The Canadian government has announced plans to begin euthanizing “drug addicts” and citizens with a range of mental illnesses.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration is planning to relax the current “assisted suicide” laws to include more Canadians who have become a burden on the taxpayer-funded state healthcare system.
However, critics are comparing the move to “modern-day eugenics.”
When Canada’s law medically assisted dying (MAID) law changes in March 2024, mental health patients, including those with substance abuse issues, with no other physical ailments will be eligible to be legally euthanized by the state.
A special parliamentary committee in the coming months is due to re-scrutinize the controversial move ahead of the rollout, following pushback from Trudeau’s opponents in Canada.
Daily Mail reports: More than 10,000 Canadians were euthanized in 2021, a tenfold increase over 2016 when the practice was legalized.
Some cases have involved people experiencing poverty agreeing to die.
Currently, people with mental illnesses such as depression and personality disorders with no physical conditions are not eligible for assisted suicide.
A framework for assessing people with substance use disorders for MAID is being discussed at an annual scientific conference held in Canada this week.
The agenda for the workshop includes teaching attendees and medical professionals how to “know the difference between suicidality and a reasoned wish to die.”
Zoë Dodd, a Toronto-based harm reduction advocate, told VICE News the practice equates to eugenics.
She said: “I just think that MAID when it has entered the area around mental health and substance use is really rooted in eugenics.
“And there are people who are really struggling around substance use and people do not actually get the kind of support and help they need.”
Dr. David Martell, physician lead for Addictions Medicine at Nova Scotia Health, who is presenting the framework at the conference, told VICE News:
“I don’t think it’s fair, and the government doesn’t think it’s fair, to exclude people from eligibility because their medical disorder or their suffering is related to a mental illness.
“As a subset of that, it’s not fair to exclude people from eligibility purely because their mental disorder might either partly or in full be a substance use disorder.
“It has to do with treating people equally.”
The process for an assisted death in Canada starts with downloading a simple form online.
This involves the applicant answering a series of tick-box questions and signing the bottom.
The applicants must then secure the signatures of witnesses.
There will then be a phone call and home visit from a doctor.
If the application is approved by two separate doctors, the person must wait 90 days from the time of their application.
A doctor can then administer the lethal drug via injection.