Canada now allows people to request medical suicide for AUTISM
04/01/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

The concept of medical suicide has long been controversial given the potential for it to go to some very dark and questionable places – and that is exactly what is happening right now in Calgary, Alberta thanks to Canada’s broken “medical assistance in dying”(MAID) program.

A Calgary judge recently issued a ruling that will allow a 27-year-old woman identified as “M.V.” to receive medical suicide for autism. He lifted an injunction that her father was granted just one day before her assisted death was scheduled to take place in their home.

Justice Colin Feasby of the Calgary Court of King's Bench acknowledged the “profound grief” the woman’s father would suffer when his daughter dies, but he felt that her autonomy was more important. (Related: Autistic and intellectually handicapped individuals are now being EUTHANIZED in the Netherlands.)

"M.V.'s dignity and right to self-determination outweighs the important matters raised by W.V. [M.V.'s father] and the harm that he will suffer in losing M.V.," wrote Feasby in his 34-page decision.

He added that blocking her medically assisted suicide from moving forward poses a risk that she could try to end her life on her own, writing: “An injunction would deny M.V. the right to choose between living or dying with dignity. Further, an injunction would put M.V. in a position where she would be forced to choose between living a life she has decided is intolerable and ending her life without medical assistance."

“This is a terrible choice that should not be forced on M.V., as attempting to end her life without medical assistance would put her at increased risk of pain, suffering and lasting injury," Feasby added.

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30-day stay issued to give woman’s father time to appeal

However, Feasby also issued a 30-day stay to give the woman's father time to take the case to an appeals court if he desires.

The woman's father believes that she is “vulnerable and is not competent to make the decision to take her own life.” He has said that she is generally healthy and her only known diagnoses are ADHD and autism. He asked for a judicial review to be carried out looking into how his daughter was approved for MAID in the first place.

Currently, two doctors or nurse practitioners need to grant a patient approval for MAID in Canada. Two doctors had been approached by the patient, and while one somehow agreed that autism was an acceptable reason for someone to end their life, the other doctor denied the application. Then, she was offered a third “tie-breaker” doctor, who did sign off on the approval. It is this doctor that her father is taking issue with because he believes that he is “not independent or objective”.

This case has also shed light on the shortcomings of the Canadian law in this area. An attorney for the girl's father, Sarah Miller, said the situation was a “novel issue for Alberta” because the province uses a system that does not have any type of appeals process or review process of people's approvals in place.

Feasby said that the court can't review the doctor's clinical judgment, but it can examine the actions of the patient’s “MAID navigator”, which is a person who works for the health department and helps to coordinate people's assessments for MAID eligibility.

He also explained that although his decision upholds M.V.'s right to choose a MAID, it does not require her to do so; in other words, she can still change her mind before the procedure takes place.

The fact that the court system and health authorities are putting so much effort into helping this woman die instead of finding ways to help people like her to better deal with the challenges they face demonstrates everything that is wrong with Canada’s system, and people who could have had fulfilling lives if only they got the help they needed are paying the ultimate price for the government’s failings.

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