Disabled Groups Attack Liberalizing Euthanasia In Canada

Michael Cook

Lobby groups for Canadians with disabilities are working hard to defeat a bill broadening the scope of euthanasia legislation.

Under the current legislation, although some people with chronic illness want “medical aid in dying” (MAiD), they may not be eligible because their death is not “reasonably foreseeable”, in the words of the legislation.

A new proposal, Bill C-7, retains all of the existing eligibility criteria, but removes the requirement for "reasonable foreseeability of natural death". It would also expressly exclude persons suffering solely from mental illness.

But disability advocates believe that Bill C-7 sends a message that their lives are not worth living. “Our biggest fear has always been that having a disability would become an acceptable reason for state-provided suicide,” Krista Carr, of Inclusion Canada, told the House of Commons justice committee this week. “Bill C-7 is our worst nightmare.”

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