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Canadian docs back wider euthanasia law

Assisted Suicide
1 June 2022
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A doctors' organisation is urging Canada's government to allow people with various disabilities to access assisted suicide and euthanasia.

The Quebec College of Physicians wants people with "neuromotor disabilities" like quadriplegia, involving paralysis from the neck down, to access lethal drugs to end their lives.

The Canadian Government has so far resisted calls for this type of disability to be specified in a Bill currently making its way through Canada's parliament to expand legislation.

Canada first allowed assisted suicide for people who have a terminal illnesses in 2016 and, at the time, politicians claimed that the law would not be extended and become permissive.

Canadian Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) legislation has significantly expanded since it was introduced, with disability now an accepted grounds for an "assisted death", and mental illness from next year.

The current legislation states that "anyone with grievous and irremediable medical conditions may be eligible" for assisted suicide and euthanasia - a broad criteria that allows people to self-identify what is "irremediable".

In recent months, worrying media reports have shown that disabled Canadians feel pressure to opt for assisted suicide because they cannot obtain service to help them live.

In May, the National Post highlighted two shocking cases where patients received assisted suicide when they couldn't access proper care and support.

In the UK, 'assisted dying' proposals are active at Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, on Jersey, and on the Isle of Man. CARE is working with politicians to oppose these dangerous plans.

To learn more about CARE's work on this issue, visit our Assisted Suicide cause page: Assisted Suicide | CARE

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Assisted Suicide

Where assisted suicide is legal, it makes vulnerable people feel like a burden. CARE works to uphold laws that protect those people, and to assist them to live—not to commit suicide.

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