Expanding access to medical assistance in dying to include people with disabilities and, eventually, people with mental illnesses was described as a “horrible outcome for vulnerable Canadians” by Cloverdale-Langley City Conservative MP Tamara Jansen.
Jansen was commenting on the March 17 vote by the Senate, which approved an amended version of Bill C-7.
“Suggesting that living with a disability is such an undignified life that it qualifies a person for euthanasia is the ultimate form of ableist oppression,” Jansen commented.
“Offering euthanasia to those who aren’t dying is no longer medical assistance in dying but medically administered death,” Jansen added, calling it “a terrifying reality.”
“This bill alters the very moral fabric of our country and our medical system,” Jansen went on to say.
“Now, when disabled Canadians and those who suffer from mental illnesses go to their doctor for help, the option to end their lives will always be on the table – because our government believes their lives are not worth living and their circumstances have stripped them of their God-given dignity. Vulnerable Canadians need support, not encouragement to end their lives.”
Senators approved the bill by a vote of 60-25, with five abstentions.
Once royal assent is given, intolerably suffering Canadians who are not near the natural end of their lives will immediately gain the right to seek medical assistance in dying, in compliance with a 2019 Quebec Superior Court ruling.
People suffering solely from grievous and irremediable mental illnesses will have to wait two years to gain the same right.
The government had originally intended to impose a blanket ban on assisted dying for people suffering solely from mental illnesses, but under pressure from senators who believed that exclusion was unconstitutional, it subsequently put a two-year time limit on it.
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