Wednesday, February 22, 2023

#IamthefaceofMAID twitter trend connects us to victims of Canada’s euthanasia laws.

By James Schadenberg

Since February 14, the Twitter hashtag #IamthefaceofMAID has been used to highlight the stories of people with disabilities who've been victimized by Canada's euthanasia (MAiD) laws. The trend started when a Twitter user who goes by @chydorina posted the following tweet:
I am the face of #MAID (assisted-death) in Canada.

As a single, 50 yr old female with a genetic condition and a disability pension I will only cost the 'system'. I would be approved for untreatable pain if I applied - except my pain IS treatable - the gov just wont cover it.
This post inspired many other users with physical and mental disabilities to use the hashtag #IamthefaceofMAID to share their stories about how the Canadian government is offering them aid in dying rather than aid in living. These tweets have since received thousands of likes and millions of views.

Twitter user @arianek posted the following:
I am the face of #MAID (assisted-death) in Canada.

As a 42 year old woman with a rare complication of lupus + iatrogenic injuries I will only cost the 'system'. I want to live but can’t get the care I need + I have been approved for MAID.

#IamthefaceofMAID #Iamthefaceofhumanity
Twitter user @Nat_Alycia posted the following:
I am the face of #MAID (assisted-death) in Canada.
As a 41 yr old woman with fibromyalgia & chronic widespread pain, I will only cost the 'system'. I receive nerve block to keep me moving. I would be approved for death if I applied. #IamthefaceofMAID #Iamthefaceofhumanity
Some of the other #IamthefaceofMAID stories can be found here:

All of these stories give a human face to the systemic problems that have arisen from Bill C-7. The Canadian government has told people with physical disabilities that they will help them kill themselves, while flaws in our healthcare system prevents them from being given sufficient aid in continuing their life. The MAiD system makes it increasingly easier for them to die and harder for them to live.

As some of the #IamthefaceofMAID tweets point out, many of these people feel like they are a “cost to the system.” Though politicians who support euthanasia will justify it with arguments about liberty and autonomy, one cannot ignore the utilitarian aspect of euthanasia in Canada. 

When Bill C-7 was being debated, the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer released a document highlighted the cost reductions that would result from allowing doctors to kill patients whose deaths were not reasonably foreseeable. The #IamthefaceofMAiD tweets put human faces to the issues that arise when a government sees killing as a method to reduce healthcare spending.

Many of the #IamthefaceofMAID tweets show that these problems will be exacerbated if the government expands MAiD to those with mental illness. The Canadian Senate may soon vote to pass Bill C-39, which will delay until March, 2024 the expansion of MAiD to those whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness. But a delay is not enough. The systemic abuses that arose from expanding MAiD to those with physical disabilities who were not terminally ill cannot be fixed. We should not even be discussing expanding MAiD to those with mental illnesses.

The Hon Ed Fast MP has introduced Bill C-314, a bill that would prohibit euthanasia for mental illness. EPC supports Bill C-314 since it amends the Criminal Code to prohibit euthanasia for people with a mental disorder.

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