Canada has made medically assisted death "health care," and therefore a right. The repercussions of this look dark.
Some links on the reality of healthcare in Canada:
Wait Times for Healthcare in Canada:
Hospital beds per 1000:
Availability of doctors:
In short, half of Canadians can't find a primary care doctor and the shortage of hospital beds means you will often be discharged from hospitals while you still would be better off in the hospital. If you need surgery, you will wait, on average, for half a year.
Canada's healthcare system was already under stress in the 1990s.
Regarding assisted suicide, I can't help but wonder how many of these people are opting for this because they cannot get access to medical, psychological and hospice care.
Healthcare in Canada sucks.
Friends in the system (primarily nurses) joke about how poor it is.
In Korea, where I lived for 15 years is far better for healthcare.
First off, no gatekeeping. I can see a specialist right away. Second, drugs are far far cheaper such as $5-10 for a week of antibiotics. Third, you can get surgery as soon as possible for almost all ailments. Fourth, I can get a doctor super quick. Basically show up and he/she becomes your primary physician.
Korea is mostly public but like many places allows private (also Australia, Japan, Switzerland, etc.).
Dentistry is publicly subsidized in Korea. I can get a dental cleaning for around $10.
Euthanasia has always been a slippery slope, much slipperier than it appears.
My health care means maintaining my physical fitness. It does NOT include doctors, drugs or the medical industry.
great one, Meghan. I wonder how reprehensible society can become before collapse.
What if someone says,
“I am suffering from human body dysmorphia. I am not actually this human body thing which is only temporary anyway, and I feel trapped in it. I know I’m The Whole that for a limited time is pretending to be separate. I need to be fused, united and no longer concerned with keeping this separate animal thing going with its genetic setup forcing the need to survive on me. Then I will be happy, or not concerned about either happy or sad. Because these things are only in the realm of the plague of individualism.”
I’m half satirical here, because, well at age 71 and fearing poverty and physical decline ahead I actually this like this.
There is a terrific Lionel Shriver novel called Should We Stay or Should We Go in which she plays with some of these ideas of stopping instead of hanging on to the bitter end.
I babble about the novel here:
Please pardon the somewhat dark turn of humor, but how long before they call it "Renewal"?
Just one relative minor point:
"We pack our elders off into homes to die, rather than keep and care from them with family, as was always the practice in the past and still is in other cultures. And humans are suffering for it."
I think it is far more nuanced than that. What you say is/was true to an extent in SOME cultures, but there have also been various Indigenous cultures who basically told their elders to "walk off into the woods and die" (though likely using more polite words) when they can no longer be productive enough anymore. Perhaps that was the ancient origin of the current "suicide forest" in Japan? Also, up until the 1930s in many Western cultures, poorer elders were all too often sent to workhouses that were every bit as Dickensian as they sound. So it's really a case of "pick your poison" in that regard. I would like to think that what we do today is at least marginally better than that.
The government guarantee of life’s necessities is an utopian dream. Unfortunately, we don’t live in utopia. We live in the real world. Time and again we have seen utopian dreams become dystopian nightmares. These are the only logical consequences of our servants becoming our masters. Instead of being free individuals, we become resources to be mined and expenses to be minimized. Behold the minimization.
Once again, fantastic work, Meghan.
The article points to two pathologies: the Charter itself and the distorting impact of identity politics on its equality section.
I believe that the government's job is to provide a strong safety net for those who are left behind by capitalism's competitive structures, and that's a lot of people. The problem is that the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) has interpreted the rights in the Charter to only provide 'negative' rights, not 'positive' rights. Both are important. Negative rights prevent the state from encroaching on your liberty, and positive rights obligate the state to provide resources to enable you to exercise those liberties. Public education is an example of a positive right: it enables you to be a fuller, and therefore, freer, person. But the Charter provides no positive rights, so it's not quite right to say that health care is protected by the Charter. It's not. The Canadian government could repeal the Canada Health Act (the law that creates the entitlements to health care) and the Charter wouldn't stop them.
But, if the government chooses to provide a service, like health care, it must do so in a way that's consistent with the Charter's equality provision (s.15), so it can't provide health care in a way that discriminates on the basis of disability. This is where identity politics comes in. The question of whether a practice or service is iniquitous or UNJUSTIFIABLY discriminatory is a highly complex question because people are so vastly different. Some forms of discrimination are justifiable: I'm a professor and I give some but not all students extensions. If you're a mature student with two sick kids at home and your essay is late for that reason, no problem, but not because you've been partying. I'm discriminating, yes, but it's justified by objective reasons. Because identity politics eradicates the forum of objective reasoning (as whiteness) to determine what is or isn't justifiable discrimination, what we're left with is the subjective positions of my students who will, without reason, take issue with my refusal to accommodate partying as an excuse for a late essay.
So we're in a situation where it's difficult to have a reasoned conversation about whether it's justifiable discrimination to deny MAID to people with mental illness. On a personal note, I have mental illness, and I suffer horribly from it, but I don't want the MAID option because there are times when I might have used it and in retrospect, I'm glad it wasn't an option then. But I couldn't have seen what is now the present during those bleak times in the past. Depression is totalising. While you're in it, you believe it is forever. And that's what justifies denying people with mental illness medical suicide. There's also the fact that much of the suffering has social components that can be (somewhat) addressed with publicly funded supports. Publicly funded therapy, nurse practitioners specialising in mental health who can run support groups, free gyms for exercise, all of these things could alleviate much of the suffering associated with mental illness.
But MAID is cheaper, and works for the woke. Who would have thought that equality would mean killing people with mental illness because we don't want to tax the rich and use the money to support them?