A 54-year-old Canadian man has applied for assisted suicide as he fears becoming homeless. The man, who is on welfare, says he cannot find another place to live he can afford.
Les Landry, 65, told the death review panel he does not want to die, but has applied for Medical Assistance In Dying (MAID) because he cannot afford to live comfortably. If a physician refuses the application, Landry said he would just shop around to find someone else willing to sign off on his death, as allowed under Canada’s assisted dying laws, according to the Daily Mail UK. One doctor has already signed off on the application; one more signature is needed.
Physician-assisted dying generally entails death by euthanasia. Some organizations in Canada and Quebec have suggested medical aid-in-dying may be an avenue for relieving the pain of individuals suffering from serious neurocognitive impairment.
Dr. Naheed Dosani, a palliative care doctor and an associate professor at the University of Toronto, said Canada has reached the point at which people are choosing to end their lives, not because they wish, but because they lack proper access to appropriate medical and social services. Next year, Canada is poised to permit the killing of individuals solely on the basis of mental health. Canada’s assisted suicide laws took effect in 2016, resulting in about 10,000 deaths last year.
Last year, three UN human rights experts reported that Canada’s euthanasia laws appeared to be a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The country’s euthanasia law, which is scheduled next year to expand to cover those suffering mental health conditions and those who are possibly underage, was condemned as recalling how the Nazis dealt with disabled people by one leading scholar on the issue.
Disability experts said this case is not unique to Canada, which has perhaps the worlds most permissive euthanasia rules, allowing those with severe disabilities the option of being killed absent any other medical problem.