A 54-year-old man from Ontario, Amir Farsoud, is applying for Canada's state-sponsored euthanasia program, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), because he is about to lose his house and does not want to be homeless.
According to City News Everywhere, Farsoud told the outlet, "I don’t want to die but I don’t want to be homeless more than I don’t want to die."
MAiD became law in 2016 and was originally intended for those with physical illnesses where death was a reasonable inevitability. In 2021, the government passed legislation amending the law to allow those with mental health issues to apply. People suffering pain but are not expected to apply were invited to apply to MAiD as well. The changes took effect in March.
Farsoud needs two doctors to sign off on his suicide, and has already received one. That doctor claimed he met the criteria due to his Farsoud's physical pain.
Farsoud said his life is "awful, non-existent and terrible … I do nothing other than manage pain" which can leave him "crying like a 5-year-old and not sleeping for days in a row."
The man, who lives in the city of St. Catharines in Ontario, had a back injury years ago that afflicts him today. He also takes medication for anxiety and depression.
His current home, which he shares with two others, is up for sale and he worries that with his social assistance he will not be able to find another dwelling.
"I know, in my present health condition, I wouldn’t survive it anyway. It wouldn’t be at all dignified waiting, so if that becomes my two options, it’s pretty much a no-brainer,"
Farsoud said he would like to live if he had a housing option and that he would not be "close" to considering suicide.
"It would be on my radar because my physical condition is only going to get worse," Farsoud said.
"At that point, I would be probably availing myself of the option, but that would be presumably years down the road," he added.
Farsoud said the the waitlist for affordable housing is seven years where he lives in Canada but the waitlist for suicide is only 90 days.
He lives on $1,200 in public assistance and $690 goes to rent and bills.
He did confirm that he is scared of death.
"Who isn’t," he said. "Yeah, I am. Who wouldn’t be."
"It is not beyond possibility that, if offered an expanded right as per Bill C-7, persons with disabilities may decide to end their lives because of broader social factors such as loneliness, social isolation and lack of access to quality social services," the UN said in a report over Canada's MAiD program
Assisted suicide remains a controversial topic, though according to a 2020 poll, 82 percent of Canadians support the practice, arguing that those with incurable illnesses should be given the personal choice to end their lives.
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