Advocacy group calls Canada’s MAID law the “biggest existential threat to disabled people since the Nazis”
[:en]That is quite a statement. Tim Stainton, Director of UBC’s Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship calls MAID “the biggest existential threat to disabled people since the Nazi’s program in Germany in the 1930s”.
The Associated Press recently published a report on what’s been happening in Canada’s hospitals since the Liberal Government introduced one of the most permissive medically assisted dying legislation in the world.
One story begins with Roger in London, ON. Roger became alarmed when hospital staff began pressuring him to consider MAID—a course of action he had never expressed an interest in. He began to secretly record hospital staff in what he felt to be an organized campaign to pressure him into accepting assisted death. He claims that one staff member even suggested he was a drain on the system and that keeping him alive was costing too much money.
Then there was Sophia (51) and Denise (31), both in Toronto, both of whom had chronic conditions but both of whom received MAID not because of their illnesses but because of “abject poverty” and because they could not find suitable affordable housing.
Alan, from BC (also living in poverty), suffered from severe depression. He was administered MAID shortly after being taken to the hospital for a psychiatric episode. His family begged the doctors not to kill him, as he had been involuntarily admitted and was in the throes of a psychotic episode when he demanded MAID. The family’s pleas were ignored and Alan was dead shortly thereafter.
Canada legalized euthanasia in 2016. The initial law was careful to extend MAID only to those with terminal illnesses whose deaths were “reasonably foreseeable”. But soon the Liberal Government will expand the legislation to include those whose deaths were not reasonably foreseeable, including those who are mentally ill.
As Dr. Mark Komrad—a psychologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital accurately predicted: “Your law will provide, not prevent, suicide for psychiatric patients.”
This certainly seems to be the case in a recent disturbing incident where a Veteran’s Affairs agent casually offered MAID to a veteran with PTSD and traumatic brain injury—something he had no business doing.
Gwen in the lower mainland of BC, who suffers from chronic pain, tells of her fears of being pressured into MAID.
“It’s eugenics because they don’t want us to be properly supported and be OK. And if we don’t have family to take care of us, it’s ‘Please just go and die.”
The stories keep coming. Vulnerable people are being pressured towards having their lives taken from them.
A 2021 special report by the UN warned: “Canada’s liberalization of euthanasia poses dire threats to its elderly and infirm populations.”
“There is a grave concern that, if assisted dying is made available for all persons with a health condition or impairment … a social assumption might follow (or be subtly reinforced) that it is better to be dead than to live with a disability.”
A recent UK newspaper headline put it more bluntly: “Why is Canada euthanizing the poor?”
Sadly, this is happening at the same time as Canada is facing a growing healthcare crisis. Exacerbated by two years of COVID restrictions and delays, millions of Canadians are unable to access primary care, and wait times for doctors’ appointments, surgeries, mental health support, and emergency room visits are among the longest in the developed world.
Since it was expanded, MAID has seen a dramatic upswing, again, exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions and the inability of too many poor Canadians to access timely and proper healthcare. According to research published in the National Post, 2020 saw a 17% increase in MAID deaths over 2019, disproportionately involving the elderly.
While there are many who support MAID (at least for those for whom death is reasonably foreseeable) there are far too many Canadians receiving lethal injections for treatable illnesses, old-age, or due to their socio-economic conditions.
As such, I don’t think it is an overstatement to say Canada is trending dangerously toward killing the poor, the disabled, and the elderly under the guise of “healthcare”.
This is why I opposed MAID at every step of the legislative process. The dangerous slippery slope many mental health, seniors, and disabilities advocates warned of—experts this government ignored—is playing out before our very eyes.
I believe that every human being is created in the image of God. As such, human life holds an innate and sacred dignity. Only God can give life and only God should be able to take life. This is why I am against assisted suicide. From conception to natural death, life is a precious gift—and the need for government policies that back up that conviction.
I recognize there are many for whom every day is a challenge. For whom physical and/or mental health issues are debilitating. This is why I have advocated so strongly for palliative care. We need to be there for the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled. Not offering the needle, but love and affirmations of their innate dignity and worth.
As Pope Francis put it on his recent Canadian tour: “We need to learn how to listen to the pain of patients who, in place of affection, are administered death.”