Canadians are becoming increasingly comfortable – almost cozy – with the Trudeau government’s euthanasia program known as Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), with some now suggesting it should be expanded to include the poor and homeless.
MAiD was responsible for the deaths of 10,000 Canadians in 2021, which amounts to three percent of the total number of people who died that year.
The Liberal government has stalled the expansion of the program to include the mentally ill and children, but it has not said it won’t be expanded next year. Two academics from the University of Toronto are now advocating that MAiD should be available for people in “unjust social circumstances.”
Denying people experiencing “unjust social circumstances” just isn’t right, argues Kayla Wiebe, a PhD candidate in philosophy, and bioethicist Amy Mullin, a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, who co-wrote the piece in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
“One way of responding to these cases is, ‘Well, clearly then, medical aid in dying should not be available to them,’” Mullin told the National Post.
"It’s wrong to remove that right," she said.
“We just don’t think the fact that social conditions are contributing to make their lives intolerable means that they don’t have the wherewithal to make that choice,” Mullin said.
“People can make their own determination about whether their lives are worth living, and we should respect that.”
“To force people who are already in unjust social circumstances to have to wait until those social circumstances improve, or for the possibility of public charity that sometimes but unreliably occurs when particularly distressing cases become public, is unacceptable,” they wrote.
“In this essay, we consider questions arising from cases in which people request medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in unjust social circumstances … an decisions made in the context of unjust social circumstance be meaningfully autonomous? We understand ‘unjust social circumstances’ to be circumstances in which people do not have meaningful access to the range of options to which they are entitled and ‘autonomy’ as self-governance in the service of personally meaningful goals, values and commitments. People in these circumstances would choose otherwise, were conditions more just,” the authors state in their abstract.
That’s a very broad definition of poverty, and it could even apply to people making a six figure income but believe they should be making more.
Apparently a large majority of Canadians are okay with the government assisting people in committing suicide. Research Co. found that 73 per cent of those surveyed approved of the MAiD program, with only 16 percent objecting.
The poll also discovered that many Canadians think MAiD should be expanded well beyond its initial focus of people suffering from terminal diseases. If people have to deal with “poverty,” 27 percent of poll participants said assisted suicide should be an option for them. If “homelessness” is the issue, 28 percent approved of MAiD being applied.
Don’t have a good reason to end your life? Then 20 percent of respondents think you should be able to apply for MAiD.
And 20 percent of respondents were fine with MAID being handed out to anybody for any reason.
Daniel Kooman, a co-producer of the film MAiD in Canada told The Post Millennial that the euthanasia program has become a source of “embarrassment” and “shame” for Canada.
“If other countries are going to fight to prohibit death but Canada is going to allow for it and broaden it, we're going to be a tourist destination for death. I mean we're already announcing that at a federal government level that this could be a tourist destination for death. It's in the language on the government's website,” said Kooman.
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