Two academics at Canada’s University of Toronto have published a paper analyzing the use of medically assisted suicide in cases where an individual is suffering from “unjust social circumstances.”
Philosophy Professor Amy Mullin and graduate student Kayla Wiebe, writing for the prestigious Journal of Medical Ethics, argue that Canada’s controversial Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) program should be available to people who are unhappy with their economic situation rather than just terminally ill medical patients.
“[S]hould MAiD be available to people in such circumstances, even when a sound argument can be made that the agents in question are autonomous? In response, we use a harm reduction approach, arguing that even though such decisions are tragic, MAiD should be available,” Mullin and Wiebe write.
The paper is entitled “Choosing Death in Unjust Conditions: Hope, Autonomy, and Harm Reduction”.
According to the researchers, there has already been an instance where a Canadian resident has sought the assistance of the country’s government-run health care system to end their lives because of unjust social conditions.
In 2022, an individual in Canada, who had been diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), received MAiD. However, by their own description, their decision to choose MAiD was driven primarily by the fact that they were unable to access affordable housing… the primary source of their suffering was an inability to find appropriate housing, not the condition itself
The MAID program has drawn criticism in recent years as the class of people who are getting help killing themselves from government-run health care facilities expands.
Originally conceived as a way for terminally ill medical patients to end their suffering, the program has expanded to include poor people who have no medical conditions.
The Daily Mail reported last year that a Canadian pensioner sought out euthanasia because he was afraid of becoming homeless, and his request was approved by one doctor.
A report from The Spectator with similar stories asked simply: “Why is Canada Euthanizing the Poor?”
Remarkably, the National Post reported last month that one-third of Canadians approve of euthanizing the homeless at government-run health care facilities.
The MAID program began in 2021.