Canada has become a place of experimenting wherein under the government, very often certain rules are passed which do not benefit the majority of the people. Now, it has a greater magnitude questioning people’s wish to live or die and Canada’s MAID policy is helping in this case. What is MAID and should it be tamed?
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada introduced Bill C-7 on October 5, 2020: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Medical Assistance in Dying) in the Parliament of Canada. This Act makes changes to the law in Canada regarding medical assistance in dying. Revisions to the law were approved by Parliament on March 17, 2021, affecting the eligibility criteria for medical assistance in dying and the evaluation process. These modifications took effect right away. In order to ensure that eligible Canadians will be able to request MAID in accordance with the new law and that the necessary safeguards are in place, the government is collaborating with the provinces, territories, and health care professionals. Medical assistance during death is not always welcomed by all healthcare professionals. A provider’s beliefs and values may not be compatible with MAID participation. Healthcare delivery methods and locations are the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments. They can also make rules about where MAID can happen, but they can’t let people do things that are against the law.
As you might expect, this has brought up a lot of difficult ethical and moral questions, including those regarding the competence of patients who might request the option and the motivations of health care workers who might provide it. Since it became legal in Canada in 2016, over 30,000 people have died with medical assistance, including over 10,000 in 2021, or 3.3% of all deaths in Canada that year, according to official data.
Criticism of MAID
Many people were concerned about the future of the new law at that time. Despite a Canadian court ruling that stated, “The fact that doubts have been raised is one thing, but any possible ‘slippery slope’ remains theoretical,” few could have foreseen how quickly issues would arise. There is no indication that vulnerable individuals in Canada cannot be safeguarded from abuse and error by a permissive regime that is properly designed and implemented.
There are now indications that the chronically overburdened Canadian healthcare system is even recommending MAID to patients as a means of reducing costs.
A report published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, “calculated that implementing assisted suicide programs would cost $1.5 million to $14.8 million but could reduce annual health care spending by between $34 million and $136.8 million,”
According to the advocacy group Dying With Dignity, euthanasia is “driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination, and desire for personal autonomy.” Numerous Canadians favor the practice. However, advocates for human rights contend that the country’s regulations lack the necessary safeguards, devalue disabled people’s lives, and encourage medical professionals to recommend the procedure to patients who might not otherwise consider it.
The question on should euthanasia be legalized in Canada was answered by the government whether or not the people wanted it themselves. It is absolutely concerning how some people would still be put to death under the shadow of MAID while they would not want to die. There is always a space for corruption and the Canadian government never misses that space. The extremely permissive euthanasia laws in Canada, which will be expanded to include people with mental health conditions and possibly minors next year, have been criticized for resembling Nazi treatment of disabled people. After all this discussion and debate the question which arises is that, while Canadians have the right to die, do they also have the right to live despite medical difficulties?