Article content continued
Without the necessary supports in place to parallel a permissive MAiD regime, individuals are left with the prospect of choosing between an assisted death or continuing the uphill struggle of living with inadequate supports; to place an individual in such a predicament is cruel and fundamentally unjust.
A recent report by UN human rights experts and special rapporteurs highlighted these concerns by saying: “People with disabilities condemned to live in poverty due to the lack of adequate social protection can decide to end their lives as a gesture of despair. Set against the legacy of accumulated disadvantages their ‘architecture of choice’ could hardly be said to be unproblematic.”
The MAID to MAD declaration gives voice to concerns of more than 800 Canadian physicians regarding Bill C-7. We would be wise to heed the warning of those who witness daily to the pressures faced by people struggling to live without the resources required for dignified living.
In truth, MAiD legislation affects us all. As the current pandemic has demonstrated, our state of health is fragile, especially when exposed to prolonged stress and circumstances outside our control. If we as a society do not invest and advocate for life-affirming health care services and social supports to provide dignified living to all, we may one day come calling for help and find the only accessible option offered is death. Perhaps we should pause for a moment and reflect on whether this is truly the kind of society we wish to build as a nation; what we sow today is what we shall reap tomorrow.
Dylan McGuinty Jr., MA, JD, is a lawyer who practises in Ottawa. Sephora Tang, MD, FRCPC, is a psychiatrist in Ottawa.
This content was originally published here.