Canada going as far as possible abuse with MAiD, hitting brakes needed
Reports question why Canada is relying on MAiD and not providing social support for those suffering not only from a terminal illness but also from poverty and despair.
Death has been sanitized and institutionalized to a large extent throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first centuries, with the dying assigned to hospitals or nursing homes, out of sight, and the bodies efficiently whisked away by professionals in the business of tidy dispatch.
The debate in Canada over medical aid in dying, or MAiD, brought about tons of issues to consider, including the ways and means of death and the choice one makes regarding how to exit from the mortal stage.
The procedure was legalized in 2016 with the goal of allowing those with terminal illnesses to seek the assistance of doctors in alleviating their suffering as they near inevitable death.
However, MAiD was expanded in 2021 to include people whose deaths are not reasonably foreseeable.
In modern times, the Western world has not been at ease discussing or contemplating death.
Canada is literally using MAiD to kill the disabled and or poor. Here is a list of individuals who felt they had NO OTHER CHOICE but to consider or engage in MAiD because the government refused to help them.— Shelby (@Lefty_Mind) November 23, 2022
What are the qualifications?
To qualify, individuals must have a serious incurable illness or disability, must be in an advanced state of irreversible decline, and must suffer from intolerable physical or psychological pain.
In very short order, however, Canada has become the world leader in MAiD, and the country seems to have stepped onto a slippery slope.
Alarmingly, appallingly, stories have arisen that MAiD was not limited to terminal cases but has expanded to include people seeking death out of despair.
Medical assistance, or suicide assistance?
Amir Farsoud, of St. Catharines, sought help to end his life about a month ago. He didn't want to die, said the now-55-year-old. But his rooming house was for sale, and he couldn't find affordable housing. Farsoud, who suffers from a debilitating back condition, relied on his meager disability payments and was afraid of becoming homeless. As a result, he sought medical aid in dying or MAiD.
Farsoud's application was approved by one doctor, and he was looking for another when he spoke to CityNews in October.
The doctor tried to talk him out of it, Farsoud said. “But eventually I convinced him … I was going to die, one way or another. It was just a question of, ‘Do I have to take a bus to Toronto and jump in front of the subway, or will you be kind enough to do it?’”
Farsoud isn’t the only person who has sought MAiD because of a lack of proper housing, healthcare support, access to specialists, or abject poverty.
How is MAiD expanding?
MAiD will be available to people suffering solely from mental illness beginning in March. This is despite the fact that experts disagree on whether a person's mental illness can be accurately diagnosed as "irreversible", that depressed people frequently want to die, and that access to treatment is uneven.
The government’s own expert panel concluded “it is difficult, if not impossible, for clinicians to make accurate predictions about the future for an individual patient.”
Dr. John Maher of Ontario told a joint Senate/House of Commons committee investigating MAiD that some of his patients are now refusing treatment in order to be eligible for MAiD. “Telling my patients that you will make it easier for them to die has enraged me,” he said.
With cases of MAiD expected to rise, it is worth asking whether the state is encouraging people to choose a dignified death by failing to provide them with the means for a dignified life.
A pause is much needed.
The whole perspective raises a myriad of questions that cannot be answered decisively. One cannot but think how the unthinkable becomes "normal", if not "inevitable". How does the abnormal become "normal" although in a horrifying way?
All these questions surface as a major Canadian medical organization is pushing the idea of allowing doctors to do something that’s long been considered unthinkable and abnormal: killing infants who are born with conditions that make survival "impossible".
The Quebec College of Physicians made the case for this before a parliamentary committee studying changes to Canada’s law on medical assistance in dying (MAID), a.k.a. assisted suicide.
Those in favor of "assisted suicide" try to argue that the college’s proposal involves only newborns with severe malformations whose chance for life is “basically nil". It wouldn’t be a license to kill babies, they dare claim.
But this brings forth a moral dilemma that cannot but be taken into consideration. Authorizing doctors to actively apply euthanasia on infants — rather than allowing nature to take its course — does cross a line once thought untouchable.
The college even goes as far as extending MAiD to include "mature minors" or teenagers aged 14 to 17, as well as euthanasia for elderly people who are simply "tired of living."
When the debate is solely about personal "autonomy," or the right to decide what to do with your own life, there should be limits to how far MAiD is authorized, and it is about time for Canada to hit the brakes.