people to choose death by MAiD than to choose to live well, because society is not offering them adequate access to money, housing, food security and social support,”
Alberga also interviewed Dr Stefanie Green who is President of the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers who states:
Lack of affordable housing and financial support do not alone qualify a patient for an assisted death, but Dr. Stefanie Green, a MAiD practitioner in Victoria, B.C., said such complexities may contribute to a person’s suffering.

“Suffering is one of the elements required for eligibility for MAiD, so it’s impossible to discount these issues when assessing someone,” she said.

“Our health system is woefully inadequate in serving our population with these resources,” Green said. “But I do not think we can hold these patients hostage.”
You wouldn't want to hold these patients hostage? 

Euthanasia practitioners, such as Green, are concerned with the rules that allow them to kill, not the needs of the person who is being killed. Poverty, disability and mental illness may all cause human suffering, but it is an injustice to kill the sufferer because of cultural abandonment.


Anonymous said...

There were times in my life when if offered MAID in response to my lifelong clinical depression I may have taken it. If I had, I would have missed the best years of my life!

Nicole Corrado said...

I too have struggled with suicidal ideation. As an autistic person, an idea can get stuck, and I often repeat phrases, which could be misinterpreted as "repeated requests" for euthanasia. I would like real supports, not a doctor with euthanizing agents.