“Canada’s world-leading Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program” was instituted in 2016 to help the terminally ill avoid intolerable suffering. But as Cassandra Kislenko reports at The Baffler, the Canadian government, in expanding the program, may broaden the number of conditions that could qualify for state-supported suicide, including, possibly, terminally-ill newborns. Given that Canada’s health care system is an underfunded disaster, where people cannot access necessary physical and mental health care, “disabled people and advocates fear that medically assisted suicide will become a weapon for the state to do away with what capitalism considers unproductive bodies.”

Living in poverty, Gwen felt her only choice was to become one of the growing number of disabled people using Canada’s world-leading Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program simply because the state refuses to provide them with quality of life. “My doctor was acting like she couldn’t hear me,” she remembers of her initial attempts to communicate this decision. “She kept encouraging me to try anything else . . . but there was nothing else to try.”

However, as early as April 2019, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities expressed she was “extremely concerned” that Canada was not ensuring disabled people seeking state-assisted suicide had been provided with viable alternatives before making the choice. In a report to the Human Rights Council, she warned that “assisted dying must not be seen as a cost-effective alternative to providing services for persons with disabilities.”