Another case of euthanasia for disability and poverty  

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

In the past few days I have read several articles denying euthanasia for disability and poverty and another article which justified it based on autonomy.

On Monday, Zahraa Hmood published an article in the Toronto Star, a newspaper that is not known for questioning euthanasia—“Hunger Games style social Darwinism’: Why disability advocates are worried about new assisted suicide laws.” It concerned a woman with disabilities including MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities) who is considering euthanasia based on her inability to find proper housing.

The article interviews David Fancy, a professor at Brock University, who is trying to help this woman find a place to live.

Fancy, who supports euthanasia, says that he is coming up against too many barriers in helping this woman choose an alternative to death. Hmood writes:

He’s been working with one woman, whom he calls Denise for privacy reasons, who’s been on a waiting list for seven years to get an affordable place in Toronto that can accommodate her as a wheelchair user and someone with strong chemical sensitivities (such to cigarette smoke). He’s been trying to help her fundraise and find housing.

“It’s a hard slog, because the housing is simply not there,” he said.

Denise is considering another option: two out of three physicians have approved for her to commit legal assisted suicide.

Hmood explains that Canada’s euthanasia law expanded in March 2021 with the passing of Bill C-7. Fancy tells Hmood that:

“It’s a very problematic, Hunger Games style social Darwinism reality that means people are taking an, ultimately, less expensive route.”

David Lepofsky, chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance tells Hmood that Canada’s euthanasia is “running amok” with issues in the system revealing themselves. Lepofsky states:

“Our society needs to do more to facilitate living with a disability, and not be so eager to facilitate dying.”

Hmood writes that Fancy is concerned that people with disabilities are making decisions in isolation.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.