Is Canadian law pushing people with disabilities to suicide?
While it’s our body we’re deciding over, it should always be our choice, right? However, our decisions are always systematically conditioned, through the old trusty surveillance & punishment. The fight to gain bodily autonomy pursues bodies without fear, violence, or coercion. Anyway, when abortion, euthanasia, and substance use can be practiced safely & legally, other dystopic situations pop up.
Euthanasia has been legal in Canada since June 2016 and goes under the official name of MAiD, for medical assistance in dying. However, numbers had only increased since this happened, and the use of MAiD has exponentially grown since its introduction to Canada. During its first year in 2016, 1,018 individuals died under MAiD, while last year, 10,064 died, which means more than 3% of all Canadian deaths.
Reasons to not want to live in this world are plenty, nevertheless, a common factor in several MAiD cases is their lack of physical health. In fact, having a health condition is vital to submit an application. So the true question is: are people really choosing to die by pursuing their bodily autonomy, or are they being pushed to die?
Euthanasia or eugenics?
Yes, in Canada people have the right to choose death, but can they access decent medical assistance? Remember that dystopic world of Children of Men by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron where suicidal kits are legal but marijuana isn’t? Although Canada can be considered a woke-free country in comparison to other regimes, its conditions for euthanasia are quite specific.
Not everyone can access MAiD. Service candidates must be: Canadian or at least count on a residence, as well as be at least eighteen years old, and mentally competent. Also, requests must be voluntary, not a result from the outside. Last but not least, in fact, the most important requirement is: they should suffer from a hopeless medical condition.
Why not make this service open to all? MAiD is neither an option for Canadians with mental illness. However, it looks like this will change on March 17, 2023. But, Is MAiD a twisted way to get rid of certain bodies under their apparent own decision? Necropolitics is another way to call it.
And wait, this is not a fascist conspiracy. Just know that there are intimations of the chronically saturated Canadian healthcare system that are even suggesting MAiD to patients as a way to save costs. A testimony with the application profile named Farsoud commented “If they were out of poverty and if they had a roof over their head and food in their mouths, I guarantee you MAiD wouldn’t be a consideration.”
Was legalizing euthanasia a mistake?
Definitely not. As a society, we should always walk forward in freedom, however, citizens should be free to choose. Living under pressured conditions like poverty or disease aggravated due to the sanitary system isn’t a free scenario for people to decide over their bodies. Although Canada wasn’t the first country to make euthanasia legal, this process is something relatively new.
However, the existence of these services should never become a pretext for the State not to take responsibility for their population’s health centers. In fact, the way territories react to the presence of Euthanasia should be a referent to understand which aspects should be politically attended to.
Other countries that have embraced euthanasia are Belgium, the Netherlands (2002), Luxembourg, Colombia, Spain, and New Zealand. Seven countries in total allow assisted suicides, plus several states in Australia and ten in the U.S. states, including Washington, D.C. Hopefully, this situation will get better in Canada in 2023, and the freedom to consciously choose over our lives & bodies will expand globally.