MAiD – Riposte

Following up on last week’s post on MAiD, this week I offer four more links covering three perspectives.

Canadians with Disabilities

“We should not be offering wider access to euthanasia until every Canadian that needs it has a truly viable option: access to excellent palliative care (only accessible to 30 per cent of us) or optimal life assistance for the disabled. But C-7 will, shamefully, make Canada one of the most MAiD-friendly countries in the world.”
Barbara Kay, “Wider access to assisted dying in Canada willbe catastrophic for the disabled,” National Post

“When life-ending interventions are normalized for people who are not terminally ill or suffering at the end of their lives, such legislative provisions tend to rest on – or draw strength from – ableist assumptions about the inherent ‘quality of life’ or ‘worth’ of the life of a person with a disability,” they say in a statement issued Monday by the UN Human Rights Council. “Disability is not a burden or a deficit of the person. It is a universal aspect of the human condition,” they add.
Joan Bryden, “UN human rights experts alarmed by trend toward assisted dying for non-terminal conditions,” Globe and Mail

Canadians with Mental Illness & BIPOC Canadians

“In the next few weeks, people from all sides of this debate will bring personal testimony to bear. And whether they support or oppose the expansion of MAID, a simple truth remains: This is a country that continues to fail in respecting the humanity of people with disabilities. And rather than find strength of character to improve ourselves, the Canadian government is set to fall back on egregious historical precedent by offering death instead. Where, I ask, is the dignity in that?”
Andray Domise, “Canada’s proposed expansion of assisted-death threatens to push the mentally ill out the door,” Globe and Mail

Conscientious Objectors

“On assisted death, the rights of the patient have been the primary focus of lawmakers, regulators, courts, academics and the media to a degree that has obscured and eroded other fundamental interests at stake — specifically, the freedom not to participate in killing.”
Brian Bird and Christina Lamb, “Assisted dying legislation must reconcile the rights of those who object to the practice,” National Post
(Dr. Bird is an assistant professor in the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC; Dr. Lamb is a bioethicist and assistant professor in the faculty of nursing at the UofA.)

Indigenous Canadians




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Live and Learn

I hop out of my Kia gracefully. In my dreams, maybe. Since I had to wedge said Kia between two other vehicles in an under-sized parking spot in a chronically over-full parking lot, I actually edge out carefully, trying not to bang the adjacent SUV with my door and not to rub any (more) of the salt spray off my own vehicle onto my navy coat.

Ah, winter in Ottawa: my favourite.

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If Ever

“Oh, I’m so glad you think it’s getting better.”

I look at my 84-year-old mother in some surprise. I believe that her apparent relief is genuine, but I don’t understand it.

It’s 2006 and we’re sitting at the kitchen table in my parents’ Calgary home: a home now in varying stages of disarray reflecting varying stages of packing-up for a move to a senior’s residence. My mother is showing me her injury from a too-close encounter with the corner of a box. However, the obvious suspects — large moving boxes that clutter every room — are not the villain of this piece. Rather, it was an innocuous banker’s box, a long-term resident of her own office, that sidled into her path and attacked the side of her lower leg a few months back.

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Happy New Year

You might think I’m a bit behind the times/curve in wishing you a Happy New Year. After all, we celebrated that 37 days ago.

You might think I’m getting a bit ahead of the times/curve/myself in wishing you a Happy New Year. After all, we won’t celebrate the lunar New Year for another 5 days. (I’d say, “Out with the rat!” with more enthusiasm if I didn’t have to also say, “In with the bull!” If there’s one thing of which we do not need more at the moment or for the coming year, it’s bull.)

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This week I came across two pieces on medical assistance in dying (MAiD). Both are worth reading.

Andrew Roman

Just as the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation,
it has no business deciding
how long and how much Canadians must suffer
before we seek medical assistance for a better death.
Andrew’s Views

Chris Selley

As unprepared as much of Canada was to fight a pandemic — to have adequate PPE on hand, to take the threat seriously before it was too late, to secure adequate tests and vaccines — it was totally unprepared to legalize assisted suicide without it becoming a shame and a disgrace. And that’s exactly how we will see it in a few years’ time, if not sooner.

The solution isn’t to limit access. If someone would rather have help dying peacefully than endure squalor, “sorry, we’re protecting your rights” is no kind of answer. There isn’t a solution except to become a better, more competent, more serious country. We haven’t managed it in a lethal emergency unprecedented in our lifetimes. I wish I could see any prospect of it in the giddy, vaccinated, post-pandemic afterglow to come.

National Post


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Let Us Suppose

This is not a political post — Well, not a partisan one, honest! — so bear with me as I quote from Andrew Coyne’s opinion piece in the Globe and Mail on vaccine acquisition.

Let us suppose Canada were leading the pack instead of trailing it. If Canada were No. 1 in the world in doses administered per capita, instead of, at time of writing, 34th, do we imagine the response of the government and its defenders would be: This is something we have no control over? Would they say, as the Prime Minister did the other day, that it’s “out of our hands”?

The key bit is this:

Let us suppose Canada were leading the pack
instead of trailing it.

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Confused and Confused-er

Carpophilus mutilatus:
a species of beetles in the family sap-feeding beetles.
Encyclopedia of Life

In the great tree of life, Carpophilus mutilatus comes at the end of a disturbingly long buggy branch.

Arthropods (Arthropoda) » Hexapods (Hexapoda) »
Insects (Insecta) » Beetles (Coleoptera) »
Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles (Polyphaga) » Series Cucujiformia » Sap, Bark and Fungus Beetles (Cucujoidea) » Nitidulid series »
Sap-feeding Beetles (Nitidulidae) » Carpophilinae » Carpophilus »
subgenus Myothorax (Carpophilus subgenus Myothorax) » Carpophilus mutilatus

Disturbing because from Class Insecta on down, every branch suggests/implies/dictates one or more twigs not listed here. Just how many species of insects are there? I’m thinking “many.”

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No Commoner

OK, there’s a back story. I bet you didn’t see *that* coming.

House finches were one of the first birds I learned to identify after I “took up” birding, if my haphazard participation in this activity can be so characterized. It was a capability born of opportunity, not any particular effort on my part. We saw many such finches in Phoenix, nesting in the roof overhang. The males were easy to identify due to their bright breeding plumage; the females were obvious because they were hanging around with the males.

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I thought about trying to do something cute with this.

It doesn’t need it.

P.S. I, like Aurelio, would like to see changes made soon.

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