Canada is under fire once again as host of the world’s most permissive assisted suicide program, where millions of people now say the homeless and poor should be eligible for state-sanctioned deaths.
A survey released this month found that more than a quarter of Canadians say being impoverished or unhoused is a good enough reason for a doctor to inject somebody with a deadly cocktail of drugs.
Even larger numbers of respondents said assisted suicide — or Medical Aid in Dying (MAID), as it is known — should be available to those with disabilities, mental illnesses or who cannot receive medical treatment.
For some, the poll of 1,000 adults shows that Canada has careened into a euthanasia free-for-all since it legalized procedures in 2016. More than 10,000 people end their lives under the scheme each year.
‘One third of Canadians are fine with prescribing assisted suicide for homelessness. Shameful,’ Lord David Alton, a British peer, tweeted on Wednesday.
‘Homeless people need a roof over their heads, not a lethal injection. End homelessness, not the lives of the homeless.’
The survey, by Canadian polling firm Research Co, found that 27 percent of respondents said MAID should be available to those in poverty, while 28 percent said the same for the country’s roughly 30,000 homeless people.
Another 43 percent of Canadians say the mentally ill should be allowed to get a doctor’s help ending their lives, and half the nation says those with disabilities should be eligible for MAID.
The survey also found broad support for the program overall — nearly three quarters of Canadians say the country has the right policies in place for letting people seek medical assistance in dying.
The survey comes as Canada’s politicians weigh whether to expand its assisted suicide program to allow children and the mentally ill to end their lives.
Many Canadians support euthanasia and the campaign group, Dying With Dignity, says procedures are ‘driven by compassion, an end to suffering and discrimination and desire for personal autonomy.’
But rights groups say the country’s regulations lack necessary safeguards, devalue the lives of disabled people, and prompt doctors and health workers to suggest the procedure to those who might not otherwise consider it…. (Read more)